By Randy Williams
September 25, 2006
Now see, many of you think this is another Don Hoff Bash response but it is not, because, I believe in what Don is trying to do, we just disagree on how you say it. In 1971, Ketchikan Tribal members were forced to put their names on a document which essentially mis-represented our rights as Tribal peoples to determine our destiny. We were not given enough information or were provided mis-information and we today have paid the price. I don't believe anyone tried to deceive us, they said you have to choose a community or belong to Sealaska.
Since I was born in Ketchikan, I didn't have another community to choose and so I was forced to accept Sealaska or nothing. Why weren't Ketchikan Tribal members given a choice to choose their community and how could the Native leadership agree to exclude us? We the landless people were sold out for reasons I don't quite understand, except, "we got ours and well we tried to get you yours," so you see we could only belong to Sealaska.
Why hasn't the Native leadership in Ketchikan taken this on as a life long project like our parents and grandparents did by having our rights recognized? Don may say it in a different way but he is right on the money, when it comes to this issue, except that not all Ketchikan residents belong to your Tribe Don, don't forget us from a Klawock family who were born in Ketchikan, we suffer the same landless issue as you but I'm sure you are representing all our interests.
I for one don't believe in racism and as such do not blame the white people for our ills, we create our own space in this world and I don't wish to blame anyone for what has happened except our mis-placed or non-existent leadership. I will not point fingers because if I did one of those fingers would most certainly have to be pointed at myself.
But Don in his own way reminds
us that we are all at fault and we can work together to fix it.
I have made several overtures to support and work with any individual
or Tribal group that wishes to make a sensible attempt at correcting
this injustice but I believe that our leadership is so busy fighting
amongst themselves and hiring and firing their General Managers
that they don't have time for these important Tribal issues.
When I offered my assistance, it was rewarded by a couple of
nasty emails from previous leaders and or silence from others.
Why are they afraid of help, they can have all the glory and
press they want, all I want is to help the Tribal members of
Ketchikan receive what is theirs by right, their ability to determine
their own destiny.
and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Sitnews.