Blossom Twitchell is one of six candidates running for four open seats on the Sitka Tribe of Alaska Tribal Council, along with Martha Moses, Harvey Kitka, Lesa Way, Lawrence “Woody” Widmark, and Gary Olson. STA holds an election on Tuesday, November 12, 2019.
My name is Blossom Twitchell. I was born Mae Jones to Norman and Ramona (Henry) Jones of Kotzebue, Alaska. I was adopted and raised by my mother Elizabeth Teal who recently passed away, she lived to be 92 years old. I currently work for Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska as a Workforce Development Specialist.
I was raised in Fairbanks, Alaska with great influence from my sister’s grandparents, Athabascan Traditional Chief, Simon Francis and his wife Bella. They taught us how to work a fish wheel, how to cut wood and above all they instilled in us the upmost need to respect the land.
I moved to Sitka in 1995 to attend Mt. Edgecumbe High School. By the time I graduated, I realized Sitka was my home. I have been a hard worker all my life. From holding multiple newspaper routes at age five, to cleaning houses and babysitting to help raise my nephew at the age of eleven, I’ve been determined to persevere.
My life experiences have led me to work with elders, children and families. As a young adult, I worked at SEARHC for six and half years. Three of those years, I worked as a Certified Nurse Assistant on 3 North while attending college. The other three and a half years, I worked in the Physical Therapy Department where I spent my time helping elders with their exercises. That time with the elders, grounded my appreciation for Sitka and Southeast Alaska. As a young mother, I worked on the Mt. Edgecumbe High School campus for nine years. I began as a Residential Advisor. When I left, I was the Cultural Coordinator. That position made me realize the importance of passing on our cultural knowledge through dance, language and art.
I’ve been fortunate enough to raise my children in Sitka. I count my time as the General Assistance Caseworker for Sitka Tribe of Alaska as a blessing. STA took a single mother and provided opportunities for me to grow professionally. I hold a never-ending gratitude for Sitka, which is the reason why I am running for Tribal Council.
As a tribal citizen who deeply appreciates Sitka Tribe of Alaska’s zest for tribal sovereignty, I find it necessary to continue to strengthen our government to government relations. With Sitka Community Hospital now a part of SEARHC, we need to continue to communicate our needs as beneficiaries. As a Mother of three children in the Sitka School District, we need to continue to progress with language and cultural education, to ensure our children’s success culturally as well as educationally. As Sitka experiences rising costs in living, we need to continue to work with our tribal families, to ensure they are secure financially as well as culturally uplifted. We need to continue to fight for the herring and we need to continue our working relationship with the National Historical Park.
I am an experienced board member who has worked with several entities over my twenty-four years here in Sitka. I proud to have spearheaded the creation of the SHS Student Activity Fund, which assists families cover the costs of extracurricular activities, including music and drama and debate. I believe my experience as a caseworker, as a mother and my personal journey as a tribal citizen will allow me to serve in Sitka Tribe of Alaska’s best interests.
My goal is to uplift the current tribal government on their current endeavors as well as working towards improving citizen involvement, I want our younger tribal citizens to get involved. This land and our government will be our grandchildren’s someday. I want to work to strengthen and preserve our land, our knowledge and our people. I am asking for your vote, Gunalchéesh, Háw’aa, Quyana, Mahsi’.
Blossom Twitchell is running for a seat on the STA Tribal Council.
STA holds an election Tuesday, November 12, at the Sheet’ka Kwaan Naa Kahidi.