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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.