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Qawalangin Tribe elects new Council leaders

Theo Greenly
There was a potluck, guest speakers, and prizes at the Qawalangin Tribe of Unalaska's 32nd Annual Meeting. The Tribe also held its annual Tribal Council election, and Council Member Harriet Berikoff was elected president.

The Qawalangin Tribe of Unalaska held its 32nd Annual Meeting on Saturday. It was a chance for Tribal members to get to know the staff, learn about events and services, and vote for Tribal Council Members.

Council Member Harriet Berikoff was elected president. She sat down with KUCB’s Theo Greenly to talk about Saturday’s meeting and election results.


Harriet Berikoff: I'm the president, Harriet Berikoff. Jim Shaishnikoff is vice president, and Marie Schliebe is secretary treasurer. The new people that just got on are Cole McCracken, Johanna Tellman and Jim — those were the three seats that were open.

Theo Greenly: Can you tell me a little bit about them?

Berikoff: Cole's been on there before, but his seat was up. He ran again and he got on. Johanna Tellman is the new one — she lives here, of course, her husband worked for [Interior Telephone Company] and has her family here. And Jim, of course, you know Jim Shaishnikoff. He's my son-in-law he's worked for the city, and he's been around for many, many years here.

Greenly: How long are the terms?

Berikoff: They’re staggered terms, so three years, three years and one year.

Greenly: Are there any priorities, issues, things that you are hoping to accomplish over the coming term?

Berikoff: Well, we're still negotiating, trying to get our Tribal building. So we'll see what happens with that one. And we do a lot of enrollment for different, you know, people that apply. Our audit report was very good. So at the meeting, we had several guest speakers. Bernie Karl, who is the president of [Ounalashka Corp./Chena Power] and Chris Salts, the CEO of Ounalashka Corporation, those were our guest speakers. And then the honorable Vince Tutiakoff [Sr.] was at our meeting, and he was elected as the Chief of the Qawalangin Tribe, so he was presented a plaque. Kathy Grimnes was the elder of the year, and she got a little gift. Of course, you know, Blaine Shaishnikoff and his family. They're leaving, so we presented him with a nice picture of Unalaska. He’s no longer going to be here, he's on his way, pretty soon to another place.

Greenly: A lot of big changes, it sounds like.

Berikoff: Right. People come and go around this town, you know that. So then, we had several door prizes. We had two round-trip tickets from Ravn. And we had some gravel and a lot of donations from other entities in town that we used for door prizes, and we had a potluck after the meeting. Quite a long meeting, but we managed it. We had a good time.

Theo Greenly reports from the Aleutians as a Report for America corps member. He got his start in public radio at KCRW in Santa Monica, California, and has produced radio stories and podcasts for stations around the country.
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