PUBLISHED: 2:50 PM on Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Thanks from SEARHC
The SEARHC Wellbriety Kootéeyaa Committee wishes to express its thanks to all who helped make the Kootéeyaa Project Wellbriety totem pole - Yei éek kwa néix (you are going to get well) - such a success.

Thank you to Sitka Clan Leaders: Ray Wilson, Herman Kitka, Herman Davis and John Neilson for granting permission to raise a pole in Tlingit country.

Thank you to the SEARHC Elders Council and Board of Directors for their unanimous support; and to SEARHC President/CEO Ken Brewer for the Quonset hut to keep the carver dry.

Thank you to M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust for the financial support to help pay for the carver.

Thank you to Tlingit master carver Wayne Price of Haines for his outstanding job carving the pole, his ability to spread the word to the community about the project, and for his work with SEARHC clients and to other folks who are healing and participated in the project.

Thank you to the U.S. Forest Service for the donation of the logs; Les Loney for the cutting of the logs; and to Alaska Marine Lines' Gordon Harang for the donation of transporting of the logs to Sitka.

Thank you to SheeAtika Corporation and Huna Heritage Foundation; and to Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium CEO Paul Sherry for monetary donations.

Thanks to ANB/ANS Grand Camp for a resolution in support of our project; and to the Southeast Alaska Indian Cultural Center's Gail Peterson and Tommy Joseph for their expertise and advice.

Thanks to SEARHC grant writers Jeannie Monk and Lily Herwald; SEARHC Vice President of Community Health Services Mark Gorman, SEARHC Director of Behavioral Health Pat Hefley and his assistant Romee McAdams for their support on the Kootéeyaa Committee.

Thanks to the Vista AmeriCorps program for providing the services of volunteer James Diffen, who served as Kootéeyaa Project Coordinator and helped with fundraising and outreach into the Southeast communities.

Thanks to the SEARHC kitchen staff and Buzz Dick for cooking a wonderful dinner; Ralph Gutherie, Ed and Clara Gray and the Coral Lee Crew for seafood donations; the Moose Lodge, Presbyterian church and ANB for tables and chairs; Gunaanast? (Bill Brady Healing Center), Déilee H?t (Safe Harbor House) and Yéil Jeey?x (Raven's Way) staff for help with numerous work that took place.

Thanks to Mt. Edgecumbe High School students for the wonderful table center pieces and serving the elders. Thanks to Katy Mulligan and Hope Lynn (teachers) who facilitated the student participation; to Emily Ann White (student) who helped paint the pole; and the Yupik dancers for performing.

Thanks to the Sitka dance groups, Gaa Jaa Heen, Kaagwaantaan, Sheet'ka Kw?an and Nu Klein. Thanks to Vista volunteer James Diffen and Teslin Pedsiki (eighth grade Haines student) for the design on our handkerchiefs.

Thanks to Sitka Tribe of Alaska, Phil Neilson and Dan Morreno for the deer; Evon Nesheim and Tess Heyburn and clients of Bill Brady Healing Center for helping with the snack foods at the SEARHC Community Health Services building during the pole raising.

Thanks to the Naa Kaan?'s, Chuck Miller, Steve Johnson, Gilbert Sam, Jay Miller, Ben Didrickson and James Young. Thanks to Frank Ockert, Mary Miller, and Ben Didrickson for their prayers at our celebration dinner.

Thanks to all who helped set up tables and chairs and food, Stewart Pook, Harry Bradley and his family, Erik Jackson, Pat Hefley, Charles Bean, Donovan Duncan, Victoria Kendall, Victor Jones, Michael Palacious, Ken Bradley, Robert Bradley and Anthony Phillips.

Last but not least, thanks to White Bison President Don Coyhis and staff Laura and Don Homs for transporting the Wellbriety Movement's "Sacred Hoop" from Colorado to Sitka and helping us raise funds on the Web site.

Special thanks to all the wonderful people who showed up to help carry the pole. And to the Coast Guard color guards who opened up the ceremonial dinner by carrying the flags and leading the "Sacred Hoop" into the opening of the dinner.

Thank you, Gunalchéech, from the Kootéeyaa Committee.

Roberta Kitka,

Kootéeyaa Project Chairwoman