SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Lands Sealaska wants NEVER belonged to Sealaska
By Roger DiPaolo


March 16, 2010

The following argument has become very prevalent of late: "Sealaska only wants the lands they are entitled to returned to them"

The lands Sealaska wants on Kosciusko Island and Northern Prince Of Wales Island have NEVER belonged to Sealaska.

Kosciusko Island, where the town of Edna Bay is located, has been proven to have been unoccupied (even by native Alaskans) for at least several thousand years until a logging camp was established at there in the 1940s, which has now grown into a full-fledged community.

So the argument that Sealaska supporters are using is deceptive and wrong. Are we all to go back to the places our ancestors lived several thousand years ago and claim the land is ours by right? Only chaos would result.

Those who support these land bills should be fair and be accurate. Only some small areas of the land in question was ever occupied by Alaksa natives, the majority of it has been unoccupied until the current communities were established there (Edna Bay, Point Baker, and Port Protection). If anyone can rightly claim "homeland status" to most of the contested lands, it is the current residents, not Sealaska Corporation.

Roger DiPaolo
Edna Bay, AK

About: "I am a resident of Edna Bay who has to be off-island currently for work."

Received March 16, 2009 - Published March 16, 2010


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