Dear Friends,

We celebrated Sober October and now No Alcohol November is here. There’s lots going on in the network!

We are actively hiring for a new Alliance coordinator. Jenna Larson, Kailey Erickson, Aaron Osterback, Isha Twitchell, and Stephanie Stillwell are supporting Recover Alaska’s decision-making, serving on an ad hoc hiring committee. Annette, Stephanie, Isha, Aaron, Jenna, Loyd, Hope, Til, Eliza and Ptery are working to plan the December all-Alliance retreat. We look forward to this being entirely network-led! If you have interest in planning or facilitating parts of the December retreat, please let Jess know.

The newly-formed social norms workgroup has worked hard to finalize the screener survey, which will help us identify up to 50 youth statewide to participate in a mobile ethnography. From this exercise, we will be pulling themes, developing messaging and creative content directly informed by Alaska's youth voice. We need your help! Please share this flyer within your circle of influence. You can also share this social media post. If you’d like to participate in the workgroup, we will meet next on Tuesday, November 8, 2-3pm. Reach out to request a calendar invite.
Other network activities coming up in November:
  • Our November Alliance Integration Session will be Thursday, 11/17, 1-3. 
  • Transforming Conflict workgroup will be presenting the first Political Education and Wellness hour in a series. Join us Friday, 11/18, 1-2 for Conflict 101. 

As always, please reach out to us with any questions. We hold monthly newsletter meetings at 11 AM on the Wednesday one week before month's end. Contact Jess if you would like more information about this meeting/to be added to the calendar invite for the meeting.

Thank you, each of you, for your work to heal our families, communities, and systems. You are seen and you are needed! Feel free to send us your news and updates for next month's newsletter via the submission link below.

Be well,
The Alliance Grounding Statement
Introducing Veronica Panyuuriq Driskill

Veronica Panyuuriq Driskill is an Inupiaq Alaska Native and a member of the Native Village of Unalakleet. She was born and raised in the coastal community of Unalakleet, Alaska where she was surrounded by her large, extended family. Veronica is one of the Lead Behavioral Health Coordinators for the Family Services Training Center at the Center for Human Development. She has been in this position since June 2022. Prior to her current position, she was a trainer for the UAA Child Welfare Academy where she trained child welfare professionals from all across the State for 2.5 years.

Veronica has been in the Social Services field in both urban and rural communities for 15+ years and is happy to share her experience with others. She worked for many years as a tribal partner where she learned about the importance of communication and collaboration. She also worked for the State of Alaska as a Protective Service Specialist at the Office of Children’s Services. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology with a minor in Alcohol Studies and is currently a student in the Master of Social Work program at the University of Alaska Anchorage. Veronica will be supporting the efforts of the Data and Learning workgroup.
Introducing Jess Braunlich

Jess Braunlich, in her role with Spirit of Youth, will be supporting the Alliance newsletter. Many thanks to Karen Zeman, Jess Braunlich, and Spirit of Youth for resourcing the network and helping ensure that internal communications are afloat!

An Introduction from Jess: I'm a mostly-lifelong Alaskan that grew up in Northway and Fairbanks and spent a few years in both the East and West Coast Washingtons. My work life includes fifteen years working with nonprofits, tribal groups, government agencies, and other organizations as staff and consultant largely in the areas of facilitation, planning, research, and program development. I am currently an independent consultant/contractor and am delighted for part of that work to be as a team member with Spirit of Youth - an organization I was involved with as a teenager and later as a longtime board member. I love living in, playing in, and being part of the Anchorage community with my husband and three kids, the youngest of whom joined us this summer and stands a good chance of being spotted on Zoom calls these days.
Nominations Open for Spirit of Youth Awards

Know a teen or youth group doing something positive for their community? Nominate them for Spirit of Youth recognition and let them know their contributions matter!

Spirit of Youth is dedicated to empowering Alaska's teens through positive media recognition and the annual awards program. All nominees in each of the eight categories are publicly recognized in their communities, and award winners have the opportunity to receive a scholarship of up to $2,000 from Alaska 529.

Research demonstrates that youth who are recognized for their accomplishments by the people around them are better able to build confidence for their future endeavors. You have the power to make such a difference in the life of an Alaska teen!

Spirit of Youth relies upon community members like you to let young people know they are making positive contributions to Alaska as our state's future stewards. Nominations are quick, easy, and may be done directly through the Spirit of Youth website.

Nominations are open through December 31, 2022. Youth and/or youth group award winners will be selected by members of the Spirit of Youth Teen Advisory Council early in 2023.
Job Openings!

RurAL CAP: Resource Basket Supervisor
RurAL CAP is hiring a full-time (remote and/or in-person) Resource Basket Supervisor to support and guide the planning, implementation and evaluation of The Resource Basket Training and Technical Assistance (TTA) center, which serves Alaska Tribes with Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) Tribal Youth Program and Juvenile Healing to Wellness Court Grants, as well as other adults working with Alaska Native youth. TTA priorities of The Resource Basket include Alaska Native approaches to: juvenile re-entry, positive youth development, restorative practices, grant management, peer-to-peer education, understanding and healing from historical trauma, and more. Learn more and apply.

Anchorage Youth Development Coalition: Program Manager
Center for Safe Alaskans (Safe Alaskans) promotes wellbeing, the prevention of injuries and improved safety of Alaskans. The core values guiding our work are to be innovative, collaborative, inclusive and respectful, data-driven, and strengths-based. The public health model is the foundation of our work.

The Anchorage Youth Development Coalition (AYDC) is housed at Safe Alaskans and supports youth-serving organizations through advocacy, resources, networking, and training, so all Anchorage youth thrive. We are a broad and inclusive coalition of over 60 youth-serving organizations, businesses, and individuals working to create shared community practices around professional youth work. The Program Manager will support planning, implementation, and evaluation of program activities for AYDC. More information about Safe Alaskans, AYDC, and how to apply is available on our website.
Greetings from Southwest Aleutian and Pribilof Region!

Aleutian Pribilof Islands Association is humbled and honored to continue to bring prevention (substance use/suicide) to the region. For one of these prevention outreach activities we use SAMHSA’s evidence & practice based Gathering of Alaskan Natives (otherwise known as The Gathering of Native Americans in the lower contiguous states) as a model and have adapted it to specifically fit our region. It’s using culture as prevention. We call it the Alaska Native Cultural Health and Resilience or “ANCHR” Gathering. The acronym is quite apropos for our seafaring region.

The (ANCHR) Gathering happened in King Cove at the end of August. It kicked off with the Indian Taco Dinner at the Bingo Hall, and while everyone ate, Dustin Newman, Alice Palen and Jenna Larson gave their presentations on belonging along with a huge welcome to the community.

Saturday morning found nine people on their yoga mats before the gathering. King Cove Strong provided coffee and morning snacks as we began the gathering. Dustin told traditional stories of mastery and interdependence and Alice lead us in the mask-making activity. Jenna shared the adapted ANCHR principles steeped in Unangax culture and history with all the power, pain, resilience and dreams of the region. Dr. Livingston shared a presentation on Healthy Relationships.

Sunday morning found willing participants on their yoga mats, gifting their bodies the practice in strength, flexibility and balance needed to have a full and healthy life. It was a day of healing and calm. Dustin demonstrated what is necessary for our people to heal with activities that made us come together and work as a whole to achieve the common goal.

The Gathering ended with a potluck and Elder Honoring Ceremony at the City Gym. There was a generosity table with harvested or handmade gifts, art projects and edible goodies. The prize drawings were a hit, and several locals went home with some useful kitchen appliances and new coolers that were received with gratitude and excitement.

Our first in-person ANCHR Gathering was a gift to each person in attendance, and paved the way for more healing gatherings to come. Check out the photos of some of our poignant moments from our ANCHR in King Cove. We plan to have our Gathering in Unalaska next year and want your input. Contact us via email at, or call us at (907) 222-9748.
We will always do our best to publish upcoming events in a timely, regular manner for our newsletter subscribers. We also keep an event calendar through the Recover Alaska website that allows our partners a secondary means of sharing their event news with our community. We welcome your submissions!
When Conversation Turns to Suicide

The Wildflower Alliance presents, “When Conversation Turns to Suicide,” a 16-hour training for people wanting to learn about and use the Alternative to Suicide approach in their work and beyond.

