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ANCSA History -Mo & Stewart Udall

September 23rd, 2009 Posted By: Morgan Howard No Comments


Mo_UdallAs readers of this blog may know, the Udall brothers were instrumental in the passage of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA).  Terrence Bracy was a legislative assistant to Congressman Udall from 1966-1976.  Mr. Bracy tells about the experience in a speech given to Udall Scholars, August 8, 2009. CONTINUE »

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Senator Kookesh will fight fishing citation

August 28th, 2009 Posted By: Morgan Howard No Comments


albertkookeshAccording to newsminer.com – Alaska state senator Albert Kookesh will challenge a fishing citation he received and seek a court opinion on whether a state wildlife officer has jurisdiction over subsistence fishermen on federal land.  Mr.  Kookesh is also the board chair of Sealaska, the Alaska native corporation for Southeast Alaska.

“I want NARF (Native American Rights Fund) involved with this. I want to make sure the Native community is involved with this. I want to make sure AFN is involved,” he said.

He has contacted Larry EchoHawk, head of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and plans to speak to Kim Elton, the director of Alaska affairs for the Interior Department.

“We’ll see who wants to get on the bandwagon,” he said.

At an Aug. 12 hearing in Angoon, Kookesh and the three others pleaded not guilty to one count of exceeding the subsistence salmon limit. A trial is set for Oct. 5.  For the full story on newsminer.com, click here.

Juneau Empire updates the story here as of October 11, 2009.

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It’s official! Parnell replaces Palin as Alaska Governor

July 27th, 2009 Posted By: Morgan Howard 1 Comment


sarahOn Sunday, July 26, 2009 Sean Parnell was sworn in as Alaska’s 10th governor  before a Fairbanks crowd estimated at more than 5,000. Parnell will complete the term of Governor Sarah Palin, who stepped down on Sunday.

Lieutenant General Craig Campbell was sworn in as temporary substitute lieutenant governor. Campbell is expected to be confirmed by the legislature during a special session August 10.

Alaska Native Leader, Willie Hensley worte an Opinion for the New York Times about the resignation of Sarah Palin entitled, “In Alaska, Quiviters Never Win“.  He states:

“In short, Alaska had a governor who had the stature within the state, nationally and internationally, to deal with our problems. She could have used her position to find solutions to the high costs and financial insecurities of our far-northern state. Instead, she abandoned her role as the state’s leader in midstream, making her the only governor in our state’s history to “qivit” in the true sense of the word, at a time when we need strong leadership.”

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Joe Nelson appointed to Alaska State Senate (KTOO Radio Story)

April 10th, 2009 Posted By: Morgan Howard No Comments


Joe Nelson KTOO journalist Rosemarie Alexander logs this story about Alaska Native Leader and Sealaska Board member Joe Nelson.  Please click on the “Joe Nelson Story” link below to play the story.  This audio was taken directly from the KTOO website.

Joe Nelson Story

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Murkowski introduces bill; Bering Straits Native Corporation and Alaska land claims

March 5th, 2009 Posted By: Morgan Howard No Comments


Lisa MurkowskiAlaska Senator Lisa Murkowski introduced a bill to resolve the claims of the Bering Straits Native Corporation and the State of Alaska to land adjacent to Salmon Lake and to provide for the conveyance to the Bering Straits Native Corporation of certain other public land in partial satisfaction of the land entitlement of the Corporation under the ANCSA.

Senator Murkowski spoke on the floor on S. 522:

Mr. President, I rise to speak to a bill that I am introducing today to resolve a land conveyance dispute in Northwest Alaska, the Salmon Lake Land Selection Resolution Act.

Shortly after Alaska became a State in 1959, Alaska selected lands near Salmon Lake, a major fishery resource in the Bering Straits Region of Northwest Alaska. In 1971, Congress passed the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act to resolve aboriginal land claims throughout the 49th State. In that act Congress created 12 regional Native corporations in state, providing the corporations with $966 million and the right to select 44 million acres of land in return for giving up claims to their traditional lands in Alaska. The land and money was to go to make the corporations profitable to provide benefits to their shareholders, the native inhabitants of Alaska. The Bering Straits Native Corporation, one of those 12 regional corporations, promptly selected lands in the Salmon Lake region

For the past 38 years there have been conflicts over the conveyances, delaying land from going to the corporation, harming the economic and cultural benefits of the corporation to Native shareholders, and complicating land and wildlife management issues between federal agencies and the State of Alaska. Starting in 1994, but accelerating in 1997, talks began among the State, Federal agencies and native corporations and towns in the region, located north of Nome–Salmon Lake itself is located 38 miles north of Nome–to reach a consensus on land uses in the region. Those talks reached agreement on June 1, 2007 with a resolution that satisfied all parties. This seemingly non-controversial legislation will implement the new land management regime

By this bill the Corporation will gain conveyance to 1,009 acres in the Salmon Lake area, 6,132 acres at Windy Cove, northwest of Salmon Lake, and 7,504 acres at Imuruk Basin, on the north shore of Imuruk Basin, a water body north of Windy Cove. In return the Corporation relinquishes rights to another 3,084 acres at Salmon Lake to the federal government, the government then giving part of the land to the State of Alaska for it to maintain a key airstrip in the area. The Federal Bureau of Land Management also retains ownership and administration of a 9-acre campground at the outlet of Salmon Lake, which provides road accessible public camping opportunities from the Nome-Teller Highway. The agreement also retains public access to BLM managed lands in the Kigluaik Mountain Range.

