Kayaaní Commission to host community potluck on Wednesday, May 30

The Kayaaní Commission, which is coordinated by Sitka Tribe of Alaska in partnership with other groups in Sitka, will host an open potluck from 6-8 p.m. on Wednesday, May 30, at the Sheet’ká Kwáan Naa Kahidí community house. The public is invited to attend. Please bring a dish to share and a friend.

The Kayaaní Commission is a group of knowledgeable community members and tribal citizens who are concerned with preserving and protecting plants and the traditional ways they are used. It started meeting in 1997 after the USDA Forest Service created a “special forest products” category for non-timber products in the Alaska region that included many of the traditional plants gathered by Alaska Natives for food, medicine and other purposes.

The meetings provided a way for the tribe to share its knowledge and customary practices using these roots, berries, bark, fungi, and other plants with federal and state agencies, so the agencies are less likely to make regulations that prevent their harvest. The Kayaaní Commission also discusses ways to sustainably harvest these plants, so the remain a vital part of our landscape. These efforts are supported by the Forest Service, Sitka Native Education Program (SNEP), Alaska Native Brotherhood and Sisterhood (ANB/ANS), National Park Service, (NPS), Southeast Alaska Indian Cultural Center (SEAICC) and many other interested parties and individuals along the way.

For more information, please contact Tammy Young at 747-7167 or tammy.young@sitkatribe-nsn.gov.

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• Sitka Native Education program to host Jam and Jam on Aug. 28

The Sitka Native Education Program will host a Jam and Jam at 5 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 28, at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall with the Gajaa Heen Dancers and others.

The group will prepare salmonberry and rhubarb/strawberry jam in the Alaska Native Sisterhood kitchen at ANB Hall starting at 5 p.m. Following the class, all attending are invited to a campfire jam session on the Mt. Edgecumbe High School campus.

Materials will be provided for the jam-making class, which is targeted toward youth. Participants wanting to take home jam may bring their own jars, lids and berries to the class.

The Learn and Serve workshop is free. Participating youth are reminded that the final product will be for local elders. For more information, call the Sitka Native Education Program (SNEP) at 747-8561.