Nenana Wellness Coalition


February 23, 2010

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.

There were eight in attendance today, including: Karen Lord, Bill & Rebecca Troxel, Miles Martin, Tim Horn, Bonnie Reed, and Dana Hills.

WELCOME: By this week’s chairperson, Tim Horn. The MISSION STATEMENT was recited from memory by the group, an real exercise in perseverance.

PRAYER: Was lead by Kat McElroy, followed by the PLEDGE OF ALLEGIENCE.


APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Posted on the WIN web site at and sent to the WIN e-list.


Nenana Native Council, Programs and Plans: Karen Lord informed us that NNC is preparing for their tribal elections. She has been tasked with reformatting the seats and terms of service so that the council members will serve three year terms instead of two year terms. This will help as the members rotate out, the council will have more “seasoned” members at any given time. Karen mentioned that the Nenana Native Council constitution was originated in 1962. On the ballot this year will be some changes to the constitution. Also on the ballot will be First Chief and four council members. Elections will be held 10 A.M. through 8 P.M., December 13th. She explained the nomination protocol for tribal council elections and the election process.

Karen said that the Santa Gift Exchange will be held at the Tribal Hall December 22nd, starting at 6:30 P.M. There will be a community Christmas celebration with gifts for all the children at the Civic Center December 23,also at 6:30 P.M. Nenana Native Council will celebrate New Year’s Eve the evening of December 31st at the Tribal Hall starting with a pot luck at 8 P.M.

Karen gave us an over-view of the various programs the NNC administers. A great deal of their funding comes from the Bureau of Indian Affairs. There have been funding cuts proposed for BIA and NNC is currently waiting for Congress to release monies for BIA. Tanana Chief’s Conference administers BIA funding for this area. BIA/TCC funded programs administered by the Nenana Native Council include those of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), Child Protection, Social Services, Job Training & Placement, General Assistance (GA), and ASAP/ATAP which is temporary assistance to families in need. NNC also facilitates training for their tribal court judges as well as the quarterly Village Pride/Community Safety meetings. She noted that Nita Marks is the ICWA and child protection worker. Robin Campbell is the go-to person for social services and jobs training and placement. There is a lifetime cap to the funding available for job training. GA recipients are required to perform 30 hours per week of community service and have to fit specific criteria to be eligible for the $340.00 per month. ASAP/ATAP recipients are required to perform 35 hours per week community service for the $800.00 they receive.

Karen explained that the NNC Clinic is funded through Indian Health Services monies. The PA-C there is Matt who works with his clerk, Melissa, Mondays and Fridays. The Health Aide, Jackie Suckling and trainee Johanna Kukes are there Monday through Friday. It is proposed that beginning in mid-January, there will be a dentist coming from TCC a couple times a week. Clinic services are open to anyone in the community.

Separate funds have been available for road improvement projects. That is BIA money. The tribe will be working with the city to pave streets around Nenana.

Continuing minutes from WIN Meeting of 11/25/08 (from when Kat McElroy had to leave)

Karen Lord’s presentation, continued:

Ag Money: A question was asked as to what the Council’s Agricultural money is used for and what priority it is given. Karen replied that the ag money (which is not a huge grant) mostly goes to fund the community garden. She added that there is a move to create an extension of the community garden out near the Toghotthele office (for those who want larger gardens, more space to plant potatoes, etc.). The land has been cleared.

Some discussion was also held on people’s worm bins (which were started as a result of the Cooperative Extension planting session sponsored by the Tribe last spring).


The following were shared as updates/announcements by those attending:

Walking in the school: We had been informed that people could walk for exercise in the school during open gym times (Tues, & Thurs., 7:30-9 p.m., with tonight being the first night for this). Rebecca Troxel reported that she was able to walk around the school yesterday during Tae Kwon Do (she had gotten permission from one of the custodial staff on duty).

CVL License has arrived: Bill Troxel reported that the Community Church’s CVL license (which gives permission for the church to show movies for free without violating copyright laws) has arrived and they’re looking forward to showing movies.

Made in Alaska: Miles reported that the Made in Alaska training will be in March. It will probably be held at the Civic Center – the Made in Alaska organization has said it will pay for the clean-up. It was suggested that the Tribal Hall may be a better venue for those attending, but it was pointed out that it can be difficult to advertise an event that can then be pre-empted by a funeral or funeral preparations.

Where to meet over Christmas break: It was pointed out that WIN will need to find a place to meet over the Christmas break, so this should be placed on our next agenda.

City Council meeting: The next City Council meeting is scheduled for Thursday, December 11th, 5:30 p.m. Bonnie Reed commented that the meetings are interesting.

Rec Center Beading Class: Karen Lord reported that her daughter, Theresa, is giving beading classes at the Rec Center. She doesn’t know the times, but advised people to call the Rec Center (832-5513, Wed-Sat, 3-9 p.m.) or Robin Campbell (cell phone: 378-8048) for details.

First home basketball game: Tuesday, December 16th, starting at 3:30 p.m.

December Envisioning Wellness: Tuesday, December 16th, with the presentation being given by Kris Capps of Healy.

Christmas Events in Nenana:

  • Dec. 5-6 (Friday & Sat.): Senior Bazaar at the Civic Center, 4-9 p.m. on Friday (12/5); 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturday (12/6)
  • Dec. 9 (Tuesday): Christmas Concert (5th-12th grades) at the School.
  • Dec. 11 (Thurs.): School Community Christmas lunch and bazaar
  • Dec. 15 (Tues.): Christmas program in Healy (junior high and high school students from Nenana will be participating), 6:30 p.m.
  • Dec. 16 (Tuesday): Kindergarten-5th grade Christmas program in the Pit, 6:30 p.m.
  • Dec. 19 (Friday): Early release from school (12:55 p.m.)
  • Dec. 21 (Sunday): Caroling (details will be forthcoming; people can call Rebecca Troxel or Tim Horn for further information as it is available)
  • Dec. 22 (Monday): Tribal Christmas Party at the Tribal Hall, 6:30 p.m. (snacks will be served)
  • Dec. 23 (Tuesday): Christmas Toy Give-Away at the Civic Center, 6:30 p.m.
  • Dec. 24 (Wed.): Nenana Community Church Christmas Eve Open House, 4 p.m. at the Troxels’
  • Dec. 24 (Wed.): Episcopal Christmas Eve Service followed by apotluck, 7 p.m. at St. Mark’s
  • Dec. 24 (Wed.): Christmas Vigil sponsored by St. Theresa’s Catholic Church, 7 p.m. at St. Theresa’s

Freecycle & Chili Cook-Off: Still hoping to hold this on Saturday, January 17th, 5 p.m. at the Tribal Hall. It was past 2 p.m. when we closed, but it was agreed that much useful and interesting information had been shared!