All Indian Pueblo Council Supports Sealaska’s Final Land Entitlement
Tribal organization joins dozens nationwide who have shown support for the Southeast Alaska Native Land Entitlement and Jobs Protection Act
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The All Indian Pueblo Council (AIPC) passed a resolution of support calling on Congress to finalize the land settlement for Southeast Alaska Natives. AIPC is comprised of twenty Pueblos of New Mexico and has served as the political voice of the Pueblos. The legislation before Congress is known as the Southeast Alaska Native Land Entitlement and Jobs Protection Act. The legislation would return ancestral lands to Native ownership for more than 21,000 Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian tribal member shareholders.
“We are in support of Sealaska for the return of their lands,” said AIPC Chair Chandler Sanchez. “AIPC has supported the efforts of other tribes in the protection of land and sacred sites. We will continue to be united in these efforts as we share the same concerns and have communal interests as it relates to the protection of land and sacred sites."
AIPC is a renowned organization that demonstrates a continuum of effort for a united front among the 20 Pueblo tribes in New Mexico. This has benefited other tribes and nations throughout Indian Country, especially when it comes to advocating for the protection of sacred sites, land, environment, health, education and other issues that impact Native tribes.
“We greatly appreciate the support of AIPC on the finalization of our land entitlement,” said Chris E. McNeil Jr., Sealaska president and CEO. “As the oldest organization in the United States to provide advocacy and support on issues that impact all Native peoples, they understand that nothing has been more harmful to our communities than the unjust appropriation of our lands.”
Once finalized, the legislation would restore approximately 70,000 acres to Sealaska under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) of 1971. The legislation will promote economic opportunity and support thriving Native cultures.
AIPC joins 42 Native groups who support the legislation, including the Pueblo of Pojoaque and Pueblo of Sandia. In a different context, some AIPC members were introduced to Sealaska and its nonprofit arm, Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI), at the 2011 Santa Fe Indian Market. Sealaska and SHI gave New Mexico a glimpse of Southeast Alaska Native cultures and lifestyles.
“Last summer, we participated in the annual Santa Fe Indian Market,” said McNeil. “Now, we are honored by the support given by AIPC to finalize our land entitlement. We have fought for more than 10 years for the settlement. Our biggest progress over the past year is a direct result of the large amount of support from across the nation.”
More than 60 tribal nations, inter-tribal organizations and Alaska Native village corporations have passed resolutions or sent letters of support to Congress. Tribes in Alaska, New Mexico, Washington, Oregon, California and Minnesota are all calling for the return to Native ownership of Southeast Alaska Native lands.
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About All Indian Pueblo Council
The All Indian Pueblo Council (AIPC) is comprised of the twenty Pueblos of New Mexico. AIPC was established in 1598 and has served as the political voice of the Pueblos of New Mexico. Read more about AIPC history at the New Mexico Office of the State Historian here.
Sealaska has strengthened business with culture since 1972. We are a Native institution owned by more than 21,000 tribal member shareholders and guided by our traditions of environmental stewardship and positively impacting our communities.
Posted: April 25, 2012