SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


RE: Cape Fox Corp bidding troubles
By Cara Wallace


December 22, 2010

Many people confuse ANCSA Corporations, both regional and village, with Tribes (and this is further complicated when regional corporations like Sealaska refer to their own shareholders as "tribal member shareholders"). Cape Fox Corporation is a village CORPORATION and its members are SHAREHOLDERS. Tribes, or more specifically federally-recognized tribes, have a unique trust relationship with the federal government based on their inherent sovereignty. Its members are considered Tribal Citizens. Cape Fox Corporation is not a Tribe and does not possess sovereignty, nor does it engage in government-to-government consultation with the federal government. The federally-recognized Tribe in Saxman is the Organized Village of Saxman which is governed by the Saxman I.R.A. Council.

I think it's important to make this distinction. Conflating corporations with tribes only confuses the public. Experiencing the politics of being an Alaska Native is complicated enough when looking from the inside out, I can only image what it is like for casual and astute observers.

I won't comment on Cape Fox Corporation specifically. I am not a shareholder and cannot pretend to know the specifics of this situation. I will say that I am hopeful that our Alaska Native leaders will work with the legislature to update ANCSA. In the nearly 40 years since its passage, much has changed for Alaska Natives. We have been able to observe, nay experience, its failures and it is clear that there is a need for improved economic development throughout Indian Country if the federal government is to make good on its trust obligations.

Cara Wallace
Saxman , AK


About: "City of Saxman Resident, Organized Village of Saxman Tribal Citizen"

Received December 20, 2010 - Published December 22, 2010


Related Viewpoint:

letter Cape Fox Corp bidding troubles By A. M. Johnson

Related Article:

Rampant Fraud, Self-Dealing Alleged in Alaska Native Corporation by MICHAEL GRABELL, ProPublica - When the oil boom came to Alaska, Congress promised new economic opportunities for native peoples like the Cape Fox Tlingit. - Read this ProPublica story...
First Published: Wednesday - December 15, 2010 - Updated December 17, 2010


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