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We Are Kawerak

We are Kawerak

The Bering Straits Native Association (BSNA) was formed in 1967 as an association of the Native Villages in the Bering Straits Region. The Association was created to advocate for the passage of a Native Land Claims bill. During this time, BSNA received their first grant from the Office of Economic Opportunity within the Johnson Administration. After the passage of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act in 1971, BSNA organized Kawerak as the regional non-profit corporation (incorporated under State Law in 1973) to provide services throughout the Bering Straits Region.

Today, Kawerak contracts with the state and federal government to provide services to residents of the Bering Strait Region, 75% of whom are Eskimo, Aleut or American Indian, descent. Kawerak's organizational goal is to assist Alaska Native people and their governing bodies to take control of their future. With programs ranging from education to transportation, and natural resource management to economic development, Kawerak seeks to improve the Region's social, economic, educational, cultural and political conditions. Kawerak is governed by a Board of Directors comprised of the president (or designee) of the IRA or traditional Councils, two elder representatives and a representative from the regional health care provider. Kawerak reorganized in 2006 and we now have four divisions.

Vision

Our people and tribes are thriving.

Mission

To advance the capacity of our people and tribes for the benefit of the region.

Strategic Plan 2016-2020 Priorities

Priority One: Culture & Language

    • Language, cultural awareness and teaching subsistence preservation
    • Traditional healthy lifestyles

Priority Two: Public Safety & Well-being

    • Children, youth and families
    • Ensuring the safety and security of our people

Priority Three: Arctic Resource Enhancement and Protection

    • Preservation/conservation
    • Protecting our subsistence way of life
    • Arctic policy engagement
      • Increased Marine Traffic and climate change

Priority Four: Regional Capacity Building

    • Tribal partnerships and capacities
    • Village technology advancements
    • Funding strategy for tribes
    • Education and workforce development
    • Infrastructure development and improvements: Sewer, water,  housing and transportation
    • Economic development through small business development, and tourism expansion

Priority Five: Internal capacity building

    • Technology advancements
      • Internally in the workplace
    • Funding strategy for Kawerak
    • Streamline policies and processes
    • Workplace cultural integration
    • Communication and public relations

The Board of Directors decided when our vision was accomplished we would have strong, healthy, proud, caring, unified, pro-active, self-sufficient Native people, leaders and communities who know where we are going and who will take necessary steps to achieve it.

We will live and transmit our language and culture to our children, with councils actively governing at the local level and cooperating at the regional level to make life better for our people.

This is what being a true Inupiaq, St. Lawrence Island Yupik & Central Yup’ik means.