Nenana Wellness Coalition


November 4, 2008

ELECTION DAY. Polls are open until 8P.M.

The Nenana Wellness Coalition is an alliance of representatives from various organizations, government agencies, community groups and individuals that meets weekly to discuss, evaluate, coordinate, consolidate, celebrate and help implement plans for improving the wellness and quality of life in Nenana Alaska.

We had 14 in attendance today, including: Bonnie Reed, Walt & Andrea Tommy, Bill & Rebecca Troxel, Miles Martin, Kat McElroy, Laura Vance, Christopher Robinson, Tim Horn, Dana Hills, Maryellen Kanyurak and David Poppe. We had tamale pie, carrot/raisin salad, sliced apples and pecans for lunch.

WELCOME followed by the READING OF MISSION STATEMENT: By this week’s chairperson, Laura Vance

PRAYER: Was lead by Bill Troxel, followed by the PLEDGE OF ALLEGIENCE.

PRESENTATION OF AGENDA AND CALL FOR MODIFICATIONS: there was no call for changes in the agenda

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Minutes were generated last week by Kat, posted to the WIN e-mail list and posted onto the WIN web site

INTRODUCTION OF GUESTS: Christopher Robinson & Dana Hills were introduced for those who were not in attendance at previous meetings and had not yet met them.


Free-cycle: Bill; & Rebecca Troxel suggest that we may need to reschedule the Free-cycle from 11-08-08 due to conflict in scheduling with the Nenana Ice Cream Classic basketball tournament. Date suggested was the following Saturday, November 15. Kat called Robin Campbell at Nenana Native Council and there is nothing scheduled at the tribal hall that day. Tim noted that the rummage sale at the YERC this weekend netted around five hundred dollars but also some items had been left behind in the YERC for the Free-cycle. Tim will haul them away and store them for the Free-cycle.

Adult Education/Community Development: Laura brought people up to speed on this ongoing discussion that sprang from suggestions Tim Barker had made at a previous WIN meeting. The vision is to identify our own local resources and people as has happened previously (for example the Junkyard Wars snow-machine competition and dog mushing activities) for education and community development. She cited the presence of the welding shop at the school and computer lab at the YERC as underutilized resources. Perhaps minimal user fees could help create and sustain such future efforts. Miles suggested that it isn’t just skills but, as has been mentioned previously, also good work effort and integrity that we can teach. Andrea spoke of the “Helping Hands Bank” program she has read about wherein volunteers can do work and “bank” the hours they put forth, logging their time which they could then either allocate to another or use themselves for some future work or service they need. Miles suggested that accurate logs could be used as “matching funds” for future grant seeking efforts. He also suggested we could start simply by creating a chart or graph depicting the people and resources we have available currently. Tim discussed an article she brought in to the meeting from the October 17th edition of the Fairbanks Daily New-miner which depicted the efforts of the village of Igiugig (an Eskimo and Aleut village on the western shore of Lake Iliamna) to foster recycling, including greenhouses and keeping chickens fed from household food scraps. This is an example of what can happen when people work together.

Parent Education: WIN at large. Per our previous discussions, we agree to organize some manner of monthly parenting support activity. It was suggested that we could start at the next Free-cycle; in addition to having a chili cook-off, maybe we could have an activity that focuses on the value of positive parenting. Tim asked if we might get Eric Gephart to do the Dream Catcher activity that he used at his Envisioning Wellness presentation which so aptly demonstrates how people can take care of our youth. This could be a springboard to monthly positive parenting activities.

Sober Housing: Walter & Andrea Tommy will be going to South Carolina to take care of some family business. They anticipate being gone for maybe two weeks. Upon their return, they would like to schedule another meeting for people who are interested in the sober house project.

Envisioning Wellness: Tim Horn has rescheduled Karen Lord from the Nenana Native Council for November 25th, which is the only Tuesday in November that Karen will be available to present. It was suggested that we see if we can get Kris Capps from Healy to present Envisioning Wellness in December. Either Tuesdays, 12/09 or 12/16 would be best for our purposes as school lets out 12/19. Tim will contact Kris to ask. Miles said that he has been contacted by the Made In Alaska people in Fairbanks who want to do a fee workshop here in Nenana. They support hand-crafts and cottage industry and one of the things they could teach people is how to use digital cameras to market your crafts items. He wonders if we might get them to do an Envisioning Wellness presentation in March and then a full workshop in April. He has contacted them with that request.

Vendor Fair: WIN at large. Tim is in continuing communication with Kathy Halverson who is the foster parent recruiter who spoke to us last night. They are discussing the “Vendor Fair” that Shirley Holmberg organized to get information to public assistance recipients in the Fairbanks area. The next one will be held in January. We are interested in attending to see if something like this would be good for Nenana.

Indoor Air Policies: Maryellen Kanayurak, Tobacco Prevention Coordinator, did a five minutes power-point presentation about her recent efforts to change indoor air policies in our nearby communities. She told us about the survey they conducted this summer in Denali Park that indicated well over 80% of her respondents preferred a smoke-free environment. She discussed efforts to get good information about the benefits of clean indoor air out to people served by Railbelt Mental Health & Addictions and plans for future efforts.

Wellness thought

While struggling with any condition causing mental and physical DIS-ease, it is important to remember the exceptional healing power of the mind. Unfortunately, we often tend to concentrate more on the gripping power of the illness or addiction than on the possibility of recovery, thus permitting the problem to become both a mental and a physical habit. Yet each and every thought, be it of depression or happiness, irritation or calmness, anger or serenity, does actually cut subtle grooves in the brain cells and strengthen the tendencies either towards illness or well-being. This subconscious idea-habit of disease or health exerts a strong influence on our entire being. Stubborn mental or physical diseases always have a deep root in the subconscious. That is why developing the habit of strong positive thoughts consciously and repeatedly can react on the mind and the body through the medium of the subconscious, and lead to better health.

Brenda Thomas, psychotherapist and the president and co-founder of Viva Consulting Family, Montreal, Quebec, Canada


Kat: will be in Miami Nov 12-19th, presenting at the National Harm Reduction conference.

Dana: Students at NSLC need community service hours to satisfy the requirement to advance to the next level. Requests should be coordinated through John Grimes. Also, they are beginning Family Nights on Mondays and Wednesdays from 7:30 – 10:00 P.M. starting November 17th. Computers will be turned off and the community is invited to come in and participate in activities. Lastly, they have begun an Elder’s Lap Robe project and want to complete a crocheted lap robe for each elder in our community.

Bonnie: There will be a Senior bus trip to Fairbanks Thursday, 9 A.M. Also, they did 46 haircuts last week Thursday, Good Show!

Tim: Fall Concert Wednesday, 6:30 PM in the gym. Thursday are Parent Conferences, no school. Friday and Saturday will be the Ice Cream Classic. Baha’i Holy Days celebration Tuesday at the Purple House, 7 P.M.

Open floor for comments/questions/discussion:


Adjournment: 2:20 P.M