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Where Do Your Loyalties Lie?
by Don Hoff Jr.


November 26, 2004

My philosophy of life being a Alaskan Native: Life is nothing but choices of whom you are and going to be. There are leaders and followers. Real Native leaders are willing to take risks and cross the line on important issues that effect his/her family, Clan and Tribe.

jpg Indian Cemetery - Ketchikan, Alaska

People in the American brain-washed society are led to believe, we are all created equal. We are not as Alaskan Natives treated equal. We indigenous peoples of United States have to carry a card proving we are Indians and belong to a Tribe.

I don't mind be criticized by my opponents on any issue I write about. But I am being criticized my own people. They don't like my tactics or feel embarrassed by my opinions. My answer to all my critics... I know where my heart is and where my loyalties lie. I am Tlingit/Tshimshian. I am Gaanax adi Clan, Yei l Hit (Raven House) Taan ta Kwaan (Sea-lion People) or known as Tongass Tribe. Indigenous to Ketchikan, Alaska and all lands as far as your eyes can see from Ketchikan. To my Native Sisters and Brothers: Where is your heart? Where do your loyalties Lie? Your family and Tribe should come first always.

  • Should we go through life as Alaskan Natives continue to be sub-servant to the non-native society?
  • Should we always have to negotiate for everything that all ready belongs to us? Our way of life, Subsistence Rights, Lands and all our Natural Resources?
  • Should we have to assimilate into the Non-native Society?

The proposed bridge to Gravina Island via Pennock Island, will cause further desecration of our Tribal graves on Pennock Island. Is it not worth protecting? Where is your heart? At the very least, say something. How far are you willing to go to protect your family graves on Pennock Island? Remember, they are not all Tongass Tribal members buried on Pennock Island. There are Haida graves, Tshimshian graves and yes Non-Natives buried there because their families could not afford to be buried at Bay View Cemetery. Greed by a few opulent people are pushing this bridge to Pennock Island.

We as Alaskan Natives have to stop all this inter-tribal fighting amongst ourselves. The enemy is not other Indians. I have learned from my Elders. If we are going to fight and argue. We will do it behind closed doors. We vow not to display our differences to outsiders. Indian business is Indian business only. We don't run to the press. Ketchikan Indian Community is a sovereign government. We have our own laws that govern our people. The State of Alaska does not recognize Tribes nor Indian Country. Why should we as Alaskan Natives recognize state laws?

Quit worrying about who's going to be the leader or lead. Reminds me of this story I heard. There was a bunch of crabs in a gunny sack. They all wanted out, so one of the crabs made it to the top and just as it was ready to crawl out then the crab was grabbed by the other crabs and pulled back down in the gunny sack. Point is if some Native person wants to be a leader or lead, don't pull him/her back down the gunny sack. Support them because they are showing some backbone.

In closing, don't be embarrassed cause of me and my thoughts. I don't believe I have to justify my beliefs at every turn. What happens if you do nothing? Say nothing? Nothing happens that's what. I will protect my family and Tribe.

P.S. Sixty per cent (60%) of subsistence users in Alaska are Non-native.

This is my own opinion.

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



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