Council

Our nine member Traditional Council / Tribal Government, currently operates seven (7) departments: Health and Social Services, Housing, Education, Environmental Stewardship, Justice, Transportation, and Accounting/Administration, to serve the needs of our Tribal citizens and another estimated 2,373 Alaska Natives and Native American Peoples living in our service area, as well as the non-native community members living in Glacier View, Chickaloon, Sutton, Palmer, and Butte.

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Gary Harrison, Traditional Chief and Chairman

Chief Gary was elected to the Traditional Council in 1984 and was named Traditional Chief in 1994. Chief Gary is the longest standing member of the Council. For the past 25 years Chief Gary has been an amazing and courageous leader. It is because of his foundational work on behalf of Chickaloon Native Village that we have come so far as a Tribal Government and that we are considered role models for other indigenous communities around the world. Chief has served on Cook Inlet Tribal Council, Tribal Justice Advisory Group, Office of Justice Programs, Justice Programs Council on Native American Affairs, Organization Of The American States, Arctic Athabascan Council, Indigenous Peoples Secretariat, Arctic Council, the Sovereignty Network, United Tribes of Alaska and the International Environmental Network. As a Council Member, Chief brings a passion and enthusiasm for promoting quality health services for all Alaska Natives, advocating for community and economic development projects that benefit the communities of Sutton and Chickaloon, and ensuring that our Tribal Government is recognized as a sovereign Nation.

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Rick Harrison, Co-Chairman

Rick Harrison is Ahtna Athabascan, from Chickaloon Native Village. Rick was seated on the Chickaloon Village Traditional Council (CVTC) in 2004 and served as the Vice Chair since 2005-2007 when he became Co-Chair and continues to serve in that role to the present. Additionally, he has filled in as the Acting Executive Director for extended periods of time, twice. He is also a member of the Chickaloon Moose Creek Native Association (CMCNA). Rick has served on the Board of Directors for Cook Inlet Tribal Council (CITC), a non-profit subsidiary of Cook Inlet Region Incorporated (CIRI), providing a range of social and behavorial health services, substance abuse treatment, education, and job training services to Alaska Native and American Indians living in the Municipality of Anchorage and other Cook Inlet communities since 2007 and has served as Vice Chair of the Clare Swan Early Learning Center which manages an Early Head Start program. Rick is one of the two Alaska Region Reps for the Tribal Interior Budget Council (TIBC) for the Department of Interior, through this role he lead the creation of the Alaska Region Tribal Budget Council (ARTBC) with the help and support of the Alaska Regional BIA Director, Bruce Loudermilk and his staff, he also Chairs the Joint Operating Board of the Life House Clinic in Sutton, Alaska and is Vice-Chair on the Joint Operating Board of the Valley Native Primary Care Center (VNPCC) in Wasilla, Alaska, the Alaska Region Alternate for the BIA Contract Support Cost (CSC) Workgroup. He has also served as an alternate on the Alaska Feredation of Natives (AFN) Board, an alternate Board Member for the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC) and the Unaffiliated Alaska Native Tribal Health Committee (UANTHA).

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Shawna Larson, Vice-Chairman

Shawna is the Administration Manager for Housing & Residential Life at the University of Arizona. She is Ahtna Athabascan from Chickaloon Village on her father’s side, and Supiaq from the Village of Port Graham on her mother’s side. Shawna’s previous experience includes spending 13 years with Environmental non-profits working on International and local human rights and environmental policies. She has served for 10 years on the Chickaloon Village Traditional Council and was selected by the Utne Reader magazine as a young visionary. She has worked extensively in community organizing at a local, national and international level.

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Lisa Wade, Secretary

Lisa was temporarily seated on the Traditional Council in September 2012 until the next election. She has also been working for the Tribal government as the Health and Social Services Director since 2007.  With her team, Lisa successfully re-opened our small clinic as a community health clinic in 2011.  Elders hold a special place in her heart and she works tirelessly to ensure that we keep the Elders Lunch Program going each week and that they receive the culturally-appropriate medical care that they need.  Her other passion is Ya Ne Dah Ah, Chickaloon’s school. She and the school staff revamped the interior and are upgrading the curriculum. She previously served as the Council’s Treasurer in the 1990’s.

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Albert Harrison, Treasurer / Elder

Albert was seated on the Traditional Council in 2007, and in 2008 he was elected Treasurer. Albert has been a constant support, mentor, teacher and volunteer for CNV since 1990 when he returned home after many years outside. While outside, Albert lived mostly in California with his wife and worked as an electrician. Albert currently lives in Sutton, close to all CNV activities and offices. Albert is a very active Council Member; never missing a council meeting, committee meeting, community gathering, or Elder lunch. Frequently, Albert can be seen visiting each department quizzing staff about their current projects.

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Doug Wade, Member / Elder

Doug was seated on the Traditional Council in 2002 and was the Council Chairman 2004 – 2012. Doug is also a member of the Finance Committee. Doug leads with confidence, charisma, and a fantastic sense of humor. Doug spent much of his life working as an electrician on large and small projects and as a heavy equipment operator, experience that frequently sends the staff his way, when they are in need of advice on a construction/building project. Doug cares deeply for all the staff, Tribal and non-Tribal, and makes the time in his busy schedule to check in with all of them about their work on a regular basis. Doug has also been instrumental in helping to streamline council meetings so more work is accomplished in less time.

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Kari Shaginoff, Member

Kari was seated on the Traditional Council in 2015. She is a Program Manager, for the Chickaloon Village ANA Nay’dini’aa Na’ Kayax Dahwdoldiix Ce’e Project . She is Ahtna Athabascan from Chickaloon Village on her father’s side, and Pyramid Paiute from the Northern Nevada on mother’s side.  Kari is a mother of two and lives in Sutton, Alaska along Ts’es Tac’ilaexde Eska Creek.  She worked previously as the Program Coordinator, C’eyiits’ Hwnax Life House Community Health Center, Program Manager, ANA Nay’dini’aa Na’ Kenaege’ Be’endze’ Project, Administrative Assistant, International Indian Treaty Council, Language Coordinator, Ahtna Heritage Foundation, Teacher Apprentice, ANA Nay’dini’aa Na’ Kenaege’ Mentorship Project, and Education Director, Ya Ne Dah Ah School.

Kari believes in our Tribal Government and the true meaning of tribal sovereignty and activity learning about the Ahtna culture and language so we can pass on to the next generations.

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Sondra Shaginoff-Stuart, Member

Sondra is temporarily seated on the Traditional Council in 2018 until the next election and was previously the Council in 1997. She is Nay’dina’a’na’ Ahtna Dene from her father and Kooyooe Tiukadu, Pyramid Lake Paiute from her mother. Sondra is married to her husband for 28 years, mother to three young men, and tsucde-grandmother to one grand-daughter. Currently she is the Rural and Native Student Services Coordinator and Adjunct Professor for the Ahtna Language, for the Kenai Peninsula College at the Kenai River Campus. Sondra runs and operates her own business, Nakenaege’ Dahwsel’deldiix-Our Language Came Back, and contracts with tribes on Native Language work. She received her MA in Applied Linguistics with a concentration of Ahtna Language, from the University of Alaska, Fairbank in 2017. She serves on the Kenaitze Indian Tribe’s Education Committee for the last 2 years and drums with the Mother Earth Intertribal Drum.

Sondra believes in serving her people in the best way that is possible, thinking good for her people and striving for the best that we can as indigenous people.