Director’s Report: Late July through Mid-August

 audrey

                               Audrey Leary spent a lot of time working to update our tribal member enrollment

     “Lots of stamps, white paint, and gravel!”

Summary:

A good crew of young people has accomplished a lot of good work in Napaimute in the weeks that have passed since our July Council meeting. This work has been beneficial to both the administration of our tribe and the infrastructure of the community and has further proved how important our younger generation is to keeping NVN alive and well.

Stamps:

Everybody in Napaimute was pleased that Audrey decided to extend her stay in Napaimute and continue assisting with not only maintenance of the tribe’s on-the-ground assets but with administration duties as well.

Audrey spent many hours writing letters, addressing envelopes, and making phone calls to track down our widely scattered tribal membership in her efforts to update NVN’s tribal enrollment.

She also sent out the ICWA position announcement and Notice of Annual Meeting and Election to our members.

I’m sure the postmaster at Aniak was wondering what all the mail coming out of Napaimute was about!

In addition to these valuable duties Audrey also continued to keep the property around the tribal buildings groomed.

While I was on personal leave the week of July 27th Audrey was in charge and continued to do a fine job which included the additional duties of cooking for employees, taking care of guests renting lodging and pumping gas to River travelers.

Thank you very much Audrey!

Working under a big tarp on rainy days: the Cemetery Restoration Project was completed by the end of July

White Paint:

The Napaimute Cemetery Restoration Project funded through a Cultural Activities Grant was completed by the end of the month. All of the existing graves in the Russian Orthodox cemetery have been restored to their original condition to the extent possible with our limited time and funding. These crosses and fences were very ornate. One child’s grave in particular was very intricate and took a full week to complete, but the cemetery looks very good from the River.

The budget for this project has been entirely used up – it’s not cheap paying three people to work a 40 hour week, feeding & housing them, and purchasing additional building supplies – like the gallons of white paint they used!

Marking out the dips in the airfield that needed filling – this one was about a foot deep

Marking out the dips in the airfield that needed filling – this one was about a foot deep

Gravel:

As discussed in previous reports the Napaimute Pioneer Airfield was in need of maintenance. Since the airfield was completed in 2007 we have only had to mow the airfield to keep it maintained. But this year it needed more: it was starting to get dips in it. One in particular was large stretching across the width of the runway and up to a 12” deep in places. This was becoming a danger to airplanes using the airfield – especially to those unfamiliar with it.

These dips may be due to the unusual weather we’ve had the past two years – snowless winters and warmer, drier summers.

Much time was spent earlier in the summer preparing for this important work. Equipment had to be repaired or borrowed and the right people at the right time scheduled in.

Upon returning from personal leave and with good weather we went right to work.

    Gravel is taken off the beach and…

Gravel is taken off the beach and…

    …carried up with the loader to fill in the dips

…carried up with the loader to fill in the dips

Of course something always has to break or it wouldn’t be a normal project!

Of course something always has to break or it wouldn’t be a normal project!

The work went well and took less time than anticipated – the result of good planning, good people, and good weather.

After the dips were filled, Kristopher Vanderpool came down and graded the airfield. Kris has maintained the State airport at Red Devil for years and is very experienced.

The airfield is now in much better shape and safer. Due to problems with the tow-behind mower we were unable to finish cutting the grass on the airfield. As soon as the needed parts arrive we will finish this part of the 2015 Napaimute Pioneer Airport Maintenance.

Dakota Phillips looking over his work – this had been the biggest dip in the airfield

Dakota Phillips looking over his work – this had been the biggest dip in the airfield

Other:

On August 10th Dakota and I traveled to Bethel to pick up and rig the new fish wheel project boat which had recently arrived by barge from Anchorage.

Fish Wheel Project Boat at the Bethel City Dock: a basic open work boat

Fish Wheel Project Boat at the Bethel City Dock: a basic open work boat

We spent the next two days setting up the boat, getting additional project supplies, and breaking in the motor. Dakota drove the boat to Aniak on the 13th. It is now in the possession of Dan Gillikin and will be based and stored in Aniak until the end of the project.

That’s the report for this month.

Thank you.

 

 

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