Perpetuate Tribes Not Corporations
By Don Hoff Jr.
April 22, 2007
Alaska Natives need to necessitate having traditional tribes
rather than Alaska Native Corporations. Corporations rise and
fall or move to a foreign country. It is my opinion that if
we had functioning traditional tribes in our respective villages
during the early days of the Alaska Native Land Claims Act of
1971, we may not be in the position we are in today. Sealaska
Corporation is proposing a new enrollment for descendants born
after 1971 - I am voting no. If this resolution for new enrollment
passes, this will only dilute the future dividends.
What Ketchikan looked
like in 1902 era. Chief Johnson Totem Pole (Kadjuk Hit).
Text & photo provided by Don Hoff Jr.
Alaska Natives fight for the inherit rights to subsistence, however,
why don't we try to learn our native language or fight for our
lands that rightfully belong to Alaska Native People? Logic
says, "We need to reorganize our traditional tribes".
Native Clan leaders need to call their families and tribal members
together to function as a tribe. Tongass Tribe or Taan ta Kwaan
(Sea Lion People) meet on a regular basis or when an important
issue rises in Ketchikan. Tongass Tribe was reorganized around
1986. People talk like we don't exist any more. I believe it
is time to change the way people think about Alaska Natives and
our issues. The power is within traditional tribes not Native
It is my opinion that the Sealaska Corporation Board of Directors
has been pleasuring the landless committees of Ketchikan, Tenakee
Springs, Petersburg and Wrangell for the last 20 plus years.
Sealaska Corporation should be thinking how they can transfer
ANCSA lands that is owed by the Federal Government to the landless
communities. We do not need Village Corporation status for this
to happen. We need land passed to traditional tribes and we
can decide our own destiny. If land was passed to traditional
tribes, we would have land for future generations of descendants
of the tribe.
Instead of having meetings of Clans and Celebrations, we should
have a meeting of the Traditional Tribes and have a traditional
potlatch. I am not saying we have to give up our jobs, cars,
McDonald's or shopping at Wal-Mart. Our Native People adapt
to changes. If we had sewing machines back in 1867, we would
have used them to make button blankets.
In closing, I am still voting no on new enrollment for Sealaska
Corporation. I urge you to organize your tribe in your village
- fight for your land that rightfully belongs to you and your
tribe - don't let others think for you.
My name is Aan Kadax Tseen, Gaanax adi Clan, Yei l Hit, Taan
Gunalcheesh, ho ho
Don Hoff Jr.
Received April 22, 2007 - Published April 22, 2007
About: Past City Council-City
of Ketchikan; Past Board of Director of K.P.U. ; Past O.S.H.A.
Reviewboard member-State of Alaska; Past I.R.A. Councilman-Ketchikan
Indian Corp.; Tongass Tribe member
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