Near the spot where salmon migrating up the glacial, churning Copper River move into the Tazlina River to reach the lake for spawning, where Ahtna Native clans set up summer fish camp for centuries, the Native Village of Tazlina is working to purchase 462 acres of its traditional homelands.
Youth from all across Alaska also attended the Copper Valley School here for two decades, gaining an education that raised a generation of the State’s leaders, business owners and community members. But the Catholic boarding school was closed in 1971 and a fire destroyed it in 1976, turning the site into a “brownfield” of toxic wastes.
Now that the Native Village of Tazlina, a federally-recognized Tribe, has completed an EPA- and Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation approved clean-up of the site (2014), the Tribe is committed to buying back this land for cultural and conservation restoration.
But time is running out!
The Native Village of Tazlina has until October, 2021 to raise the funds. We have leads for foundation grants, but need to raise matching funds to be eligible for large grants. The Archdiocese is asking $1,800,000 for the property, and the NVT has launched a capital campaign to raise the funds.
In the Tribe’s vision, the 462-acre parcel would once again serve as a cultural gathering place for village members, Ahtna Natives, Copper Valley School alumni, and visitors. The property will host subsistence use fish wheels (and contribute to fisheries research), a tribal college, a community garden, a green-energy community hall and cultural center, and a church hall.
Every contribution, large and small, will help leverage a million-dollar grant.
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