About Our People
The Ninilchik Village Tribe is the modern Alaska Native tribe of most of the southern Kenai Peninsula. Its descendants trace their roots from ancient peoples within its tribal boundaries. The tribe’s governing organization, the Ninilchik Traditional Council (NTC), is the presiding body over tribal affairs and maintaining tribal sovereignty. Headquartered in Ninilchik, the Ninilchik Traditional Council provides services and outreach for both tribal members and the public residing in tribal boundaries.
Board of Directors
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Ivan Z. Encelewski
Ivan Z. Encelewski is a tribal member who serves as the Executive Director for the Ninilchik Traditional Council and oversees the executive branch of all NTC departments and services. He has over 20 years of experience working in the NTC organization including 6 years in the Tribal Services department before first becoming Executive Director in 2001. He is also a shareholder of Cook Inlet Region, Inc. and Ninilchik Native Association, Inc.
Ivan was born in Soldotna, Alaska and is a father of three. While growing up in Ninilchik he attended Ninilchik School where he graduated as valedictorian in 1995. He has also studied at the College of Engineering and Technology at Northern Arizona University and business administration and law and Alaska Native studies at Kenai Peninsula College. Ivan has also earned certificates in numerous vocational trainings for tribal governance, business, and human resources. Additionally to seasonally being a local commercial fisherman throughout his life he has been employed by production companies Peak Oilfield Service and Halliburton.
Being experienced in Alaska Native governance, Ivan is a current board member as the Ninilchik representative to the regional non-profit Cook Inlet Tribal Council and a board member of the Alaska Native Justice Center. He has also previously been on the NTC Board of Directors, and has served on the board of directors for the Alaska Federation of Natives, the Alaska Native Health Board, the Cook Inlet Treaty Tribes, and the Alaska Native Tribal Judicial Council.
The main issues Ivan works in support of are enforcing the Ninilchik tribe’s subsistence rights and empowering tribal values and community health by supporting efforts to combat addiction and provide access to mental health care. He strives to encourage younger tribal members to maintain an active role in tribal activities and affairs on any level they are able to perform in order to ensure the tribe’s strength in the future. Ivan fosters leadership and looks forward to seeing the next generation continue to give the tribe a renewed sense of identity and permanence.
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