Archive for February, 2008

Congressman Don Young interviewed in Ketchikan

Wednesday, February 20th, 2008

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.”

Senator Ted Stevens speaks to Southeast Alaska Natives

Wednesday, February 20th, 2008

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.

Goldbelt debates plans for future of corporation

Monday, February 11th, 2008

Goldbelt LogoThe Juneau Empire writes a rare in depth story on an important corporation in Juneau. The Juneau Empire usually does not allocate the time and resources needed to write a story like this one. Often they are reactive in their coverage, focusing on the conflict that brought a certain issue to light. I understand the definition of what is news nearly always includes conflict; however I feel the responsibility of an influential newspaper of record is to understand their role in positively shaping a community.

For the full story, click here.

Kootznoowoo pays dividends

Friday, February 8th, 2008

Anchorage Daily News

(02/02/08 03:25:12)
Shareholders in Kootznoowoo, Angoon’s village corporation, have received a dividend of $3.27 per share. Most have 100 shares, meaning the payout was $327, company officials said.

Carlton Smith, Kootznoowoo Permanent Fund Settlement Trust chairman, said two more distributions will be made this year, for a total payout of nearly $1,000 per shareholder.

Smith says that the ending balance for 2007 was nearly $14 million, an increase of nearly $1 million over the previous year. The trust was created in 1991 and funded in 1994 with $9.5 million.