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Rep. Young Introduces Modified Sealaska Lands Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Indian and Alaska Native Affairs Subcommittee Chairman Don Young and Ranking Member Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D-HI) today introduced the Southeast Alaska Land Entitlement Finalization and Job Protection Act, legislation that will allow Sealaska, the Native Regional Corporation for Southeast Alaska, to receive its remaining land conveyance under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) of 1971.   

“The bill introduced today has been revised and redrafted, once again, to address the concerns of the Administration and regional stakeholders alike,” Rep. Young said.  “This legislation will ensure that Sealaska Corp. can continue to meet the cultural, social and economic needs of its shareholders.  From a jobs aspect, allowing Sealaska to select its remaining entitlement lands from outside the existing, very limited land pool would help all of the residents of rural and Alaska Native communities in the region.”

“Four decades after the passage of ANCSA, it is well past time for Sealaska to receive their full land entitlement, which will enable the Federal Government to complete its statutory obligation under ANCSA to the Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian people of Southeast Alaska.”

Supporters of the Sealaska land entitlement legislation include Senators Lisa Murkowski and Mark Begich, the State of Alaska, the Alaska Federation of Natives, the National Congress of American Indians, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the Alaska Forest Association, the Intertribal Timber Council, the ANCSA Regional Presidents & CEOs, the Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska as well as numerous other communities, community organizations, and tribes throughout Southeast Alaska and across the United States.

In June 2012, the U.S. House passed a previous version of this bill, but it was not advanced in the Senate.

Old to new | New to old
Feb 15, 2013 09:00 am
 Posted by  Sealaska Shareholders Underground

What Sealaska calls, "continuation of economic development", is at the terrible cost of native communities, their socioeconomic vitality and their cultural identities and traditions according to decades of peer reviewed research by ethnologists, sociologists, and anthropologists studying the role of ANCSA's corporate model in southeast Alaska.

History speaks for itself, as we see social scientists documenting cause/ effect relationships of ANCSA's legacy of its terrible impacts on native villages. These villages have the highest rates of domestic abuse, suicides, rape, unemployment, and are direct consequences of native corporate practices failing to achieve sustainable economies and functional village dynamics. Sealaska bill simply allows this to occur on areas never agreed upon and it is no surprise there is much conflict over this outrageous bill.

ANCSA has re-created native village life into those who have plenty and those who have very little and force marginal families with limited access to subsistence resources out of villages. This was never the way it was for thousands of years in Raven House.

ANCSA was supposed to create economic prosperity for all, but instead, it created economic prosperity for a relative few.

This is precisely why thousands of Tlingits, Haidas, and Tsimshian shareholders are against this bill: it represents a continuation of the same tragic failures of the past.

Dr. Kirk Dombowski sums this up in his dissertation, "Against Culture: Development, Politics, and Religion in Indian Alaska"-
"Alaska natives having borne the brunt of hundreds of years of colonial extraction, have been placed at the margins of the Western world and have borne a particularly heavy portion of the burden of reproducing Western culture."

The bill is morally indefensible, people don't understand or are personally profiting from it.

Feb 19, 2013 04:19 pm
 Posted by  Sealaska Shareholders Underground

Trout Unlimited, the nation’s oldest and largest coldwater fisheries conservation organization, announced that contrary to a misleading media release issued by Sealaska Corporation, it does not support newly introduced legislation that would carve some 70,000 acres from the Tongass National Forest and transfer it to the Juneau-based corporation. Trout Unlimited also never requested inclusion of 94,000 acres of conservation lands in the bill, as stated by Sealaska.

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