SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska



Cowards Of Our Own Destiny
By Don Hoff Jr.


July 31, 2006

The State of Alaska and the federal government like to blame the subsistence users for the exploitation and near extinction of our herring fisheries. Meanwhile, they allow the commercial fishing industry to over-harvest our fish. Picking seaweed is unlawful anywhere in Alaska except a few places in Southeast. How absurd is that?

Herring row fisheries are all but gone in the Ketchikan area, and don't blame the subsistence users. Blame it on bad management of all our natural resources by the State of Alaska and federal government; these people have regulated to near extinction our abalone, king crab, sea urchins, herring and sea cumbers, and have allowed the Ooligan runs to disappear in the Unuk River.

We, as Alaskan Native People, have to take part of the blame for allowing the Caucasians to take from us in the first place. Let's face the facts, the Native leadership we have today is doing nothing. We have become cowards of our own destiny. We have our own I.R.A. Council governments, Alaska Native Brotherhood and Sisterhood Camps and Tlingit and Haida Central Councils but what are they doing? Our leadership is doing nothing to protect our inherent right to subsist off the land and sea.

For inspiration, let's look at Metlakatla, Alaska. They control their own destiny. They have their own fisheries, and have told the State of Alaska and Federal Government what they are going to do and have done it. What is the lesson? We, as real owners of Alaska, have to be aggressive to get what belongs to us, and take control of our natural resources. We will pick seaweed in April. We will dig up clams for fundraisers. We will shoot a seal and a deer for a Potlatch.

It is time to fight for what is ours. Remember, it is the Caucasian people that are raping tribal members of all our natural resources and killing our tribes in the process. Just like taking the herring from the King Salmon. It is our food, and we as Native People are part of the food chain. What is the difference? Learn your language, history and get your tribe moving.

This is my own opinion.

Aan Kadax Tseen aka Don Hoff Jr.
Gaanax adi Clan
Yeil Hit
Taan ta Kwaan
Hixson, TN - USA

About: Aan Kadax Tseen aka Don Hoff Jr., Past City Councilman and Vice Mayor - City of Ketchikan; Past Board of Director - Ketchikan Public Utilities; Past O.S.H.A. Review Boardmember - State of Alaska; Past I.R.A. Councilman - Ketchikan Indian Community. Tongass Tribe member of the Gaanax adi Clan, Yei l Hit (Raven House).



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