ODD NEW GWICH’IN GIFT TRADITION INCLUDES YELLING AT HOSTS
The science is clear — handling raw caribou organs can be a hazardous activity, especially if the animal is infected with Brucellosis, which occasionally it is in Alaska.
Allowing the raw organs to come in contact with your skin is not something to be taken lightly, as most hunters know. Brucellosis is a highly contagious disease caused by the Brucella suis bacteria type 4 found in caribou and reindeer.
When Anchorage activist Kathleen Bonnar tried to toss or shove a raw and bloody caribou heart at U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan and his wife Julie, she could have been tossing a deadly infection at him. Blood from the organ, which had been tied with a clumsy noose, spattered onto “heart-stopping” Matt Shuckerow, as he wrestled the item from her and ushered Bonnar out the door of the fundraiser on Saturday evening.
It was unclear at the time just what Bonnar was reaching for in her bag, but the immediate reaction from witnesses was that they thought it might be a gun, a bomb, or some other weapon.
Shuckerow, a longtime political aide, has worked in Washington, D.C. on the staffs of both Sullivan and Congressman Don Young, and he personally knows people who were shot by the gunman at a congressional staff baseball game in 2017. Shuckerow knows the dangers that lawmakers face these days, particularly with the unhinged Left.
It turns out, this time it was just blood and guts being slung with a two-foot-long nylon rope tied to it, a raw organ from an animal considered sacred in some Alaska Native cultures.
Brucellosis is spread in the afterbirth and fluids during calving, according to the Department of Fish and Game. There hasn’t been a case reported in a few years, but animals may appear healthy and not show any signs of disease. You can get the disease if the blood, fluid, or tissue from an infected animal comes in contact with your eyes, nose, mouth, or skin. Shuckerow did get blood on him during the brief encounter with Bonnar. His shirt was stained in blood by the time the woman was removed from the building.
Bonnar, who until very recently worked at the Anchorage Convention & Visitors Bureau as a content specialist, might not have known that without gloves, she may be infected with the illness that is characterized by a high fever that comes and goes with frequency — the same symptoms as COVID-19.
Since Bonnar works at Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium these days, she should be able to get herself tested for either Brucellosis or COVID-19 at no cost to herself.
Ironically, her now-future boss Andy Teuber was attending the Sullivan event as a guest.
Bonnar explains her new twist on Gwich’in gift-giving traditions this way on Facebook, without describing the screaming, yelling, and threatening behavior:
As for the caribou heart, it ended up in a bloody splat on the floor before being moved to the trash. Event organizers did not think of having it tested.
Other notes about the people associated with the attack on Saturday in Anchorage:
Crystal Berwick: The woman who bull-rushed and hip-checked Shuckerow is a TSA agent. She tried to prevent Shuckerow from stopping Bonnar from following through with her “gifting” of the raw heart to the Sullivans. Berwick is a registered Democrat who began voting in Alaska in 2015. Her trail leads back to the East Coast.
Soren Wuerth: A teacher at Dimond High School, his name may be familiar to Must Read Alaska readers. Wuerth has taught classes in nonviolent civil disobedience in his spare time. While he was teaching such a class three years ago, a man came into the building and pepper-sprayed the participants.
Rina Kowalski: She said she tried to unfurl a “Heartless Sullivan” banner, but it was taken away from her by bystanders and she also tried to intervene against Shuckerow, who was attempting to stop Bonnar from harming the senator and his wife.
Rina Mae was also a protester in Washington D.C. in 2018 against the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.
Interestingly, Rina, as she is known, gave a fake name to event organizers. She wore a name tag that said she was Dana Dardis, who is an older radical activist in Anchorage, but who was not observed at this event.
Erin Jackson: A staffer for the Poor People’s Campaign, she is a paid agitator who was instrumental in the tent city occupation of the Delaney Park Strip last summer, as well as the tent occupation of the Valley of the Moon Park. She was in Wasilla and occupied the legislature as they were meeting at the Wasilla Middle School. Her funding comes from Outside.
Will Bean: He goes by the pronoun “they,” rather than a gender, and is an LGBTQ+ activist.
Several of the members of this protest are associated with the Native Movement nonprofit, whose board includes notable Alaskan Jody Potts, who was a close ally of former Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott, before she became a foe of his: