NANA recently pledged $100,000 in cleaning and sanitation supplies for every household in the NANA region to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Bleach, paper towels, disposable gloves, trash bags, soap and hand sanitizer are ordered and scheduled for a phased delivery to regional communities as the supplies become available.
An inventory of requested, hard-to-find supplies was coordinated through a special resources committee as part of the Northwest Arctic Leadership Team, which includes NANA, Maniilaq Association, the Northwest Arctic Borough and the Northwest Arctic Borough School District (NWABSD). The committee worked with each of the 11 villages in the region to identify and prioritize need.
“Our people have always banded together to help one another and survive,” said Wayne Westlake, NANA president and CEO. “NANA will continue to work in partnership with others as we navigate this pandemic together.”
Maniilaq Association and the Northwest Arctic Borough each contributed $5,000 to purchase the supplies, while Ryan Air and Bering Air are flying the goods to each community free of charge.
“We recognize there is an immediate need for many of these items, and we’re working on delivering what is available right now,” said Lance Miller, NANA vice president of natural resources and representative on the NWALT resources committee. “NANA Management Services and the school district property services team have been running logistics and our boots on the ground, and partners throughout the region have teamed up to track down and deliver supplies. It goes to show what can happen when people work together despite challenging circumstances.”
Supplies will be coordinated via the tribes in each community, except for Ambler and Kobuk – where the city will help organize distribution. Households in the region total more than 2,050.