We ensure the prosperity of a culturally rich heritage and a thriving community of healthy and economically self-sufficient Tribal Citizens.
Gianna Willard Flanery was raised in Ketchikan, Alaska. She is Haida and Tlingit, from Hydaburg and Hoonah, Alaska. Her clan is Gaw K’iiwas, Masset- inlet- born. Her crests are Raven, Owl, Flicker, Killerwhale , and Grizzly. Gianna’s Haida name is Saanuga, which translates to White Cloud, a name that was held by her great great aunt, Katherine Grant. Gianna grew up close to her grandparents, Georgianna and Julius Douglas. She spent every day with them, learning valuable life lessons, including grace and humility as she cared for them during their final years.
Gianna’s parents Diane Douglas- Willard and Larry Willard both have been teachers at the Totem Heritage Center. They have always emphasized an importance of living a life full of cultural traditions. They have taught her many art forms including carving, weaving and formline design. Larry Willard taught her how to hunt and gather at an early age. She knows the realities, goals, and benefits of a subsistence lifestyle.
Gianna Willard Flanery has a passion in rekindling ancient forms of transportation with canoeing. She has been involved in over 8 canoe journeys in Washington, Alaska, and Canada with trips ranging from one day to three weeks. She is the founding member and organizer of the Copper Bird Canoe family and Dance Group. The Canoe Family has traveled by canoe to Celebration in Juneau twice and most recently to the Chief Shakes Clan House rededication. Canoeing takes an incredible amount of dedication and perseverance, especially in less ideal weather and situations.
Gianna Willard Flanery is married to Tim Flanery, and is a foster parent to three young children. She involves them in the two dance groups that she’s a drummer for, Xaadas Tak’unglung Haida Descendant Dancers and Su Laxgayna New Path Dancers. Gianna is a licensed tattoo artist, reviving ancient tattoo and body modification techniques. Gianna is working toward her certificate of merit at the Totem Heritage Center, taking classes every spring and Fall. She is involved with learning the Haida Language. Gianna has a background in corporate banking and retail management and has been sober 6 years.
I have a bachelor’s of Science in Education and a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership. I am currently working on my Superintendent Endorsement through UAS where I have a great understanding about finance and human resources. Through education and experience, I have acquired a great knowledge over tribal sovereignty, tribal policies, and tribal human resource procedures.
My career path has been in education. I have taught, coached or have been a school administrator for over the past 17 years. I was born and raised in Ketchikan. My Grandmother Mae Leask was originally from Kasaan and my grandfather Ronald Leask was from Metlakatla. I represent all three tribes of Southeast as I am Tlingit, Tsimshian and Haida. I have three amazing kids: Isaac, Kreylynn and Bree. I have been married for 19 years to Kevin Johnson a Choctaw from Oklahoma.
I do believe that KIC needs to follow the policies and procedures when hiring for new positions at KIC. I do believe that we need to follow Native Preference hiring policies and need to look at employing KIC members first.
I promise to work hard as a KIC council member, do my research and make myself available to tribal members
Norman Skan was born in Mt. Edgecumbe Alaska. He lived in Klawock before moving to Ketchikan where he currently resides. Norm is married to Sonya. Their sons are Eric, Randy, Jordan, Jalen, and Trevan. Norm’s parents are the late Dewey Skan Sr. and his widow Regina (Rowan). Norm is from the Táakw.aaneidí Raven clan. His Tlingit name is Xaakw, which means “the bite in the river bank where the sockeye salmon go to rest”. He strives to live up to his name to ensure everyone he comes in contact with leaves refreshed knowing how valuable they are.
Norm went to school in Ketchikan completing graduation at Ketchikan High in 1975. He played on the freshman, junior varsity and varsity basketball teams. He began work at the Ketchikan Pulp Company in 1976 going through a 4 year machinist apprenticeship. He worked as a journeyman machinist until it closed in 1997. Norm went into the marine industry, working at Alaska Ship & Drydock shipyard. Norm worked as an outside machinist for 7 years before being promoted to the department supervisor. He was then promoted to his current position as ship superintendent.
Norm oversees vessel repair, new vessel construction and special projects. He is proud of the Vigor pole raising and the tribal weld class. These projects raised awareness to the needs and the beauty of Native people. Norm completed an intense one year leadership training in the Vigor Northwest Evolution in Leadership group. He is also on the local Vigor leadership team. He is the president of the local men’s basketball league. Norm is on the Ketchikan Indian Community Health Board.
I have been honored to be a part of Tribal Council for the last two years, it has been rewarding and as all of us can recognize and acknowledge also frustrating at times. I have sought feedback from several of you; those who are struggling or have family and friends who are struggling, this has been and is my compass, serving as a voice for our community the best way possible.
