Stevens Village Leads
All the CATG tribes agreed Stevens Village should receive the first $30,000. With it, they bought a boat and funded a Natural Resources director, who attended training sessions and set up the department. A year later, the Eagle Staff Fund awarded CATG a $450,000 grant. By now, the Stevens Village tribal government was operating Natural Resources on its own, through P.L. 93-638 funding. Other tibes soon followed the lead of Stevens Village and formed their own Natural Resources Departments.
Working closely with CATG’s Natural Resources department, the tribes conduct their own surveys regarding the local harvest of fish and game. CATG has hired its own biologists. Information gathered is digitized, entered into a Gerographical Information System and output in maps that can prove vital to the management of traditional resources.
Much of the traditional land of the CATG villages lies within the Yukon Flats National Wildlife Refuge, which encompasses 8.5 million acres of federal lands and 2.7 million acres of selected and conveyed lands.
Citing the appropriate federal regulations, CATG has entered negotiations with USFWS with the goal of entering into an agreement with that agency that would allow CATG to oversee Refuge functions.
This would not only create jobs for local people, but would improve fish and game management on the Yukon Flats. Currently, most of the USFWS jobs are held by people living in Fairbanks. It makes sense to fill as many of those jobs as possible with people who call the Yukon Flats home; people who know their way around the country. Oftentimes in the summer, college students from far away places come up to take on temporary jobs that could just as well be filled by the youth of the Yukon Flats.