Archive for the ‘Alaska Politics’ Category

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

Friday, April 10th, 2009

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

Heather Kendall-Miller being considered by Obama Administration

Saturday, February 21st, 2009

Heather Kendall-MillerAs reported earlier in this blog, Heather Kendall-Miller was on the short list for a new, high level position in the Obama Administration.  Now, Indian Country writes that she has been offered the job and is currently being vetted.  Kenall-Miller is Athabascan and a Bristol Bay Native Corporation (BBNC) shareholder.

Heather Kendall-Miller’s life story is very interesting.  She dropped out of high school, married and started a family, lived in a remote cabin, went to Harvard and was friends with Barack Obama and argued in front of the US Supreme Court.  Some of that story is captured here.  This was taken from a Harvard Law Bulletin.

Heather Kendall-Miller ’91 took a winding road to Harvard Law School—and there were grizzlies and caribou along the way.

Kendall-Miller’s mother, a full-blooded Athabascan, met her father when he returned to Alaska after being stationed in the Aleutian Islands during World War II. But she died when her daughter was 2, cutting her off from her native roots.

Raised in Fairbanks, Kendall-Miller dropped out of high school and went to work on the Alaska Pipeline, homesteading in a remote valley in the mountains north of the Yukon River. At 17, she married, and she and her husband built a cabin on the land, heated it with water they piped in from a hot spring a quarter mile away.

“I look back fondly on those years,” Kendall-Miller recalls. “We were dropped off in the middle of nowhere and built our cabin in a beautiful valley in the Ray Mountains. It was a wonderful, magical place surrounded by grizzlies and caribou and moose. We had to fly in by float plane, air-drop our supplies over the cabin, and then land on a lake seven miles away and hike back to the cabin.”

Kendall-Miller became pregnant when she was 21 and lived in the cabin for another two years until her marriage collapsed. A single mother working construction on the Alaska Pipeline, she realized that her daughter needed a more stable life.

So at age 25, she enrolled at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks, where she developed an interest in Native American rights. She graduated magna cum laude and, based on the recommendation of a professor, applied to Harvard Law School.

“I knew all along that I wanted to come back to practice in Alaska,” she says. “It was exciting to be around all these incredibly smart people who were so purposeful. I knew Harvard would give me the credentials I needed to focus my career the way I wanted to and help Native Alaskans when I got back.”

Don Young pulls “Prohibition on No-Bid Contracts” language from Stimulus Bill

Tuesday, February 17th, 2009

Don YoungAccording to the Congressman’s news release “The Senate version of H.R. 1 (the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.) included a provision that appeared to prohibit the use of programs administered by the SBA that are designed for procurement through minority-owned business enterprises, women-owned businesses, Veteran and Service Disabled Veteran programs, HUBZone and Small Business Administration 8(a) programs.  Rep. Young worked with Members on the other side of the aisle to make the case for these programs, and was able to get the provision pulled from the bill.

“I was approached by members of the Alaskan Federation of Native with concerns about this provision,” said Rep. Young.  “I told them that no matter if I supported this bill or not, I would make sure they were not hurt by it.  These programs are a success and are working just as Congress intended.

“These programs” include the successful ANC SBA 8(a) program.  Here is the actual provision removed.

PROHIBITION ON NO-BID CONTRACTS AND EARMARKS

Sec. 1608. (a) Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, none of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available by this Act may be used to make any payment in connection with a contract unless the contract is awarded using competitive procedures in accordance with the requirements of section 303 of the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949 (41 U.S.C. 253), section 2304 of title 10, United States Code, and the Federal Acquisition Regulation.

(b) Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, none of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available by this Act may be awarded by grant or cooperative agreement unless the process used to award such grant or cooperative agreement uses competitive procedures to select the grantee or award recipient.

Ted Stevens by Donald Craig Mitchell

Monday, January 19th, 2009

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.

Susanna Fleek-Green to work for Senator Begich

Thursday, December 11th, 2008

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.