The Central Council Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska brought to a close its 77th Annual Tribal Assembly on Saturday.
One hundred twenty-nine delegates attended the four-day assembly this year. They re-elected Edward Thomas as president.
In Thomas’ State of the Tribe address, he said while the tribal trust fund held steady from 2010 at about $8.3 million in 2011, the tribe is $34 million short of its inflation-adjusted original $7.5 million from the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act.
“We have approximately 20 percent of what was left for us,” Thomas said in his PowerPoint speech.
The Council put $90,000 down on a $484,000 purchase price for the foreclosed Elizabeth Peratrovich Hall. It was appraised for $900,000 including land.
The tribe waited 120 days after foreclosure before buying the building.
“Until (the Alaska Native Brotherhood) had exhausted options,” Thomas said.
While the tribe wanted to keep the hall in Native hands, Thomas said it was reluctant to buy the property due to the tribe’s other financial challenges.
And “halls don’t make money,” Thomas said.
The Assembly addressed health and human services, education and training, tribal government, housing, governmental affairs and natural resources with the introduction of 60 resolutions.
The tribal delegates also re-elected six vice presidents to two-year terms, the first time the council has re-elected an entire executive council to its current positions, according to a Central Council press release. Vice Presidents William Micklin of San Francisco, Robert Sanderson of Ketchikan, Yodean Armour of Klawock, Richard Peterson of Kasaan, Harold Houston of Juneau and Lowell Halverson of Seattle return to their positions at the tribe.
The delegation seated Chief Justice Debra O’Gara of Juneau, Tribal Judge Betty Jo Moore of Sitka and Youth Representative Rick Tagaban of Juneau. Robert W. Loescher of Juneau was selected as delegate and citizen of the year.
Tribal Child Support Unit attorney Jessie Archibald, and Alaska Legal Services Corp. attorney, Holly Handler, were the first two recipients of the Doloresa Cadiente-Hardin Tribal Justice Award.
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• Contact reporter Russell Stigall at 523-2276 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.