The Wildflower Alliance supports healing and empowerment for our broader communities and people who have been impacted by psychiatric diagnosis, trauma, extreme states, homelessness, problems with substances, and other life-interrupting challenges through: peer-to-peer support and genuine human relationships, alternative healing practices, learning opportunities, and advocacy. Essential to their work is recognizing and undoing systemic injustices such as racism, sexism, ableism, transphobia, transmisogyny, and psychiatric oppression.

To register, visit this link. If you would like to attend and need funding support, please reach out to Jess Limbird,
The Alliance is excited to hold a retreat on December 7 and 8, 2022 for our network. Our intent is for this to be a hybrid event–with both in-person and online participation. To design a retreat that will be engaging, productive, healing, and meaningful for our community, we are pulling together a small team of people–a Planning Team–to co-design the outcomes, agenda, and facilitation plan. Because of the passion, leadership, and collaboration skills you’ve demonstrated in our work, we want to invite you into a unique role to help shape the retreat.

Specifically, we'll ask Planning Team members to:
  • Validate the purpose and outcomes of the retreat;
  • Develop and align on the retreat agenda, methods and facilitation processes;
  • Help determine roles during the retreat, including who will support in-person and online facilitation;
  • Contribute in a facilitation during the retreat itself, if that makes sense for you.

The Planning Team will meet four times total in October and November. During these meetings we will share and invite guidance on the retreat purpose and proposed outcomes, retreat agenda, methods and facilitation processes, and retreat logistics. We estimate the time commitment to include four 90-minute sessions and a few hours to review and provide feedback on draft retreat agenda and materials, and a one-hour session to celebrate and debrief the retreat as well as identify any next steps to integrate into the work of the Alliance moving forward. Participation on the planning team is not compensated; participation in the retreat as a facilitator can be compensated. The planning team can help determine levels of facilitator compensation.

Meetings are scheduled for:

    #1 | Tuesday, 10/25: 12-1:30 
    #2 | Friday, 11/4: 11-12:30 
    #3 | Wednesday, 11/16: 12-1:30 
    #4 | Monday, 11/28: 11-12:30
    #5 | Thursday, 12/15: 1:00-2:00 (Celebrate and Debrief)

By saying yes, you are committing to be present for all of our scheduled meetings. In order for us to host an all-Alliance retreat that honors the voice and leadership of our members- we need you! And, if you have a conflict for one of the sessions, we understand but would also expect some communication around why you can’t attend.

Please email to get on the planning committee for the Alliance retreat. Thank you!
Organizational Power Mapping

Recover Alaska will be presenting on the work we’ve done to assess organizational power through a power analysis process during the Facing Race conference, on November 17-19, 2022. 

“Organizational Culture Shift: the importance of power mapping” will explore why it is important to assess organizational power dynamics related to the context of equity work and provide examples from a collaborative partnership that sought to identify and leverage strategic shifts and empower those within the organization. Participants will hear reflections on the process of developing a collaboratively designed power dynamic assessment across various levels of the organizational structure.

Pictured left to right: Blaze Bell, Jess Limbird,
Tiffany Hall, and Sara Platt.
About The Alliance

The Alliance is a collaborative effort of multiple and diverse partners across Alaska who recognize the impacts of alcohol misuse on individuals and communities. We are personally and professionally committed to working together to address this complex problem in our state.

Our primary goal is to connect and engage communities as partners — increasing protective factors, reducing risk factors, and changing social norms — to prevent underage alcohol use and eliminate adult misuse in Alaska.

Alliance Materials

Get Involved

Between starting new work and sustaining our progress, there are many opportunities to participate in The Alliance! All current workgroups are open to any member who would like to join. You can always read more about our workgroups and their purpose on the Get Involved page of our website. Our network practices an emergent strategy, and we update information based on our network's needs.

  • The Communications Workgroup will be supporting the social norms campaign and The Alliance's various other internal and external communications needs.
  • The Data and Learning Workgroup will be supporting data equity conversations and practices.
  • The Evaluation and Learning Workgroup is building out quarterly measures for the network to support grant reporting but also to increase real-time evaluation across the network so we can track and respond to improvement needs more frequently.
  • The Organizational Design and Strategy Workgroups will be merging for the first quarter of the fiscal year to determine if a combined group makes sense.
  • The Symposium Planning Workgroup will finalize an agenda and begin working with event planners.

You are welcome to reach out with questions about those workgroups or to ask to join any of them.