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TASSC SEA OTTER PROJECTS > Request For Proposals For TASSC Tribal Sea Otter Projects

Program Description: The objective of this project is to provide a means whereby TASSC member communities can develop and implement projects to further sea otter conservation and management. A wide variety of projects could have fit under the RFP, including regional or local management plans, promotion of skin-sewing and other cultural uses, economic development for sea otter products, education and outreach, contaminant analyses, sea otter forage documentation, and many other possibilities not listed here. A total of $95,000.00 was available to member tribes for grants at varying funding levels with a minimum of $2,000.00 and a maximum of $20,000.00. A deadline of November 19, 2004 was set for the submission of tribal proposals for this fiscal period (2004 - 2006).

History: A new project that was included in the 2002 sea otter co-management agreement, the RFP for Tribal Sea Otter Projects 2002 funded proposals from 5 member tribes totaling $50,500.00.

The Organized Village of Kake's RFP promoted the creation of Alaska Native handicraft. Photo by OVK 2004.



  • After developing the RFP criteria and evaluation methods, TASSC distributed the RFP package during winter 2002/2003. TASSC received 8 proposals requesting $103,000.
  • Four of the funded proposals in the 2002 RFP included projects from the Native Council of Port Heiden, the Traditional Council of Togiak, the Native Village of Perryville, and the Organized Village of Kake and focused on promoting the creation of Alaska Native handicraft. The sea otter handicraft completed through these projects included parkas, gloves, and two styles of hats.
  • The other funded proposal was from the Craig Community Association. This tribe surveyed Prince of Wales Island residents on local knowledge of sea otters.
  • The selected projects began during spring 2003, tribal reporting was completed in August 2004. TASSC completed the final report for the 2002 fiscal year in October 2004.
J. Boone demonstrates how to stretch a sea otter hide as part of the Organized Village of Kake's RFP project. Photo by OVK 2004.

Current/Future Plans: In the 2004 RFP, TASSC received 16 proposals from member communities, of which, TASSC's Executive Committee approved 8 projects totaling nearly $95,000: Craig Community Association, Native Village of Eyak, Hydaburg Cooperative Association, Organized Village of Kake, Lesnoi Village also known as Woody Island Tribal Council, Old Harbor Tribal Council, Native Village of Perryville, Native Council of Port Heiden, Tatitlek Village IRA Council in Cooperation with Chugach Regional Resource Commission, Traditional Council of Togiak and Native Village of Unga. The work conducted by these Tribes includes gathering local and traditional knowledge through interviews and surveys, skin-sewing classes and the promotion of hanidcraft, university accredited curriculum development, skeleton rearticulation and management plan development.

Tribal projects from 8 member communities have been conducted under this year's RFP Project: rearticulation of two sea otter skeletons through Native Village of Eyak; enrollment of several students in a pilot program to provide a university certificate or degree program for studies based on local and traditional knowledge through Tatitlek Village IRA Council and Chugach Regional Resource Commission; gathering local and traditional responses from 25 community members through Native Village of Unga and the creation of a local sea otter management plan through Hydaburg Cooperative Association. Through the skin-sewing classes conducted this year by Craig Community Association, Hydaburg Cooperative Association, Lesnoi Village, Native Village of Unga, Old Harbor Tribal Council and Traditional Council of Togiak, over 100 students created various sea otter handicraft under the instruction of five knowledgeable skin-sewers. Where some instructors used pre-fabricated patterns, other instructors shared their own personal patterns, and others showed how to make patterns using ones own measurements as it was done by previous generations of skin-sewers.

A Tribal Project Presentation Meeting in Summer 2006 will allow project coordinators to present and showcase their Tribal projects. The Tribal Project Presentation Meeting will also allow member Tribes to promote projects that further sea otter conservation, management and artistic development.



Sea otter parka created through the Traditional Council of Togiak (TCT) Tribal Project. Photo by TCT 2004.





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