Regional Vison Summit

A regional summit on November 3 and 4 brought over 150 people to the Dillingham elementary school to celebrate shared values revealed through the Bristol Bay Regional Vision project. Participants were invited from all communities of the region. They were joined by seven project Commissioners, leaders of the region, state and federal agency representatives, local government and school district officials, and a state legislator.

Summit participants heard results of the 16-month Bristol Bay Regional Vision project. Throughout the region people said the foundation of their lives is strong families who are connected to the land and waters of the region. They want continued access to subsistence resources, a strong voice in determining the future direction of the region, excellent schools, local jobs and preservation of cultural values. Overwhelmingly, the 1,400 participants in 26 communities believe future generations can live healthy and productive lives here.

During the Summit, people identified steps to implement key aspects of the Vision. Beginning with the five essential themes that emerged from over 50 community meetings during the regional vision process, summit participants used electronic audience response technology to narrow the topics for small group discussions.

Wide-ranging discussions in small groups tackled how to make a diff erence in the next year and brainstormed lists of people and groups that need to be involved. Each small group also brought questions back to the full summit audience.

The evening of November 3 featured a community potluck dinner, which included many kinds of salmon, agutaq, herring eggs, beaver feet and moose. Native dancing topped off the celebratory evening.

On November 4th participants reassembled for a panel on energy projects that may transform the region, followed by thoughts presented by the CEOs of BBNA, BBNC, BBAHC, BBHA and BBEDC.  They committed to use the Vision to guide the programs of their agencies and corporations.

Above all, people took the opportunity to talk with each other about how to foster collaboration and cooperation within and among communities and with government agencies.  When asked “Will you commit to carrying the Vision to your community or organization?”, 96 percent of participants said yes. Evaluations at the Summit showed that participants valued the process and are personally committed to take action to implement the Bristol Bay Regional Vision. The Vision carries the authority of the people of the Bristol Bay Region and serves as a guide to all entities who engage in the Bristol Bay region in the future.


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