Organization Description and History:In October of 2017 the Presbytery of Yukon voted to begin a new, faith-based social ministry in the arctic. The Presbytery of Yukon is a regional arm of the Presbyterian Church (USA), and is made up of 21 Alaskan congregations, including six in the North Slope Borough. The decision to begin this new ministry was made in response to the national denomination's call for ministries that address the intergenerational trauma that has occurred because of the collision of Western American culture with Indigenous American culture. After communicating with Mayor Harry K. Brower, ASRC Chairman Crawford Patkotak, our member congregations, and others from the region, it became clear that a faith-based approach to healing social ills was a needed next step, if we are to address intergenerational trauma.
In November 2017 a new nonprofit corporation, Intergenerational Arctic Ministries (IAM) was formed to fulfil that mandate. The Board of Directors include four people from the North Slope Borough, Molly Pederson (President), Ida Olemaun (Secretary-treasurer), Rev. Dave Matthews, and Raymond Edward Ipalook. Also on the board are two members from St. Lawrence Island, John Waghiyi and Lucy Apatiki, as well as Dorothy Bekoalok, originally from Shaktoolik. IAM's faith-based approach includes members from all the interested Christian churches in the region three denominations. Indeed, our efforts are supported by nearly all the churches in the North Slope Borough and St. Lawrence Island.
IAM's Purpose:IAM is organized to pursue a ministry of faith-based healing from the intergenerational trauma experienced among the Alaska Natives and others. Our focus is on faith-based recovery from this trauma and, at this time, is aimed primarily at the communities located in the North Slope Borough and on St. Lawrence Island.
Our Faith-Based Recovery project will engage people in local communities to develop local networks capable of supporting those people seeking personal healing. This project will invite stakeholders in communities to collaborate in designing the needed work, and give to give the initial training. This project is based on four, key programs: Listening Way, Healing and Renewal, 12-Step Facilitation, and Collective Impact.
We hope this very brief description of our activities intrigues you. We invite you to look for ways of joining with us in this very important work.