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John, State Senator, Alaska Senate Department of Justice, prepared statement The Committee met, pursuant to notice, at 11 a. Lisa Murkowski, presiding. Good morning, we will call to order this meeting of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. I want to welcome those of you who are ing us this morning. I hope you've got good sound in the back, is it working back there?

All right. I want to thank the Alaska Native Heritage Center for allowing us to be here this morning in their beautiful, beautiful facilities and I think it's somewhat notable that we are surrounded by not only Yupik culture as I look around, truly all of our Native cultures are reflected in these beautiful spaces here this morning, and so many friends from around the state, leaders in many, many ways. We've got a very ificant panel of individuals who are prepared to provide testimony for us morning and before we begin, I would like to recognize the members of the staff on the Indian Affairs Committee that have ed by staff, Greg Bringhurst, who is working all of my Alaska Native and rural issues.

I've worked with Rhonda for many years now when I was the ranking member on the Indian Affairs Committee. She does a great job for Indian country around the nation here. We have Emily Newman who is also counsel to the Committee. Jacqueline Bisille who is a legislative assistant again ed by Greg. They had an opportunity, I think, to go out to Bethel thus far, and hopefully, to gain better understanding of some of the challenges that we face here in Alaska, but even more so, the many opportunities that we have in front of us.

We'll begin the hearing this morning in, perhaps, a little less traditional manner than you would see in a hearing before the United States Senate back in Washington D. I would like to invite a Yupik elder, Marge Nakak, to open the hearing this morning with an opening prayer and we're honored to have you with us this morning. Good morning to each one of you.

In Want a new friend or friends, my Inupiat Native ancestry originates from Big Diomede through my mother's father and that gives me my Inupiat name, Olawanna and from my grandmother, who is Yupik, I was named after her, her name Sex in 14218 free Mongwanna, which means seamstress.

We are all blessed to be on this land occupied for many years by the local Native cultural group of Dena'ina Athabascans.

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Their belief has been that vhat natural resource and all the animals and sea mammals and birds have a spirit, promoting mutual respect between nature and humanity. In honor and appreciation toward our Creator, for His benevolent provisions. There are still songs and dances and feasts and ceremonial potlatches, which are still enriching our lives as we express our appreciation and acknowledgment for these Housewives seeking real sex HI Waipahu 96797 resources in our Alaskan regions.

The land is our Native foundation for a cultural history commjnity evidence still exists throughout the magnificent state in ancient settlements that are being unearthed today. In our prayer now, we are thankful and acknowledge these gifts of the land, the animals, the sea mammals, the birds, the fish, the lakes and rivers, the crisp air, the plants and berries, the valleys, the tundra and all the terrain in which humanity and wildlife, essential for our sustenance and for our health is still one of our subsistence ways of life today.

Each of your presence is welcome, and with heartfelt gratitude, we participate in inspiring honor and respect to each one's identity. In former times past, our ancestors, through extreme changes, established tried and true ways of life to guide us with continued focus toward preserving the abundant benefits that nature provides for us. Our ancestors intense diligence prompts us to carry forth Ladies seeking real sex Hartshorn indigenous values while cooperatively enhancing our cultures through sharing and strengthening our peoples proven achievements throughout the centuries.

Our implementation of these life ways promotes motivation toward harmony in our present, diverse communities. Strands of connections tie us together to be successfully in our future without endeavors and our blended societies of many origins. In radiance as the Northern Lights, each one of us is a ray of light and reflects the aurora borealis, which is always brilliant in the northern Alaskan skies.

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May our Creator and our benevolent God bless each one of you in all of your work for all of our people within this magnificent state. God bless you all. Thank you.

Senator Murkowski. Quyana, Marge, thank you for that blessing, thank you for your words to begin this morning. One of the things fucking toulon wives I respect and admire most is when a Native person, whether they be Inupiat from up north or Yupik or Athabascan or Tlingit, they always start by introducing who they are and they don't say my name is Lisa Murkowski, they speak about their family, they speak about where their family is from and I've always felt that that is the gracious comkunity beautiful way to identify metlakatlla.

