Previous Annual Meeting: November 3, 2019
National Park Service Shared Beringian Heritage Program Grant: Traditional Knowledge of the Native People of Chukotka About Walrus
Started in 2016, this project continues to collect Indigenous Knowledge about walrus in collaboration with three Chukchi/Yupik villages in Chukotka. Among the project’s outcomes is a Russian/Yupik/English Illustrated Walrus Dictionary, currently in final draft stages.
Gap Analysis & Capacity Building
EWC is participating with 5 other marine mammal organizations and IPCoMM (Indigenous Peoples’ Council on Marine Mammals) to develop an “ideal base operations” funding request to be used during Congressional visits, agencies, and potential funders. EWC hopes to complete its gap analysis by end of June 2019.
Inuit Circumpolar Council Projects
EWC is involved in 2 projects: “Food Sovereignty and Self-Governance – Inuit Role in Marine Resource Management” and “Alaskan Inuit Food Sovereignty” through the Inuit Circumpolar Council Alaska (ICC). The first project was developed with Inuvialuit Game Council, Fisheries Joint Management Council (Inuvialuit Settlement Region-Canada), Environmental Law Institute including Kuskokwim River Intertribal Fish Commission and an Advisory Committee.
The second project with ICC Alaska is an initiative that is “collective Inuit-led effort with an overall goal of developing an Alaskan Inuit Food Sovereignty Management Action Plan.” Led by a 16-member Steering Committee, ICC Alaska member communities, several marine mammal commissions, an elder board member, and a youth representative, this initiative is unfolding ”with a goal of developing a shared vision for Inuit to be meaningfully engaged in wildlife management decision-making.”
As a co-management partner, EWC was part of a Steering Committee with three other marine mammal organizations including US Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Marine Fisheries Service--to “identify essential components and key impediments to effective co-management of Alaska marine mammals” during January 2018-March 2019. More information on the project, findings, and recommendations will be in a report coming out soon.
Oak Foundation Grant - EWC Communications Infrastructure
EWC is in its final year of an Oak funded “EWC Stewardship, Collaboration & Communication” project that includes working with Strategies 360 to improve communications infrastructure and provide information to EWC communities. This work involves developing a newsletter template, an updated website, and a more effective social media presence.
EWC is also working with the Native Villages of Gambell and Savoonga to revisit and revise the existing Tribal Marine Mammal Ordinances to include struck/loss provisions. EWC is close to completing the history of the ordinances and use this information to assist other member communities in developing similar local management structures for walrus.