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Viewpoints: Letters / Opinions

Annual KIC Elections Jan. 17th

By Charles (Chas) Edwardson 


January 01, 2022
Saturday PM

Ketchikan Indian Community annual elections are coming up on January 17, 2022. I am currently on the tribal council and hope to continue working for our community after the next election.

Although we are a tribal entity here in Ketchikan, our economic impact as a tribe in Ketchikan is significant and greatly beneficial to the broader community.This current and past councils have been active with financial contributions to many great non profit organizations that assist  those in need  both tribal and non tribal citizens of our city that we all love.

Our annual budget and compacts with the federal government that the tribe administers   Are significant, and used for primarily health care , education, health and social services ,  and is predominantly spent right here in Ketchikan. Purchasing goods and services from local vendors and utilizing peace health, our local pharmacy’s, grocery stores, fuel companies,insurance companies , realtors , construction companies , construction supply stores, equipment rental, advertising companies , shipping companies  just to name a few all local ,,and are impacted by a healthy and robust Ketchikan Indian community.

During these unprecedented times Ketchikan was not spared the onslaught of a pandemic that is disrupting the world as we know it. 

Ketchikan Indian community was hit especially hard, but reacted swiftly and efficiently under the timely decisive leadership of Charles (Charlie) white, who navigated us through that uncertain time with little fear and a can do attitude that we needed during the onset of the pandemic we will be forever grateful for Charlie and his unwavering optimism that we will get through this ,Ketchikan Indian community was one of the first organizations in Ketchikan to receive and administer the Covid vaccine , and one of the first organizations to distribute the first Cares act covid relief funds in Ketchikan, distributing 8 million dollars in direct assistance to our tribal members , with a multiplier  effect of every dollar spent in the community that changes hands 3 times .

The 8 million dollars of relief funds primarily went to food security, rental security, energy assistance. Virtually every dollar spent with local vendors and suppliers. 

I’m obviously very proud of Ketchikan Indian community as a life long member and a tribal council member , but wanted to emphasize that ,although we are a tribal community, it is our philosophy that we have a  greater community responsibility than just our tribal members and we always think in terms of how can we help in our actions to extend as much benefit to Ketchikan as a whole as we can. 

Which brings me to a even more deadly subject which is the epidemic in terms of lives lost and families destroyed is the opioid crisis that is killing not only tribal members but many of our Ketchikan brothers and sisters.( unfortunately Alaska natives and native Americans have a higher  rate per capita of infection with this opioid disease  and the covid infection )

This current tribal council and past tribal councils have been acutely aware of the devastation that our community is facing with the opioid epidemic and has been on our strategic planning agenda as a top priority, we want to work with and alongside every interested entity to address this problem head on as we do with everything that comes our way as a community, not Ketchikan Indian community over here , and the city of Ketchikan over there, but together as a city we can begin a comprehensive plan to tackle the opioid crisis .

My primary reason for seeking re-election onto the Tribal council is to continue forward with capitol funding strategies ,planning and development of potential facilities here in Ketchikan with leveraged community resources to address in and out patient treatment for opioid addiction. Comprehensive transitional housing strategies the community might develop, re integration into the workforce for recovery . 

We know what needs to be done as a community and the time is now to implement the steps that need to be taken, to make treatment of this insidious disease of opioid addiction not jus a talking point but a concrete decisive strategy that we as a community together implement.

The best position that I can think of to help at this time  to help with policies and strategy decisions to make this a reality ,is to be on the Ketchikan Indian community tribal council , and I hope to be trusted with your vote on January 17, to continue supporting this initiative to tackle  opioid addiction and the devastation that follows. 

Thank you,

Charles ( Chas ) Edwardson 
Ketchikan, Alaska




Editor's Note:

The text of this letter was NOT edited by the SitNews Editor.

Received December 18, 2021 - Published January 01, 2022

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