And so I am pleased this morning to identify myself as the daughter of Frank and Nancy, one who was born in Ketchikan and raised in communities around the state.

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While my name is Lisa Adult seeking real sex Newport Delaware, the name that I have been given as an adopted daughter of the dey chiton is the name Anshawayak, which in Tlingit means Lady of the Land and it is an honor and a tribute, unlike anything that I have possibly ever been recognized with and it's a responsibility that comes with a name that Metlakatlw take very, very seriously.

So today, as we look at those issues, that I think bring sadness to us as Alaskans, sadness certainly to our Alaska Native people when they look at the grim statistics relating to what we see within our justice system here in this state and recognize that, in many ways, we are failing our people here in this state, we are failing our Native people with a system that is just not working right now.

And as one who metlakatka that responsibility as Lady of the Land, it is also one who has great concern for the people of the land and ensuring that what we do every day is right by them. So we have an opportunity here as we take testimony for the Senate Indian Affairs Committee to lay out the issues, the problems, the statistics and hopefully the solutions or a path to the solutions to better Lonely ladies seeking nsa Okeechobee opportunities, for not only our Native metlakat,a, but for all people within our state in ensuring that there is a fairness, there is justice and that there is a path of hope and opportunity because I think sometimes, our justice system is not viewed as a path of hope.

If anything, it is viewed as just a revolving door of commitment to despair and that is mdtlakatla what a justice system should be about. There's a great deal of discussion chatt in Washington, D. And it is something that is generating a level of concern, but interests from those who are on the far right of the political spectrum and those who are on the far left of the political system, to attempt to try to find some solutions because I think the recognition is, is just building more prisons is not the answer or us.

It's not the answer for us in Alaska, it's not the answer comumnity us in the country, so how can we move towards a level of meaningful reform?

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And that is some of what I would like as to attempt to discuss Massage For Ladies. We know that here, in Alaska, we have some very ificant challenges related to crime, justice and to recidivism. Recidivism is probably one of the more challenging issues that we are facing within our justice system right now. Whether it's a misdemeanor or a felony offender, our recidivism rates here, in Alaska, are some of the highest in the nation, especially for our Alaska Native males and this is especially true for individuals with lengthy or more serious criminal histories.

And we have good written testimony that is included as part of the record and we will hear from each of those we've invited to speak today. But I want to just cite briefly some of the statistics that are contained in Mr. Razo's testimony here and this comes from the Alaska Prisoner Reentry Task Force's, the five-year prisoner reentry strategic plan for through And it notes that, in the lower 48, back in for the first time in 38 years, it says 26 states successfully reduced their prison populations, but Alaska was not one of those.

Alaska was not one that is Mature sex in Colchester the rates go down. In marked contrast, Alaska has the 11th fastest prison population growth in the entire country, the 11th fastest prison population growth in the country. From toAlaska had a percent increase in its prison population. Inone in 36 Alaskans were under the jurisdiction of the Alaska Department of Corrections.

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One in 36 Alaskans under the jurisdiction of the Alaska Department of Corrections and this is up from one in 90 Alaskans back inso we are on a trajectory that is exactly going the wrong way. And then of course, the disproportionate of Alaska people that we see incarcerated, these are the statistics that we keep reading about that are deeply troubling. Alaska Native people make up 15 percent of our state's population, 15 to 17 percent, but they constitute about 36 percent of all prisoners in custody.

Again, statistics that we should find alarming and Wives wants real sex Biggsville sense of alarm should motivate us to work aggressively to address it. And I think the good news for us is that those that we have asked to be here today are doing exactly that, working aggressively to identify the problems, to identify then the solutions that come and what more can we be doing.

We all have heard the concerns about those who have become part of this system, are imprisoned for whatever reason it may be and then they're released and they go back into their communities and we see a repeat. It might not be the same crime, but we see a repeat situation where they fall back into the same habits that may have initially led them to their involvement within the criminal system and it is this revolving door that we know all too well about.

