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NativeCo News

Sealaska Remembers Senator Ted Stevens

August 14th, 2010 Posted By: Morgan Howard No Comments


The Sealaska family lost a most important friend when Senator Ted Stevens died in a plane crash on August 9.

As the driving force in Congress for Native land rights, Senator Stevens was integral to the passage of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA). It was his leadership that resulted in Congress approving the return of 44-million acres of land to Alaska Natives that would serve their critical economic and cultural needs.

“Alaska Native Corporations wouldn’t be where they are today if it weren’t for Senator Stevens,” said Sealaska Director Byron Mallott. “His tremendous contribution on many fronts will have a positive effect on our people for generations to come.”

His gruff exterior belied a very sensitive and thoughtful nature, one that was compelled to right decades of wrongs. Needless to say, Senator Stevens was a staunch supporter of Sealaska’s efforts to finally secure the land guaranteed to us under ANCSA.

Sealaska will pay tribute to the Honorable Senator Stevens with the donation of a Tlingit and Haida mask to his wife, Catherine Stevens. In accordance with traditional protocols, the mask will be placed adjacent to his coffin at his memorial ceremony in Anchorage on August 18, 2010.

“Senator Stevens, who received the Tlingit name Aan Kinaa, or Celestial Brown Bear, will be remembered and forever honored for lifelong contributions to Alaska, Alaska Natives and Southeast Alaska,” said Sealaska Heritage Institute President and Sealaska Corporation Board Vice Chair Rosita Worl.

“Senator Stevens was a leader in practically every area, including education, health care, projects that supported our Alaska Native cultures, communications, subsistence and the creation of long-term sustainable economic futures for us through the Alaska Native Corporations and other Native institutions,” said Sealaska President and CEO Chris E. McNeil, Jr. “The loss of Senator Stevens is as painful for me as it is for all of us who had the pleasure of knowing him.”

“He did so much for Alaska Natives and for Sealaska’s 20,000 tribal member shareholders, and had a personal touch that showed he personally cared for us and for our future. For that I will always be grateful. He will really be missed.”

Please join Sealaska Board and management in offering the Stevens’ family condolences for this great loss.



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