To be an elected official carries great honor and heavy responsibilities; I have the time, commitment, dedication and passion to listen and to work hard for all of you and our future. I believe in all who serve staying grounded in remembering that we are all one; no one better or worse than each other. I fight hard for consistency and fairness in how all Tribal Citizens seeking healthcare, using our programs and services are treated. I ask each of you to get in touch with me to discuss your thoughts and concerns. I would be greatly honored to use my knowledge and experience and what I learn from you, into this next election term.
A few key areas of focus for this next term; Health Care that is respectful with the highest quality of care, work to return our children and keep them within our tribe, and provide more traditional activities to heal and help our community to stay healthy.
I was born and raised here in Ketchikan, I’m Tlingit Tsaagweidi-Killer whale from Keex.Kwaan. I currently sit on every committee as ex-efficio and attend all committee meetings, work sessions, regular meetings and special meetings. Over the years I have gained invaluable knowledge and experience negotiating the IHS and BIA compacts, Self-Governance issues, and have a clear understanding of Self Determination and represented KIC on government to government level with federal agencies. I have committed time and energy to express KIC’s interest on many different platforms such as the Alaska IHS Caucus, National Congress of the American Indian, Alaska Federation of Natives and Self Governance.
Because I have been put in a unique situation serving as your President and CEO in the past, I can now begin to understand how KIC needs to focus on internal processes and procedures. We need to stabilize and work as a trusting team that moves forward with transparent common goals. We need to actively seek input from our Tribal Citizens to better understand what the needs are of the community instead of hearing a select groups concerns and issues. In the up-coming 2 years I will work with council and management to establish a KIC needs assessments to build out programs and services to better serve our citizens. I will advocate for KIC find other revenue sources as the government funding may become scarce. In the next year it’s my goal put fourth an Ethics & Code of Conduct policy for Tribal Council, Administration, Vendors and Tribal Citizens. With an active functioning Ethics & Code of Conduct policy, KIC can improve business relationships, prohibit inappropriate behavior and hold Tribal Council and management accountable. The Ethics & Code of Conduct policy can implement KIC’s principles, mission and overall native values in all areas of KIC to grow a healthy, striving, ethical, stable, respectful, reliable, trusting community.
Over the years KIC has been dealing with structural issues from the top to the bottom. In the last 10 years KIC has had 9 Tribal Administrators, 8 Health Administrators and various changes in all levels of KIC’s administration. The turnover rate for KIC is at roughly 47%. With such a high turnover rate the quality of service, documentation, customer relations, communication, and transparency has been an extreme struggle, this issue being addressed and I’m hopeful to see improvements around the corner. KIC has always promoted native hire and we esteem that privilege. With that being said, I believe that KIC needs to work on additional leadership training, higher education for both employees and Tribal Citizens, we need our people to be working in good positions with competitive pay inside and outside of KIC. Our stability on the upper level such as Council, needs to be solid! When Council has a dramatic change, administration has a dramatic change and that is a concern. Currently we have a wonderful administrative team in place and we need to keep the Tribal Council politics at bay to start really stabilizing our team on all levels. We want KIC to be a place people want to work and create a healthy working environment, so in turn our Tribal Citizens can receive improved quality care and customer service. While building this improved KIC….Please, submit your comments, complaints, suggestions, advice and opinions. KIC needs your voice to be heard so that we can make the improvements. There is no better advice then constructive criticism to begin to create solutions.
I am Susan Lee Pickrell, and my Haida name is Gúl Kilth Gáat. I learned how important education is from my parents, Albert and Francis Brown. They moved our family from Hydaburg in the 1950’s to Ketchikan to raise their children together without having to send them to boarding school. My father, was one of the founding members of Alaska Native Brotherhood on Prince of Wales Island when they were fighting for Alaska Native rights. He believed Alaska Natives have to find their voices and speak up for what is right if they want to make a difference.
My husband Randi and I have lived and raised our three children in Ketchikan and know how important family is for a healthy community. I think our community, is facing challenges in the coming years. We want our children and our children’s children to have a future that is provides them an opportunity to make a living right here in Ketchikan. My professional experience in public service includes more than 12 years in law enforcement and nearly 20 working for Ketchikan Indian Community.