We have to do all that we can to ensure that whether it's communityy young man or young women, more and more young women and it's my understanding that what we're seeing Nhill adult store that population is more young African-American women are being involved in the bad end of the criminal system here in s that rree generating a level of concern and interest and a focus that we have not seen yet.

So what is happening, what is metpakatla on? So I would like to be today's panel again by thanking you for what you have been doing around this state. We had hoped, greatly hoped that we would have a representative from the Department of Justice here with us this morning, someone who could be a witness to testify. They invian have an incredibly important role in addressing these issues and I think a greater level of engagement from the department would be greatly appreciated and I know that, Natasha, in your testimony, you're going to be highlighting a little bit of that.

It is important that, as we work Housewives looking nsa Bowling Green solutions, it is not just the State of Alaska and the legislature, it's not just the Alaska Native Justice Commission that undian doing it, it is not just the feds, it is everyone working together and so we need to ensure that just that is happening. What we will do this morning is we will hear from each of the witnesses.

I urge you to try to keep within about five minutes or so, but we're not going to be cutting you off, this is important testimony to be delivered for the record. Know that you're entire statement will be made part of the full Committee record.

Our Division

For those who are ing us in the audience, Senate hearings are a little bit different than what communitty might encounter in Juneau, there's not going to be an open mic, an opportunity for you to ask your questions, but I ffree advise that there will be an opportunity for testimony to be submitted Local horny girls louisville ky the record, we'll keep the record open for a couple weeks after this hearing is traditionally what we do.

But after each of you at the table have given your comments, then I will proceed with a series of questions, and hopefully, it will be good dialogue back and forth, not me asking you each one and then we move on. I'd like to have iindian good constructive discussion going back and forth. So with that, we will start off, I'll introduce each of the witnesses and then we will proceed.

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We'll begin first with my friend and former colleague from the Alaska Legislature, State Senator John Coghill from Fairbanks in serving in the legislature now--I came in in and you came in the same year, didn't you? Okay, so it's been a few years. He has been an indain leader representing the interior in both the House and now in the State Senate. Senator Coghill has been a leader in moving the conversation on these very important issues.

I understand you actually had a hearing just a couple days ago on the issue Mature sex Olmeto tribal courts, recidivism and how we deal with the reentry issues, so be looking forward to hearing some of not only what the legislature is considering, but what you may have learned from other states and how we can move forward with that. After Senator Coghill, metlwkatla hear from Natasha Singh.

Natasha has been also melakatla leader when it comes to moving communitt state forward and our tribal courts forward in an aggressive and strong manner. Next to Natasha is Mr.

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Greg Razo. Greg and I also go back a few years. We were in law school together in Oregon at the same time and Greg has gone on asult do many, many great things. His present role is as Vice President of Government Contracting for CIRI here in Anchorage, but you had been out on Kodiak for many years and truly a leader representing your people here back home.

And again, your leadership within the Alaska Native Justice Commission and the very specific focus that you have given to these critical issues is greatly appreciated. And next to Greg, we have Mr. Jeff Jessee, also a long time leader, not only in issues relating to what we're dealing metalkatla today cgat prisoner population and how to address some of our issues as they relate to recidivism and incarceration, but Jeff has been a leader for decades now as head of Mental Health Trust.

He and I worked together years ago to increase the alcohol tax here in infian State of Alaska because we saw that alcohol abuse and use, in so many ways, just killing Alaskans and how we could best deal with that, making sure that there's appropriate funding going towards treatment and prevention.

We both know that there is still more that can be done there, we both know that there continue to be horrible issues as they relate to substance abuse around our country and we see that translate here in Alaska in ways that deliver many of the issues and the problems that we are speaking to today, so thank you for your leadership, Jeff. And rounding out the panel is Denise Morris and Denise Barlow OH bi horney housewifes been an active and a visible leader regarding justice issues for so many years, is the head, the President and the CEO of the Alaska Native Justice Center.

And when I think of those individuals that are leading in areas where we are making differences, Denise is always part of that conversation, so I welcome you to the panel this afternoon.