LFPA Executive Summary – The Central Council of Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska (Tlingit & Haida)

The Central Council of Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska (Tlingit & Haida) proposes to purchase 15,000 pounds of Pacific herring roe spawned on macrocystis kelp (roe on kelp) from 15 tribal citizen fishermen and women in Southeast Alaska. Tlingit & Haida will distribute the purchased roe on kelp to more than 3,000 tribal citizen households (approximately 12,000 individuals) in 18 rural Southeast Alaska communities, most of which are not connected to the U.S. highway system and experience food security concerns. Herring roe on kelp is a traditional food of the Tlingit and Haida peoples and an invaluable locally produced source of calories and nutrients. Roe on kelp is produced annually during the Pacific herring spawn in early spring; a small group of fishermen harvest, preserve, and export the product out of the state on a small commercial scale. Many local communities no longer have ready access to herring spawn on kelp in their vicinities due to a decrease in Pacific herring spawning area over several decades. This project will support local Alaska Native food producers who harvest roe on kelp, grow a local market for roe on kelp to keep resources in Southeast Alaska communities, and improve food security in rural Southeast Alaska villages by providing the highly nutritious traditional food directly to tribal citizens. The project will serve as a template for other food security initiatives in a year-round plan currently under development.