KLUKWAN - Lani Hotch, the WISEFAMILIES Through Traditional Knowledge Camp Coordinator in Klukwan, recently was awarded the Barbara Berger Award by the Alaska Health Education Consortium for excellence in health education and health promotion in Alaska. The award was presented during the Dec. 3 luncheon at the Alaska Health Summit in Anchorage.
"I was surprised and honored to receive the Barbara Berger Award," Hotch said. "I understand that Barbara Berger was quite an inspiring and giving person, and I am honored that people found me worthy of such recognition."
The WISEFAMILIES Through Traditional Knowledge program is a partnership between the Klukwan Traditional Knowledge Camp and the SEARHC WISEWOMAN cardiovascular health program. The program hosts subsistence skills camps during the salmon, hooligan and moose seasons, as well as a traditional dance program, carving and weaving projects.
"Lani Hotch should receive the Barbara Berger Award because of her groundbreaking approaches to health and wellness," the nomination form submitted by the WISEWOMAN program reads. "By combining the goals of preserving traditional Tlingít culture and preserving the health of people's bodies, Lani established the Traditional Knowledge Camps in Klukwan that teach subsistence living, collecting foods off the land, community gardening and traditional crafts. The camps teach physical activity and nutrition by having participants do all the work and harvest all the nutritious results."
"I appreciate those who nominated me for this award," Hotch said. "The SEARHC personnel who work with me - Pam Sloper, Mandy Ramsey, Nancy Knapp and Martha Pearson - have all contributed to the success of the WISEFAMILIES program. They are all very supportive and encouraging to me as a person and are always willing to help in tangible ways. It has been a pleasure to work with them. I also want to recognize a dedicated Klukwan resident and good friend, Beverly Klanott, who has always been willing to participate and help with everything we do in Klukwan - the community garden, the salmon and moose camps, and our fine arts workshops. Gunalchéesh to all of you for your support and thank you again for the honor of this award."
Hotch was born in Klukwan and has made it her permanent home since her marriage in 1978 to Jones Hotch Jr. Lani and Jones have three children. Lani earned a paralegal degree from Antioch School of Law in 1979 and worked many years as a teacher's aide at Klukwan School. She was the first in Klukwan to introduce the Tlingít language into the curriculum. She returned to college after several years as a teacher's aide and in 2000 Lani received her Masters of Arts in Teaching degree from the University of Alaska Southeast.
"It is a pleasure to work with Lani, who always has a smile and a story to share," Pam Sloper said. "She works very hard to keep her culture alive and teach others the joy she finds in her heritage."