Tongass Tribe Land - Ketchikan
By Aan Kadax Tseen aka Don Hoff Jr.
July 06, 2010
We are the lineal descendants of the Taan ta Kwaan means Sealion
People or known as Tongass Tribe (hereinafter the "Tongass
Tribe" or "Tribe"), a traditional and historical
Alaskan Native Tribe in Ketchikan indisputably recognized by
all Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian tribes in Southeast Alaska.
Ketchikan is the aboriginal territory of the Gaanax adi Clan
that is Tongass Tribe. We still claim all the low tide lands
starting from Tatsuda s to the Tunnel. Tongass Tribe also owned
unoccupied village sites on Tongass Island, Long Island, Klawock,Village
Island, Cat Island, Duke Island, Annette Island, Cape Chacon,
Pennock Island, Gravina Island, Prince of Wales Island, and Kasaan.
At no time has Congress ever acted to extinguish any aboriginal
title of the Tongass Tribe since the United States assumed sovereignty
over Alaska. At no time has the Tongass Tribe voluntarily ceded,
relinquished, given up, conveyed or abandoned its title to any
of its lands and sea. This also goes for the State of Alaska,
City of Ketchikan and Borough, Ketchikan I.R.A. Council and Sealaska
Corporation. Tongass Tribe is not a disbanded Tribe, some have
claimed. If you folks have not noticed, we are still here.
Gaanax adi Clan the oldest Clan in the Tlingit Nation. I am
from the Raven House and Drift to Shore House was on Village
Island. Raven House was on Tongass Island. Follow your Mother's
Clan. You can honor your Dad's Clan. Regardless, if your Tsimshian
or Haida or white blood.
Tongass Tribe claims two origins; our people come down the Nass
River and Unukriver over 10,000 years ago. Remember we didn't
have borders back then. We have Tongass Tribe members today
on the Nass River and Port Harding, BC (I pretty sure). This
came from your Aunty Emma Williams and Uncle Frank and Ester
The question is why give up Millions of acres of Ancestral lands
that we still own...and give it up for a mere 23,040 acres of
Federal lands for Village Corporation status in Ketchikan and
if Sealaska Corp allows us to have one? One big reason why
Ketchikan is trying to allow non tribal members uses our History
to get Land Claims in Ketchikan. That's fine but only if Tongass
Tribe Members Only! There are some Tongass Tribe members in
Ketchikan that want allow non-tribal members in Ketchikan to
our Land Claims. I say, No! No, no. 80% to 90% of Tongass Tribe
lives outside Ketchikan. You can't exclude Tongass Tribe members
that live outside Ketchikan from a vote or say. It s neither
Tlingit way nor Protocol.
Remember, K.I.C., Sealaska Corp, A.N.B. or A.N.S. don't represent
the Gaanax adi Clan or Tongass Tribe. They are not Tribes as
they think they are, this organization can assist you but they
don't ever speak for us, ever.
Fight for your Lands and Fight for your Subsistence Rights, without
one of these components a Tribe dies...
Ketchikan is not Haida land nor is it Tsimshian land; you people
have your own ancestral tribal lands in other Southeast villages.
Ketchikan is Gaanax adi Land, Tongass Tribe Land. Any Land
Claims for Ketchikan should receive in the future has to go to
the rightful owners, the Gaanax adi Clan and Tongass Tribe, its
our aboriginal and Inherit Right, its our History and Culture
that was taken from the Tongass Tribe.
Some will say, we been here in Ketchikan for a 100 years! Tongass
Tribe was and has been in Ketchikan and surrounding lands for
10,000 years, it's a big difference. What should happen is all
the Village Corporations in Southeast Alaska should open their
enrollment for their tribal members and there won't be any Urban
Indians or Shareholders-at-large.
I would hate to give up millions of acres of all our Rights to
Ancestral Lands for a mere 23,040 acres from the Federal Government.
If the Tribe wants to go in that direction, it should be Tongass
Tribe Village Corporation only. This is my Gaanax adi Elder
Aan Kadax Tseen aka Don Hoff Jr.
Gaanax adi Clan
Drifted to Shore House/Raven House
Taan ta Kwaan
About: Past; Ketchikan City
Board of Director-K.P.U.
O.S.H.A. Reviewboard member/Chairman
Tongass Tribe member-Gaanax adi Elder-incorporator.
Received July 03, 2010 - Published
July 06, 2010
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