History and Background for Planning
Family Recovery Camp (FRC) is a series of one-month residential camp programs held during the
summer months of June, July and August. FRC was modeled on the successful Old Minto Family Recovery Camp
on the Nenana River in Interior Alaska, and has been designed to provide a holistic approach to recovery through:
- A remote, residential setting in a beautiful wilderness environment.
- A formal camp program that brings together best practices such as Alcoholics Anonymous with local
Alutiiq healing and craft traditions that provides clients an opportunity to connect with a sense of place.
- Creation of a community of healing with extended family members.
FRC has been funded and managed by the Kodiak Area Native Association (KANA) for the past 8 years. KANA is the
regional Alaska Native health non-profit corporation that provides services to the Kodiak Archipelago’s approximately
2,500 Alaska Native residents, primarily of Alutiiq/Sugpiaq descent. Beginning in 2003, the camp was located at the
current Pestrikoff Beach site on Spruce Island approximately 2 miles from the Community of Ouzinkie. This site was
chosen as its location allowed for needed residential remoteness and privacy (the site is not accessible by road)
yet with good access via boat to the City of Kodiak. Ouzinkie Native Corporation (ONC), the Alaska Native Claims
Settlement Act village corporation of Ouzinkie, owns the actual site. The site has been provided to the camp through
a memorandum of understanding with ONC.
Past funding has been provided through State and Federal agencies with in-kind provided by local agencies and
ONC. FRC has provided seasonal local employment for the community of Ouzinkie. Specifically, the camp has employed
boat charter operators each season (2 – 3) to provide necessary transport of staff, clients and their families,
and supplies. Ouzinkie community members who are trained behavioral health counselors have also participated
in the camp.
KANA has been evaluating its role with the FRC, and has determined that though KANA does have the necessary
professional services capacity to support the FRC, KANA does not have the necessary staff infrastructure in place
to support physical management of a remote, residential camp. KANA has been working with other Alaska Native
regional non-profits corporations to identify potential partners that could provide the necessary infrastructure
support. These include local tribal councils and non-profits. FRC operations for the 2008 season are currently
not planned for, and FRC will not be continued until KANA has a collaborative partnership in place.
FRC over the past 5 seasons has become a part of the Ouzinkie community. The community has defined through
its planning process the desire to have a larger role with the planning and managing of FRC, to ensure appropriate
site use, program quality, program sustainability and enhanced employment opportunities for Ouzinkie community members.
Describe camp need, including identification of a needed residential program.
FRC Planning Process
An Administration for Native Americans Strategies for Economic Development Grant supported two three-day
work-sessions in the community of Ouzinkie focused on the FRC. This funding supported statewide and regional
behavioral health professionals to travel to Ouzinkie, share knowledge and experience, and assist in planning
Ouzinkie's strategies in regard to the FRC. The chart below lists the participants of these sessions. (insert chart
The first session held in June of 2006 focused on performing initial strengths, weaknesses, opportunities
and challenges (SWOC) analysis to capture current behavioral health professionals and community views towards
the FRC. That SWOC analysis then assisted in guiding professional sharing of expertise and provided a baseline
for business plan development for the second worksession.
The second session was held in November of 2007. Here invited behavioral health care professionals
worked together with community members to plan the details of future FRC’s, including its management team.
This business plan was then drafted by the SIDCO project team and reviewed by the community. It is estimated
that there are over _____ hours of Professional and Community time in the development of the FRC Business Plan.
Family Recovery Camp (FRC) Plan
The FRC camp goals as developed by the community of Ouzinkie are:
- Address the whole person within context of family and community.
- Address the negative of substance abuses and dependency impacts on all life domains.
- Bring families together with the common goal of recovery.
- Include a culturally relevant curriculum with an emphasis first on recovery from addictions and second, on regaining subsistence lifestyles activities.
- Determine each patient’s needs and provide specific services, such as one on one counseling, group processing, treatment plans, and aftercare.
- Referral to appropriate aftercare and consistent follow-up within the patient's community.
- Emphasize resources and skills that are applicable to small, rural village residents.
In summary, FRC will cover all the necessary education information, structure and balance that are important for
recovery. This will be a State approved, medically monitored program that meets legal requirements for residential
The primary target populations for participation in FRC are residents of the Kodiak Archipelago,
including the eight rural communities of Kodiak, Ahkiok, Chiniak, Karluk, Larsen Bay, Old Harbor, Ouzinkie
and Port Lions, and their extended families. The Camp could also serve communities of the larger traditional
Alutiiq region including communities located in the Prince William Sound, Lower Cook Inlet and the Alaska
Peninsula areas. It is anticipated that residents will be referred to FRC through the already existing
behavioral health services network.
FRC Management and Organization
In the past, KANA has served as the sole manager of the camp. It has interfaced with Ouzinkie through the memorandum
of understanding with ONC for the use of the site, as well as contracts with community members to provide boat
transportation to and from the camp. However, the community has not had a substantive role in the designing of
the camp's culturally relevant curriculum nor emphasizing those skills necessary to successfully practice a
lifestyle of recovery after leaving the camp. KANA has also experienced challenges in adequately staffing the
camp with individuals committed to the recovery process. The planning process identified that only through a
strong, collaborative partnership of professional service providers with community Elders, Culture Bearers and
leaders could FRC achieve its desired goals. Specifically:
FRC management will be through a collaborative partnership of the Native Village of Ouzinkie, Kodiak Area Native
Association and Spruce Island Development Corporation.
