SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska



Open letter to Klukwan Inc. Shareholders
By Rob Sanderson Jr.


April 06, 2006

The overwhelming majority of Natives in Shareholders in Southeast Alaska oppose herbicide/pesticide spraying on Long Island, 12 miles southeast of Hydaburg. A majority of Haidas and Tlingits and others in surrounding communities have used Long Island for countless generations.

You, the shareholders of Klukwan Inc., have the power to overturn this hideous plan and come up with an alternative plan that will not harm the food chain. For you to put financial gain ahead of the health of the people, both Tlingit & Haida that use this land for subsistence, is unimaginable.

These trees that you are trying to protect will not be harvestable for 60-80 years at best.
This plan of Klukwan, Inc will cause heartbreak for years to come between the two tribes and will set a precedent for the State of Alaska allowing the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to issue more permits.

There are elders in your community that object to the spraying of herbicides and pesticides. The way I have been taught is the elders are our true leaders and you, as a shareholder, need to seek and heed their advice. Our tribes have been warring for centuries and poisoning one another s land was never an option. There was too much respect for our land and our culture.

Klukwan IRA opposes this shocking plan. It is time to listen to your own community!
The amount of chemicals to be sprayed on 1,950 acres is 900 gallons of concentrates, mixed with water to make up to 20,000 gallons of pesticide solution. That is a lot of poison. How many applications will this take over the years? These will not only affect Klukwan Inc. s logging lands; it will also affect the entire island. These herbicides and pesticides will run downhill and will desecrate graves of both Haidas and Tlingits in the area. That is unthinkable in the Native culture.

To the individual commercial fisherman, we need to hear your opinion as this will affect the fish in the area. The industry will take a beating and prices will continue to plummet.
The farmed fish industry will only gain by Klukwan Inc. s actions.

To Klukwan Inc. Shareholders; is there an immediate financial gain to using herbicides/pesticides on our traditional lands? What do you, as a shareholder, stand to gain from this action?

If this plan occurs it will be one sad day, not only for the Native people but for all Alaskans.

To our two Native legislators, Al Kookesh and Bill Thomas, and all lawmakers, I challenge you to step up and sponsor a bill opposing pesticide/herbicide spraying for forest management in Alaska. It is your responsibility to have the best interests of the majority of people in mind who live in your districts.


Rob Sanderson Jr.
Ketchikan, AK - USA

About: Rob Sanderson is from the Haida Nation. Rob is a past Ketchikan Indian Community council member and is currently President of the Ketchikan Chapter of Central Council Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska. Rob grew up living a subsistence style in Southeast Alaska.

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