Landslide forecasting, canoe paddle carving, and a local food-eating challenge: those are some of the things that the Chilkat Valley Community Foundation’s $57,145 in grant funding will help support.
The foundation pays out annual earnings on an endowment of more than $2.5 million. The fund is managed by the Alaska Community Foundation.
“I’m excited about all of them,” said CVCF board chair Liz Heywood.
The foundation gave out 21 awards of at least $1,000. The foundation chose awardees from pre-established guidelines looking for groups “that have broad reach in the community, that support many age groups, and that enhance local well-being, opportunity, security, and health,” according to a CVCF release.
For the Chilkoot Indian Association, a $2,900 award will help fund teaching time and curved carving knives — which will be able to be used in future classes — for a canoe paddle carving class.
CIA Culture Department director Helen Alten said the class will help community members carve paddles to complement a canoe donated by carver Wayne Price. It will be taught by local artist Ted Hart, and she hoped the paddles could be used to help propel the canoe on its journey to Celebration in Juneau in June. Alten said the class is also tied to a movement among Native people to return to traditional crafts in seeking sobriety.
Another event supported by CVCF is the second annual Local Foods Challenge put on by Takshanuk Watershed Council.
The group had its first event this year. Participants were challenged to eat local foods throughout the week, and celebrated with a local foods potluck at the end. Coordinator Tracy Wirak-Cassidy said the first event was a success, attracting 40 participants.
She said she hoped the boost from CVCF would propel the event to become a regional festival combined with Skagway and even Juneau.
Another awardee, the Haines Avalanche Center, said its $3,500 grant will help fund ongoing educational and forecasting activities, including precipitation monitors that help residents track rain or snowfall levels and compare them to levels during the fatal 2020 landslide.
The Four Winds Resource Center at the old Mosquito Lake School was awarded $3,100 to buy display walls to hang art for future events like this year’s Victory Garden celebration.