The Native Village of Ouzinkie
is a federally recognized tribe whose members are descendents of the first
Alutiiq peoples of Spruce Island. The Tribe has extensive experience in cultural programs, and will support the
partnership in developing the culturally relevant curriculum, and placing Alutiiq Culture Bearers with the necessary
culturally and placed based skills to implement the curriculum
Kodiak Area Native Association
has been described above. It will support the partnership in developing
the necessary camp activities focused on recovery best practices and placing FRC staff members with the identified
professional background to provide counseling and referral services.
Spruce Island Development Corporation
is the economic development corporation for Ouzinkie. SIDCO
will serve as the business and financial manager of FRC.
Family Recovery Camp will take place in the summer months of June, July and August. Camp set-up and
closure would be designed to allow for adequate staff breaks between the approximately three one-month long
sessions. Each session can accommodate up to thirty (30) individuals that includes clients and extended family
members. FRC will continue to be located at a leased five (5) acre site located along Pestrikoff Beach on Spruce
Island. Pestrikoff Beach is only fifteen (15) minutes away from access to the City of Kodiak, the regional hub
of the Kodiak Archipelago. It is only a ten (10) minutes boat ride from the community of Ouzinkie. The camp will
have ease of access to boat operators who reside in Ouzinkie.
Pestrikoff Beach is a protected site located along the Ouzinkie Narrows that separates Kodiak Island from Spruce
Island. Two small islands shelter the site from the larger seas of the narrows resulting in a multitude of marine
life in the site’s immediate vicinity, including whales, seals, porpoises and sea lions. Spruce Island offers the
FRC client and his or her family the opportunity to enjoy world-class sea life viewing, participate in subsistence
salmon fisheries, learn about the food and medicinal plants of the island, hike to the nearby heritage of Saint
Herman of Alaska, the first Russian Orthodox saint of North America, and have necessary reflection time in a
beautiful, spiritual environment. Pestrikoff Beach is named after one of the older families of Ouzinkie, and
is a traditional use site for Ouzinkie.
The Kodiak Archipelago is home to approximately 5,000 Kodiak Brown Bears, the largest brown bear in the
world. This is a planning concern when locating remote, residential sites and bear “raids” have been an issue
for other camps around the region. However, Spruce Island is a small island in the archipelago that does not
host a resident Kodiak Brown Bears population, making it a more desirable location then sites on neighboring
Kodiak and Afognak Islands.
The camp will integrate an approved medically based recovery curriculum with culturally relevant placed based activities. The Camp curriculum will be developed by the collaborative partnership as discussed above. Specific camp curriculum activities that were identified during the planning process include:
- Alcoholics Anonymous and Al-Anon meetings. Daily meetings that emphasize a recovery lifestyle and assist camp residents in acquiring necessary skills to hold meetings in their own communities.
- Facilitation skills. Daily talking circles where residents learn and practice facilitation skills will be held.
- Subsistence fisheries. Including making a subsistence gill net for salmon, and harvesting salmon for camp use, and smoking part of the catch.
- Kitchen Garden and Plant Lore. Camp residents will work together to maintain a kitchen garden for camp use that includes local plants of ethnobotanical importance. Culinary arts such as jelly making will be practiced in season.
- Alutiiq Art. Camp projects will emphasis Alutiiq Mask carving, drum making, and skin sewing traditions
- Physical Activities. Will include lapture (the Alutiiq version of baseball), volleyball, and daily walking and running.
FRC will continue to be a summer seasonal camp. Platform weatherport tents will provide for the camp's
housing, kitchen, dining hall, and meeting and crafts facilities. Families also have the option of providing
their own tent housing. Two wood-fired Banyas (the local word for bathouse) will provide bathing facilities that
will include hot showers provided through on-demand hot water heaters. Pit toilets will provide necessary toilet
facilities. Laundry facilities will be provided. Electricity is provided during set hours through an on-site
generator. A small well with water storage tank will provide water needs. A storage facility will be provided on site.
A small portable dock with running lines will serve as docking facilities for watercraft.
Culturally relevant facilities at the camp will include a smoke house, subsistence fisheries set net, and a
The camp will be administered in accordance with all applicable State of Alaska Department of Environmental
Conservation Regulations, as well as any applicable Federal regulations. The Camp will be set-up in the late spring
of each year and dismantled and placed in storage at the end of each season in Ouzinkie.
The community has had discussions regarding placing permanent structures at the Pestrikoff Beach site that
could support a year-round permanent program. However, identified issues regarding site ownership, property
taxation and program sustainability would have to be addressed.
Staffing needs for FRC are identified as follows:
SIDCO Management Team (50% Full time equivalent year round)
Camp Management (salaried for the season)
- Project Director
- Administrative Assistant
Professional Curriculum (salaried for the season)
- Camp Director.
- Camp Maintenance Man.
- Two Camp cooks.
Culturally Relevant Curriculum
- Licensed Medical Doctor who specializes in behavioral health and serves as the professional team leader.
- Three client counselors.
- One Village Behavioral Health Aide who rotates each week.
- Curriculum team leader (salaried for the season)
- Identified Culture Bearers in (daily stipends)
- Subsistence fisheries
- Gardening and local plant lore
- Alutiiq culture and technology
- Alutiiq artists and musicians
- Alutiiq Elders