Sealaska Land Bills
By Roger DiPaolo
March 31, 2010
Sealaska refers to the bills HR2099 and SB881 as "Haa Aaní
Bill". Since "Haa Aaní" means "Our
Land", one could easily assume that the Sealaska is saying
in effect that the specific Tongass National Forest lands on
North POW and Kosciusko Islands that they want to privately own
somehow belongs to them. This is not at all true, completely
false in all respects. The disputed lands are part of the Tongass
National Forest that belongs equally to ALL Americans, not just
to Alaskan Natives.
For Sealaska to say that the disputed lands are "Our Lands"
smacks of racism. It implies that non-Native Alaskans have no
rights to the disputed lands. In the way it presents its arguments
Sealaska is painting this issue as Native vs. Non-Native - which
is an extremely dangerous thing to do as it promotes division
between Natives and Non-Natives. In 21st Century America we
should be opposed to anything that creates racial divisions,
not encouraging them.
I have also read many internet postings from the "pro-bills"
side that basically claim that all of Southeast Alaska historically
belongs to Natives (and by association, Sealaska Corp) and the
implication being that Non-Natives don't belong in Southeast
Alaska - so good riddance to the people of Edna Bay, Port Protection,
and Point Baker. Following Sealaska's logic one can make the
argument that the entire United States are Native lands and by
historical right should be returned to Native Americans. This
ignores all of the work our Great Nation has done since the 1960s
to erase racial boundaries and is tantamount to extreme hate
and racism. I would like to see Sealaska condemn such divisive
word and actions - and as long as they don't do so I continue
to hold them accountable for the dangerous division occurring
in Southeast over this issue.
Edna Bay, AK
About: "I am a sofware
engineer who resides in Edna Bay, Alaska"
Received March 31, 2009 - Published
March 31, 2010
Viewpoints - Opinion Letters:
Your Opinion Letter to the Editor
Note: Comments published
on Viewpoints are the opinions of the writer
and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Sitnews.
E-mail your letters
& opinions to email@example.com
Your full name, city and state are required for letter publication.
Stories In The News