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Issue of Subsistence
by Donna Mickel


October 21, 2004

OK, I just have to put my two cents in on the issue of "subsistence" - and the responses to Stan Hewitt's letter. This topic just drives me crazy. Do these people not realize that EVERYONE is "indigenous" to SOMEWHERE, and centuries ago we ALL survived by SUBSISTENCE? How else would the human race have survived? Please, don't think you invented the whole "subsistence" thing. Because my family came from Germany 3 generations ago, should I be able to go over there and take whatever natural resources I want? I would never presume that nor ask for it. In fact, if you get right down to it, the Alaska Native people were "subsisting" at just exactly the same time MY people were.. Hmm.. And the difference is?... Fact is, they didn't have any other choice, but it makes a good argument, doesn't it?

In my opinion, people are people, no matter whether you're white, brown, purple or green. I was raised to judge people by how they behave, not by what race they are. If you ask me, anyone who lives here should be eligible for "subsistence" harvesting of the resources. Whether you've been here 30 years or 300, whether you're native, white, Filipino, Hispanic, etc. If one person is entitled, we should all be entitled.

I was born and raised in Ketchikan, and I will raise my children here. I am tired of being made to feel like I've done something wrong just for being Caucasian. I have always worked, paid my taxes, and been a productive member of society. My husband and I own property because we work hard for it, period. Nothing has ever been given to us, nor would we accept it if it was. It is our responsibility to provide for our children, and nobody else's. Why should it be?

I for one respect Mr. Hewitt's candor. He has a right to express his opinion, and I should think he's been here long enough and seen enough to form an opinion based on his experiences. Whether you agree with him or not, he has just as much right as Mr. Hoff to express it. They may be on opposite ends of the spectrum, but common sense tells us that the truth probably lies somewhere in between.

This is MY own opinion,

Donna Mickel
Ketchikan, AK - USA



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