The bill fully protects recreation and subsistence uses in the area, while providing the Corporation with access to recreational-tourism sites of importance to its shareholders and which might some day produce revenues for the Corporation. The agreement has prompted no known environmental group concerns and seems to be the classic “win-win-win” solution that all sides should be congratulated for crafting. The key, however, is for Congress to ratify the land conveyance changes by 2011, when the agreement ratification window closes.

Passage of this act is certainly in keeping with the spirit of the Alaska Lands Conveyance Acceleration Act that this body passed 5 years ago that was intended to help settle all outstanding land conveyance issues by 2009–the 50th anniversary of Alaska statehood. In Alaska where controversy abounds over land use, this is a hard-fought compromise agreement that seemingly satisfies all parties and makes good sense for all concerned. I hope this body can ratify this bill swiftly and move it to the House of Representatives for its concurrence and eventual signing by the President. The bill is important for residents of Nome who utilize the area and for all Alaska Natives who live in the Bering Straits Region.

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Ted Stevens by Donald Craig Mitchell

January 19th, 2009 Posted By: Morgan Howard No Comments


Ted StevensThe online newspaper “Alaska Dispatch” has a most interesting article about Ted Stevens written by Donald Craig Mitchell.  Anyone reading this blog probably already knows that Mitchell wrote the two most informative books about Alaska Natives and their land.

Sold American: The Story of Alaska Natives and Their Land 1867-1959

Take My Land, Take My Life: The Story of Congress’s Historic Settlement of Alaska Native Land Claims, 1960-1971 I would like to see a third installment in this series.

Mitchell talked about the enormous power Ted Stevens had as a senior US senator.  His first example was the “NOL Legislation”.  I couldn’t agree more.  As a student of ANC history, I am amazed at the windfall ANCs received as a result of the NOLs.

Many shareholders forced their boards to disperse of this new found money as dividends.  My corporations were no exception.

Click here for the full article.

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Susanna Fleek-Green to work for Senator Begich

December 11th, 2008 Posted By: Morgan Howard No Comments


Susanna Fleek-GreenSusanne Fleek-Green will be Begich’s Alaska state director, based in Anchorage.  She’s an Alaska Native from Anchorage who returned home several years ago after working on her career out of state.

She worked for Begich in the city office of economic and community development before joining the campaign. Fleek-Green is a former climate change program officer for the Alaska Conservation Foundation and previously worked for Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy, the American Farmland Trust and the U.S. Department of Interior.

Fleek-Green has a Bachelor’s degree in political economies from University of California, Berkeley and master’s degree in public policy from University of California, Berkeley.

She is a volunteer for the Alaska Youth for Environmental Action and board member at the Alaska Conservation Alliance.

 

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Congressman Don Young interviewed in Ketchikan

February 20th, 2008 Posted By: Morgan Howard No Comments


Congressman Don YoungI have highlighted some text of an article written by Mary Kauffman and found on sitnews.us. While Alaska’s US congressman Don Young was in Ketchikan, Alaska over President’s Day weekend, he sat down to speak to the local media.

Congressman Young spoke about the importance and urgency for the federal government to finally settle Sealaska’s final land conveyances.

Young said, “One of the things that I believe is that both the Native Land Claims Act and the Statehood Act have not been fully implemented as far as ownership of land.” He said after almost 50 years of statehood, Alaska is still short 50 million acres of land that the state does not have title to.

 

There is a huge amount of land that Sealaska, the landless groups and the Native Land Claims Settlement haven’t gained title to also and that’s been going on since 1971, said Young.

 

H.R. 3560, The Southeast Alaska Native Land Entitlement Finalization Act, is bipartisan legislation introduced by Young in November 2007 that will allow the Sealaska Native Corporation to receive its remaining land conveyance under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) of 1971 – after more than 35 years since the Act was signed into law.

 

If passed, “This legislation will redress the inequitable treatment of the Native Regional Corporation for Southeast Alaska – Sealaska Corporation – by allowing it to select its remaining land entitlement under Section 14 of ANCSA from designated federal land in Southeast Alaska,” Young said in November.

 

When announcing the bill, Young said, “It’s unfortunate that after more than 35 years since the passage of ANSCA, Sealaska has still not received conveyance of its full land entitlement. As a result of its small land entitlement, it is critical that Sealaska complete its remaining land entitlement under ANCSA in order to continue to meet the economic, social and cultural needs of its Native shareholders, and of the Native community throughout Alaska.”

 

“Primarily there is a dispute between the agencies,” said Young, “and I don’t think agencies should go contrary to what the Congress passed in the law.” On Monday he said, “We ought to take and get these things done as fast as possible.”

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Senator Ted Stevens speaks to Southeast Alaska Natives

February 20th, 2008 Posted By: Morgan Howard No Comments


U.S. Senator Ted Stevens spoke Monday, February 18, 2007 at the Native Issues forum at the Alaska Native Brotherhood (ANB) hall in Juneau, Alaska. Senator Stevens is currently the longest serving Republican in the US Senate. It is hard to overstate his impact on Alaska Natives for the past 35 years.

Through his speech and the Q & A section, the Senator addressed many issues on the minds of SE Natives. He spoke most passionately about issues I happen to also feel very strongly about. These include the current situation of our villages and the feeling of young people “not having hope”. This is a serious problem.

Senator Stevens said “the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act would not be passed today.” He said “times have changed”. I could not agree more. The perception of Native Americans in general has changed dramatically since the early ’70s.

Video provided by True North Video Productions, LLC.

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