Tlingit and Haida plan community college, housing development

    Richard Peterson.

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - President of the Tlingit & Haida Central Council Richard Peterson gave an update on the tribe's activities to the Greater Juneau Chamber of Commerce.

    The Central Council represents over 31,000 Tlingit and Haidas worldwide with 7,000 tribal citizens here in Juneau.

    They own several businesses in Juneau and are one of the town's major employers.

    Peterson began his speech with praise for Juneau officials and how they are preparing for COVID-19.

    The next tribal assembly is planned for April 22-24.  The assembly includes the executive council elections.  The office of president and six vice presidents along with a chief justice will be elected to two-year terms.  Despite the threat from the coronavirus, they plan to hold the annual assembly here in Juneau next month.

    The tribe employs 234 employees.  The annual budget exceeds $34 million.  They manage more than 40 grants.  Over $20.3 million came from the federal government this fiscal year.

    Peterson emphasized some of the tribe's social enterprises.  Businesses like Sacred Grounds, Smokehouse Catering and Sacred Shine Auto Detailing have been successful and growing.

    He said the Vocational Training and Resource Center is for the entire community and not just tribal citizens.  Students can get CDL licenses and other certificates at the facility.

    The Immersion Park at the former Thane Ore House remains under development.  They leased the property from the CBJ.  Once completed, it will bring over 200 jobs to Juneau.

    "I think this will be a real jewel for Juneau."

    They plan to have construction in 2022.

    They recently opened a new daycare center, Little Eagles and Ravens Nest at the Juneau Christian Center.  47 children are enrolled.  They have 16 full-time employees. 

    They bought 80 acres in Douglas for a residential venture.  They also recently purchased Triplette Construction to create Southeast Contractors.

    Another project under consideration is a community college that could offer associates degrees.  Peterson said while there is no timetable to build the facility, they have held several meetings to discuss programs they could offer.  They plan to work closely with the University of Alaska Southeast.

    Rep. Andi Story reminded the crowd that today is Ashley Johnson Barr Day.  They want to encourage donations and support of various organizations devoted to fighting child abuse and domestic violence.

    Next week the Chamber will have a forum on the coronavirus led by Bartlett Hospital CEO Chuck Bill.

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