DANSRD Tribute to Senator Albert Kookesh by Jenny Bell Jones

DANSRD staff, students and faculty, were deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Senator Albert Kookesh. We extend our condolences to his family and to the communities of Angoon, and Manley Hot Springs where his wife of 51 years, Sally Marie Woods is from.

Senator Kookesh was born in Juneau in 1948. Senator Kookesh was Eagle of the Teikweidí (Brown Bear) clan, Child of the L’eeneidí (Dog Salmon) clan. His Tlingit name was Kaasháan, and he also had the name Yikdahéen. He was a 1967 graduate of Mt. Edgecumbe High School, earned his undergraduate degree in 1972 from Alaska Methodist University (now Alaska Pacific University) and his Juris Doctorate from the University of Washington School of Law in 1977.

Senator Kookesh served in the Alaska House of Representatives from 1997 to 2004 and the Alaska State Senate from 2004 to 2012. His life time of exemplary public service included over 40 years on the Sealaska Corporation Board of Directors, 16 years as co-chair on the Alaska Federation of Natives Board, leadership positions in the Alaska Native Brotherhood, First Alaskans Institute, and work in the Knowles and Walker administrations and much more.

Senator Kookesh provided valuable mentorship to a number of Rural Development students over the years including Barbara Blake, Veronica Slajer and Nancy Barnes. He was generous with his wisdom and once braved the difficulties of parking at the Brooks Building and navigation of snow and icy walkways to deliver a wonderful guest lecture on subsistence law to the ANS 425 Federal Indian Law class. His advice at the time, to keep a close eye on water law and water rights in Alaska is being followed to this day.

Senator Kookesh stayed close to his roots in Southeast and when the time came to defend subsistence fishing rights in court he stepped up to the plate and took his case all the way to the Alaska Supreme Court. In his own words from the Salmon and Society Meeting in 2016:

I didn’t do it to break the law. I didn’t do it to offend anybody. I did it to challenge that premise, 15 fish per family per year…that is one and a half fish a month, or less…Let me see any of you try and live the life of a whole salmon season, a whole winter on 15 fish. Especially if you have a family of ten or five…I wanted to challenge that forever…The progress of an Alaska Native in Alaska can be measured by our success in the courts. Nobody ever gave us anything. We had to sue for it…I hope you can understand as to why I challenged it. I thought that wasn’t fair. I thought it was not right. I feel, being a senator and former representative of the house, that laws are going to continue to evolve in Alaska. Everything you all do, everything we all do collectively is going to help get us to a place where we want to be eventually, especially when it comes to our salmon. So, these kinds of cases aren’t mean cases, they are trying to develop the law to where it should be.

Let us honor this warrior and his family by remembering his words and carrying on his work in law and policy!

DANSRD Tips for a Successful Semester

As your semester gets going the faculty of DANSRD would like to provide you with some tips on how to start your semester off right.

Professor Stern: Find your anchors while in school. For some students, anchors could be faculty or staff that you feel comfortable talking with. For others, anchors could be clubs on campus where you socialize with other students with common interests. Whatever your anchors, it is important to feel connected to places and people especially as the stresses of school kick in. Reach out to others as needed – it can be the difference between struggling through a situation alone or having a network of support around you.

Professor Carroll: Make a master schedule of all of your assignment, presentation, and exam due dates for the semester to see where you have multiple assignments due or other bottlenecks and then make a plan to deal with your busiest times. Can you get an assignment done early? Will your professor let you move a due date forward or back? Can you schedule your presentation date now so that you get the best time for your schedule? Part of time management is knowing what is ahead and planning for it!

Professor Ramos: Know your resources if you need help. The UAF Writing Center can provide you telephone tutoring service if you are not able to come to their campus location, call 907-474-5314 and make an appointment. The Library has Off-Campus Services. You can call or email them, explain what you need, and they will send the library materials to you. Call 907-474-7406 or email uaf-ocs@alaska.edu.

Professor Sekaquaptewa: If you encounter any problems, or if you have questions, or just uncertainties, let your professor know. We can always help you work around difficulties. Do not wait until the deadline or the end of the semester to ask for help!

Professor Bell: Communicate effectively. Use the right subject for your email so that your professor knows you are corresponding about a specific class. Be formal or at the very least polite in your communications with instructors and be sure to read through your message before you send it to make sure it says what you intend. Sending a professional looking email message is a very good habit to get into; using “hi” to start out a message to a friend is fine but a message to a professor is better written to include their title … “Hi Professor X” or “Good morning Professor X” shows respect. Last of all, be timely with your requests … asking to be excused from class after class is over is not a timely request!

Professor Brooks: Establish routines for your classes, studying and homework. Building a weekly plan can help you ensure you are taking care of the necessary tasks. Try to be consistent with your routines so they begin to become almost automatic and if something happens to interrupt your routine, being consistent will make it easier to get back on track. Over the years, I have observed that many students fail to factor in how much time they need to read BEFORE they can effectively complete their assignments. I would encourage you to establish a routine that includes time for course readings.

Professor Black: Prioritize school first: Create studying times each day, even if you don’t have an assignment due, and use that time to read ahead or start an outline for a paper due at the end of the semester. For example, if you have a fun weekend planned, make sure you get your homework and reading done first, so you can relax for the rest of the weekend and yet be prepared for the next week’s classes. This also gives you time to ask for help if you don’t understand an assignment. Prioritizing school will help you to do your best and also help you to feel more relaxed.

Professor Meckel: Take care of yourself while in college. Along with taking classes, having study time, and finding balance with social and academic pursuits remember your health is important. A healthy diet is important in warding off illnesses and keeping your brain active. Finding time to exercise is also a great way to maintain balance in your body and to process your thoughts. Being mindful of personal health will be benefit your academic experience.

What tips do you have for your fellow students?