Sitnews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska - Opinions



Pennock Island is a protected Tribal Graveyard
by Don Hoff Jr.


October 24, 2004

Mr. Mike McColley made an interesting observation. Mike thought we would need a permit from the Federal Government to be buried on Pennock Island. Pennock Island is already protected by the Federal Bureau of Land Management for Tongass Tribe and Cape Fox Tribe to bury Tribal members on Pennock Island today, tomorrow, yesterday and anytime in the future. We do not have to ask nor tell anyone when we are going to bury someone on Pennock Island. Why do think I been arguing so hard on the proposed bridge to Pennock Island?

It just amazes me how people are looking at this proposed bridge project to Gravina Island via Pennock Island in Ketchikan, Alaska. How one race of people can push aside another minority race of people's thoughts, feelings, customs, human rights, inherent rights, civil rights and God given rights. Treat us like we are a vanished people.

It was discrimination at its best in the past and exists today. I can give you plenty of examples of discrimination today; the denial of Subsistence Rights; fishing, hunting, timber, digging clams, gathering of herbs/roots and minerals. To Native People, the State of Alaska does not recognize Tribes nor Indian country and employment opportunities. Yes, it makes me vocal on plenty of issues that affects my family and Tribe.

The imposition of State of Alaska and Federal regulatory subsistence laws on a people where heretofore have never been denied or denied anyone their inherent rights to provide for their families. In a few basic words, that is called human rights. Human rights do not exist if someone is a racist... Whom are the racist?

I never said you can't build a bridge from Ketchikan to Gravina Island, just not through Pennock Island. Pennock Island is an active sacred grave site of Tlingits, Haidas, Tsimshians and where poor white people are buried.

In closing, it is really a "Pork Barrel" spending project that came at the wrong time and the wrong place? We don't want to spend $240 million dollars of my or your hard earned Federal tax dollars on a bridge to "No where" when we have a war in Iraq to pay for, roads to maintain, education or send a man to Mars. This is my own opinion.

Don Hoff Jr.
Aan Kadax Tseen
Gaanax adi Clan
Yei l hit
Taan ta Kwaan
Hixson, TN - USA



Note: Comments published on Viewpoints are the opinions of the writer
and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Sitnews.



Write a Letter -------Read Letters

E-mail the Editor

Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska