Our group was founded in April 2015 as a peer support and advocacy group for Alaska Natives and American Indians releasing from incarceration. Our hope is to help one another find community and purpose here in Anchorage. We achieve our goals by bringing purpose, delivering hope, and building character.
We meet on a weekly basis to function as an extended family for individuals from our rural villages who often have few, if any, family members or close friends residing in the Anchorage area. We provide assistance by sharing what we have learned from our experiences. Our group is modeled after the structure of a traditional village, functioning consistent with our traditional cultural experiences and reinforcing our values of respect, positivity, and support. We emphasize restorative justice as an appropriate lens that values renewed relationships and forgiveness rather than broken relationships and punishment.
The Alaska Nations Reentry Group has healthy families at the heart of our mission. Our projects include enhancing “telemedicine” to provide our members with adequate treatment and training in their home villages. In addition, we have developed a process to guide our members when working with their home villages and other organizations to return home without endangering public safety; this process was submitted to the Alaska Department of Corrections, at their request, for their possible use in returning people to their home villages immediately upon release from incarceration.