- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 30, 2014

PETERSBURG, Alaska (AP) - Petersburg plans to host one of the largest gatherings of Alaska Natives in southeast Alaska.

The 102nd annual of the Alaska Native Brotherhood and Alaska Native Sisterhood (ABN-ANS) Grand Camp is scheduled for Oct. 8 through 11.

Over the years, ANB-ANS has grown into a nonprofit that includes 29 volunteer camps in Alaska, Washington and Oregon. Petersburg is Camp 16.

Brenda Louise, ANS 2nd grand vice president, told KFSK (https://bit.ly/1te3JWe ) that the Grand Camp looks at issues or concerns from different communities. Individual camps submit resolutions for review that address their concerns. If they pass, they are sent to the agency or entity that could take action on those concerns, like the state Department of Fish and Game or the U.S. Forest Service, she said.

The Petersburg camp plans to bring resolutions calling for cultural education within the community and a more transparent permitting process for cultural hunts, which allow hunters to get food for specific cultural events.

Louise, of Petersburg, said the education classes could include courses on language or skin-sewing. The hope is that the resolution will lead to skilled artisans and cultural leaders providing some of that education in Petersburg.

Louise said the hunt resolution took shape after the Petersburg camp cited difficulty in securing permits to get moose for the event. She said the local Fish and Game office eventually helped the hunters secure the meat, but they are hoping for a smoother process in the future.

The gathering also will include reports from other Native organizations and speeches from several candidates running for state or federal office. The candidates are set to address the Grand Camp on Oct. 10.

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Information from: KFSK-FM, https://www.alaska.net/~kfsk/

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