SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska



Klukwan your Cultural Identity is at Stake
By Albert K. White


October 08, 2006

Klukwan Inc. it' s not too late to withdraw your permit for aerial spraying on Long Island. Overwhelming opposition has spoken to your attempted efforts to step into a practice of aerial spraying in Alaska. Stockholders, Directors, Your Community, and the people who will be directly affected have said STOP this attempt to spray Long Island.

The Board of Directors guide the development of a company and the CEO carries out the will of the Directors to develop a profitable business for the benefit of the stockholders, but it shouldn't be at the cost of disregarding and disrespecting your elders, community, and culture. The CEO may be advocating a very strong business proposal but it' s at the cost of Klukwan Inc.'s culture, not just the stockholders who you represent but the community in which you were established; a community that strongly opposes your attempted efforts at aerial spraying.

It' s time to stop the attempt to line the pockets in the near future, with no regard for future generations. All I am asking is that you as a Board look at history and use common sense. Cancers as well as threats of extinctions, to our national emblem (The American Eagle), have been the outcome of introducing chemicals into our atmosphere in the past.

Just because the aerial spraying is referred to as Herbicidal Spraying doesn't change the fact that it kills alder and salmonberries. Our wildlife will eat the remains of the pesticide, which in-return local gathers will eat, or it will leach into streams, running into rivers, filling lakes, and flowing into our oceans. Eventually affecting our natural medicines and infecting our fish.

Klukwan Incorporated, you cut the trees down and failed to foresee the over growth of what you call shrubs and a majority of local natives call subsistence, now you must pay the price and start thinking critically as to achieve your goals without using chemicals.

The easy way out is usually the wrong way because it hurts others, there is no easy way out. It will not be easy to overturn a decision and find an alternative. I' m sure you have invested some money in this and want to follow though with your investment, but don' t do it at the cost of your cultural identity. It's time to think outside the box and get creative. What could you use a harvest of alder for? Utilize what you have and create opportunities for shareholders. Cut down the alder and use it for commercial use, partner with others who have the same problem and meet market need for hardwood use. At least then you could guarantee the health of all the people and wildlife as well as replace your harvest with the Spruce you so desire to plant.

There are other ways to make money rather than to put people's subsistence and health at risk. I've seen the studies while serving for the Saxman I.R.A. I've heard the so-called buffer zones made up by government officials and their endorsements. The fact of the matter is the government has been wrong before and when push comes to shove Klukwan Inc. you will ultimately be responsible for the decisions made on the spraying. Too much is at stake for a little money later, money you will probably use defending yourself in legal battle due to the sicknesses caused

If I have offended anyone in the writing of this opinion it was not my intention and I'm sorry. I have based my opinion on facts, history, and common sense. I have also taken into account the large amount of public support against Herbicidal Spraying.


Albert K. White
Saxman, AK

Received October 06, 2006 - Published October 08, 2006

About: " A concerned Tlingit Native who supports the Haida Natives in their fight to stop an outside source from tainting their essential subsistence supply. I have also served on the Saxman I.R.A. as Vice President where I gained my knowledge on this issue and supported a resolution opposing this effort."


Related News:

Fight to Stop Aerial Spraying of Pesticides Moves Forward - On Friday, September 29th, the quest for justice on Long Island moved one step closer to resolution according to Dave Sherman, a grassroots organizer for the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council. The opening brief in the lawsuit contesting the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation's (DEC) approval of Klukwan, Inc.'s plans to spray a cocktail of pesticides on Long Island from helicopter was filed, and the event has sparked concerned citizens to boost efforts to stop aerial spraying. . - More...
Thursday - October 05, 2006



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