Later this week Juneau will host the General Assembly of the Central Council of the Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska. This is the gathering of the tribal governing body in the region, and I hope to see the General Assembly adopt a resolution or take some action to support the Sealaska lands legislation. I looked today at their resolutions for the past three years and found no official act by the Assembly to support this vital issue. Their convention agenda does not reflect that they are giving any time to discuss and debate this important issue.
The Central Council is not monolithic; that is to say, there are over 130 delegates that represent a wide cross section of the political views of the region, the Pacific Northwest, and even California. I am interested to know what they think about this legislation. As a tribal member I hope Sealaska takes the time to explain the proposal, to find out the views of tribal members, and to gain their support.
I hope they can have a good discussion that clarifies the issues, and that the Sealaska leadership takes the initiative to communicate with tribal members. We have to work together on this important issue, in order to move this legislation forward.