On Oct. 17 in the Anchorage Daily News and AP, there was an article on a Tlingit artist who was told he’s violating law by using feathers in his art work. U.S. Fish and Wildlife is using gunboat diplomacy, by might not right, to discourage artists like Archie Cavanaugh from practicing his inherent rights that are covered by the Grandfather’s Clause. Black’s Law states, “Grandfather Clause is a provision in a new law or regulation exempting those already in or a part of the existing system which is being regulated. An exception to a restriction that allows all those already doing something to continue doing it even if they would be stopped by the new restriction.”
Mr. Cavanaugh did not violate any traditional Tribal law which is superior to any law in the State of Alaska. Indian Tribal Justice Act Excite-TITLE (1) there is a government to government relationship between the United States and each Indian tribe; (Note: It does not say we have to be recognized by the BIA either.) ( 4) Indian tribes possess the inherent authority to establish their own form of government, including tribal justice systems.
The Migratory Bird Act does not apply to the Native Nations of Alaska because we have our own laws that cannot be appealed or amended. We Native Nations still have Title to the lands, waters and resources. In 1821 the famous Ukase of Alexander l of Tsarist Russia attempted to claim Alaska declaring that the United States merchants can no longer trade directly with the Alaska Native Nations. In response to the claim, Secretary of State John Q. Adams, on behalf of United States President James Monroe, declared in diplomatic communications that this territory was not part of the Russian Empire and asserted that the Natives were “independent tribes inhabiting an independent territory”. The United States asserted that the Native Nations essentially possess the “Title” and dominion with “Full Sovereignty” and independence as any “European Nation” under the Law of Nations with equal footing as any European Nation.
The threat of fines and a possible felony have placed duress on Mr. Cavanaugh. These charges could be reversed giving the Tlingit Artist the power to charge U.S. Fish and Game agents with violation of the Genocide Act Public Law 100-606—November 4, 1988. Agents could be charged with a maximum fine of not more than $1 million and imprisonment for life.
George Suckinaw James, Jr.
2nd. Chair Kuiu Tlingit Nation