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Viewpoints: Letters / Opinions

Sealaska bill
By Dominic Salvato


February 18, 2013
Monday PM

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.

Dominic Salvato
Anchorage, AK

About: "I have a page on facebook called Sealaska Shareholders Underground. We have over 780 members, and we oppose the Sealaska bill."

Received February 17, 2013 - Published February 18, 2013


Sealaska Lands Bill Revised – U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) unveiled a new version of legislation Thursday to allow Southeast Alaska’s Sealaska Native Regional Corp. to complete the aboriginal land claims selections promised its shareholders 42 years ago under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA). - More...
Friday - February 15, 2013

Trout Unlimited Distances Itself From New Sealaska Lands Bill; Trout Unlimited Sets the Record Straight - A conservation group this weekend said it does not support a plan by Alaska's delegation to allow an Alaska Native-owned corporation to acquire roughly 70,000 acres of the Tongass National Forest for logging, energy and tourism development. - More...
Monday PM - February 18, 2013



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