During the August 16 Primary Election, many voters across the Doyon Region found themselves as a voter in the new House District 36. This new district unifies the villages in the Doyon and Ahtna region into one House District, providing them with focused representation in Juneau for the next ten years; this is due to the laudable efforts of Alaska Redistricting Board.
Doyon, Limited, Sealaska Corporation, Ahtna, Incorporated, Tanana Chiefs Conference, and the Fairbanks Native Association created a coalition to advocate for our regions and communities during the Redistricting process. Our goal was to ensure the voices of rural Alaskans will be heard in the legislature.
Our coalition galvanized efforts in advocating to the Board by gathered input from a multitude of stakeholders, such as Native corporations and Tribal organizations, private and public interests, and other redistricting coalitions, to ensure that the voices of rural Alaska were not lost in the process. One successful outcome of our coalition’s advocacy effort with the Alaska Redistricting Board was the adoption of House District 36.
As such, Doyon would like to recognize the Alaska Redistricting Board for their efforts. The Board included Chairman John Binkley, Bethany Marcum, E. Budd Simpson, Nicole Borromeo, and Melanie Bahnke.
Doyon would like to extend special recognition to Melanie Bahnke and Nicole Borromeo for their service. Melanie Bahnke, President and CEO of Kawerak, Inc. is a tribal member of the Native Village of Savoonga and speaks St. Lawrence Island Yupik as her first language. Nicole Borromeo, executive vice president and general counsel for the Alaska Federation of Natives, is a tribal member of McGrath Village Council and Doyon shareholder, and the Board Chairman for MTNT, Ltd. Together, Ms. Bahnke and Ms. Borromeo and were critical in representing Alaska Native and rural Alaskan interests on the Alaska Redistricting board and used their experiences as Alaska Native women to help guide the Board to a redistricting map that is fair for all Alaskans.
Photo: Alaska Redistricting Board member Nicole Borromeo raises a concern to members of the board during their meeting in Anchorage on Friday, Nov. 5, 2021. (Emily Mesner / ADN)