Success Stories

How has the services and trainings provided by RurAL CAP impacted your community through your servicing role? 

Choose from the list of success stories:

Your story will inspire and support others in their journey to building a healthier community.

Jeffrey Kowchee

Circle Peacemaking

Working with the Youth

As a Critical Incident Stress Management Counselor; the community pulled together in a talking circle and gave each other confidence to open their “story” or feelings.   As for the school: the talking circle was set up by grade ( up to 6th/7th grade, then 9th to 12th grade) discussion was made to ensure healing awareness and the signs of needing further counseling was given and recommended.  Younger children in school were given a story and two counselors role played by explaining a specific incident, who acted/reacted naturally, and what can be done and to who the children can talk with an adult/counselor about the incident.  Each agency was broken down by 1st responders and incident supporters (front desk clerks/dispatcher/family & friends).  A debriefing was completed in a healing circle.  At times, those who did not participate in the healing circle were invited one on one for a debriefing.   Further counseling was recommended most of the time by their assigned Behavior Health Aide or by the assigned psychiatrist.   Community activities were recommended; A weekly luncheon was recommended with ALL 1st Responders with an invite of staff supporters.

Jeffrey Kowchee

Teresa Capo

Circle Peacemaking

Sharing ways of productive living:  one day at a time!

The Circle Process – A Positive Impact on Dillingham.

The Senior Center positively in terms of more openness understanding and acceptance of the possibility with the incorporation of our Elders affirmations.   A potlatch recovery sobriety celebration Dance follows with drumming.  The first Elders BEAYM is tentatively on November- 8th, in other words we have been practicing, and we have been given matching Kuspaqs I am now beginning to work on finding youth dancers with Norma Hiratsuka at the Dillingham School District to set up framework of beading and dance lessons for the first Elders BEAYM on November 8th.

Bristol Bay Elders and Youth Meetings

Louisia Walker

Calricaraq – Healthy Living

“Wilderness is the best medicine.”  – Louisia Walker

I have had two prior Calricaraq trainings before coming to the RurAL CAP March 2019 training.  Honestly, I feel more comfortable opening up and sharing stories of suicides and the impact it has on today’s youth.   The first two trainings, I was nervous and overwhelmed with the information but over time, I gained more knowledge and experience telling stories in the school classroom.  I have become stronger and braver.  My eyes are more open to understanding and helping others stay culturally connected and safe.

A dear family member of mine committed suicide when I was seven years old.  For a very long time, the emptiness of his presence left me angry and devastated.  Decades later, now with 9 beautiful children who keep me busy 24/7, I feel I have a different and healthier perspective on life thanks to the knowledge I picked up from attending the Calricaraq trainings.  My motto for keeping the youth culturally connected and humble is:  “Wilderness is the best medicine”.  Being outside can unload life’s worries and stressors while breathing fresh air of positivity.

Breathing in fresh air of positivity.

Celebrating the Goodness of Hooper Bay

A Celebration of Sobriety

The community of Hooper Bay generates hope and resilience through strengthening the connection among their people, by sharing and learning the traditional ways of the Yupik while supporting one another in the effort to fight addiction while always remembering to celebrate life.

Sobriety is a journey…

Martina Georges

Calricaraq Training

Healing families through Circle Talks.

We have had several youth and young adults who enjoy the Circle because they’re given a voice and feel they are encouraged to find a better path.  I know of a handful who have done a Circle who are still using their plan we came up with in their lives (they put it on their wall where they can see it).  There has been one who came back as a participant/mentor who shared their story and how it helped him with his life.  There is another family who put the Talking Circle in a young man’s plan so it was not just him who needed better communication skills.  They felt that their own family Circle helped improve their relationships.  There are so many stories that helps me become a better person and research, research and research more in finding ways to improve my own relationships with my family and also the community.

Circles improving relationships

How Dog Mushing Helps Village Youth

Tribal Youth Program

George and Kathy brought four youth to participate in the 2013 Junior North American Sled Dog Races in North Pole, Alaska. According to George, they’ve never had a junior musher from Huslia participate in the Junior North American Sled Dog Races. The youth from Huslia had to decide who to send to the races and elected four students to participate. Student Thomas Henry placed second in the three day race. He enjoyed listening to stories and hanging out with George. He said, “It keeps me out of the house and is pretty fun.”

Thomas Henry returning – Feb. 2013

Gladys Askoak

Calricaraq Training

When we have both young and old inspirational speakers the community and the youth that see and hear the stories or their songs motivates them and they want to better their lives.  They see that if they can do it they can too.  It is always good to have inspirational speakers, unfortunately it also costs to have some one come to speak their stories or songs or share their experience so that’s always a downfall.  


Trisha Madros's Story

Tribal Youth Program

Trisha is a voice for the youth when they have troubles or a conflict. I am not judgmental, I tell them: ‘I can’t tell you right from wrong, I can just guide you.’  She shares with them experiences of peoples’ pasts: drug and alcohol use, and various other problems. These are real experiences from people the youth know: It is better to learn from your own people from within, rather than bringing someone in from the outside. They [the youth] know it-it really touches their hearts to see that.

Trisha Madros

Wilma Bell-Joe

Tribal Youth Program

Leadership and caring can help all community members succeed, especially youth.  Wilma noticed the teens in her community lacked activities. She also recognized their potential, “I have to stand up, I have to speak. The youth need to know they are good, they have potential, strength and courage.”

Wilma Bell-Joe

Kat McElroy

Circle Peacemaking

Thank you RurAL CAP!

The success we have so far is we continue to work together.  Continue meeting. Continue inviting a wider and wider circle.  We have people from the city, the tribe, the school, several faith communities and the recovery community participating as we struggle together to envision  what genuine justice would function.

Our community recently (last year) experienced the death by cop of one of our beloved young men. This brought many ugly thoughts, feelings and memories up across all domains of our community.  This is  a deep wound. The city recently condemned and demolished one of our local party houses, which resulted in a half a dozen people becoming suddenly unsolicited. This is also creating difficult feelings for many people.  Our People who have had the most experience with criminal and tribal courts are the least willing to become involved in a NEW kind of justice.  My prayer is that a circle peacemaking process may be worked into our community and found effective in resolving what we all agree are difficult problems: addiction, unaddressed mental health issues, domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse and neglect, theft and property crimes.

Circle Peacemaking training – April 2019


RurAL CAP All rights reserved.
This project was supported by Award No. 2016-TY-FX-K001 awarded to the Rural Community Action Program Alaska Native Youth Training and Technical Assistance Project, by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Office of Justice Programs.

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