I think my public service in government and leadership positions provides me with the experience required to serve on the KIC Tribal Council. I have served on the Indian Education Board and the Borough School Board three times. I have been appointed by the Governor to two statewide commissions and have also served on many local non-profits and community organization boards. I have previously served on the KIC Tribal Council and was Vice Chair. I am currently serving on the Borough Assembly. My service on the KIC Tribal Council and as a director of KIC programs provided me with extensive knowledge and experience with the budgeting process, policy development, and the role of Self-Governance for our Tribe. How’aa
Trixie Bennett was born and raised in Wrangell, before moving to Ketchikan in 1990. She is of Tlingit and Thaltan descent . The Kaachadi are her clan and she is a Raven Frog. Since she was a young, Trixie saw the need to improve access and quality of care for the native people of southeast. She recalls disruption when her mother was ‘shipped’ to Mt. Edgecumbe for days at a time for outpatient services like annual checkups and acute care needs. She also remembers her own heartache when she herself, boarded a plane to Mt. Edgecumbe, one month before the due date of her first child. Alone and away from her family, Trixie decided she would find ways to improve access and quality of care for our people. Trixie’s career in native health began in 1994, with a grant program called Seven Circles Coalition. Trixie was inspired by the collaboration between SEARHC and community volunteers, including Cecelia Johnson, a KIC social worker and leader, who became one of many wonderful mentors, to Trixie and others. During this time, the KIC assumed management of the clinic and KIC staff were excited to be part of a Tribe who were taking self-governance to a new level. Trixie became more engaged when KIC fought and won the funding to ‘bring the health care home’ instead of having to always travel to Mt.Edgecumbe. Trixie eventually headed efforts to ensure the clinic earned and maintained their national accreditation. Beginning 2002, KIC was accredited by AAAHC and has since maintained its Accreditation status. Trixie has over 15 years’ experience in health care administration and as a patient advocate. She is considered an expert in healthcare quality management and has participated at both State and National levels to help set public health guidelines and standards for health care improvement. Currently, she is attending the University of Alaska, with just 10 classes to go, to earn a Bachelor’s of Business Administration (management) degree.
I will advocate for KIC programs and policy that ensure all staff, volunteers, and board/council members are aware of and understand KIC policies, strategic priorities, including the principles of quality management. Although adopted by KIC and posted on the KIC webpages, the principles of quality management and organizational fitness are not consistently supported or evident in KIC processes, planning, or reporting. Quality management programs are required by accreditation, insurers, payers, funders, etc. but include other benefits to the organization: Everyone, from membership, staff, patients, and leadership better understand the mission of KIC and their role in making improvements. Leadership can be held accountable for strategic planning and annual reporting of the progress and pitfalls towards accomplishing the goals outlined in the strategic and other plans. Staff also feel ownership and pride because their job expectations and job evaluations are linked to the quality process plus they are often members of quality teams. Quality management doesn’t seem an exciting issue to get behind, but it is essential for the safe and efficient management of our clinic and ensures leadership, administration, and staff activities are in line with the overall KIC mission.
I will continue to advocate for a pain management committee to address patient, staff, and family complaints surrounding KIC’s plan (or lack thereof) for improvement of managing chronic pain and alternative therapies for pain management including treatment of substance abuse addictions. Working together, we can reach KIC’s potential in meeting its mission to help members be the healthiest and happiest people in the world. I am honored to serve on your Tribal Council.
I was born in Ketchikan and have lived in Metlakatla, Seattle and Ketchikan. My clan is Raven - Double Fin Killer Whale. In 2009 my family moved permanently to Ketchikan. My parents are Irving and Barbara Leask; my paternal grandparents are David and Lillian Leask of Metlakatla; my maternal grandparents are Ed and Leona Hamilton of Hydaburg. Tom Guthrie, Jr., and I have been married for 35 years and have four adult children and seven grandchildren.
My past experience is as Secretary of Metlakatla Little League Basketball; Chair of the Indian Education Parent Committee, Annette Island School District; Member of the Indian Education Parent Committee, Seattle School District, and Chair of Seattle Seafair Indian Days.
My priorities include encouring the Council to regularly develop and maintain a five-year plan to determine long-range goals for KIC and it’s membership. Using this process, the Council would listen to the membership’s needs and desires. This plan would enable Council to maintain consistency of KIC’s future as other members may be elected to Council.
Staff turnover at KIC is an on-going issue. I believe the Council should guide and support administration as they work towards increasing staff commitment to KIC. Support staff as they develop and grow the Education Programs, the delivery of medical services and services to our youth and elders. Consistently review KIC’s budget and work with Council to make necessary budget changes when they are needed. This past May marks 25 years of sobriety for me. I wholeheartedly support the programs that KIC provides to help those who find the strength the deal with this issue. Your support is greatly appreciated.
My name is Marsha Ramirez; I’m Haida from the Raven/Double Finn Killer Whale house of Hydaburg, and I’ve lived in Ketchikan for well over 25 years. I’m married with 4 children. Within those years I’d worked 12 of them at KIC Tribal Health Clinic where I held various positions and titles, the most recent being a certified nurse assistant. I currently work at Alaska Airlines as a customer service agent and have been there for almost 4 years.
Since 2008 I have been a Ketchikan Delegate for the local Tlingit and Haida chapter and serve on the constitutional committee as well as the health and human services committee. I’ve learned throughout the years that I’m very passionate about helping people one on one, and I’ve learned to be vocal when I feel things are in the wrong and I’m not afraid to speak up. I’m very respectful and very professional and I’m willing to listen to all concerns whether good or bad. I personally may not have the experience that other candidates have but I do have the tenacity and charisma and I’m willing to learn. I love new challenges and I’m not afraid of expanding my horizons and thinking outside of the box.
Thank you for all your support.