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My Turn: What sovereign rights has the US over Kuiu Kwaan and other Native nations?

Posted: January 13, 2012 - 12:07am

Juneau Mayor Botelho came to Ketchikan last Friday to support a citizen ballot initiative aiming to restore the Coastal Management Program.

Kuiu Kwaan and other Alaska Native Nations have had a coastal management plan in place for thousands of years.

Kuiu Kwaan boundaries start at Ship Island northward to Frederick Sound westward to Baranof to Hazy Island to Cape Muzon.

We have never relinquished or ceded our inherent rights, lands, waters, and resources to anyone. No other entity can speak on behalf of Kuiu and Shakan Kwaan.

Dr. Kly, Director of the International Human Rights Association of American Minorities, Specialist in International Human Rights Law, states, “failure to provide priority rights or what is called Special Measures in International Law to the Indian Nations, leading to their extinction would be a grave violation of International Criminal Law, particularly as it relates to the Genocide Convention, to which the US is also a party.

State officials believe Alaska has sovereign rights over navigable waters even those that pass through federal lands. How could the state of Alaska have sovereign rights when Native Nations of Alaska have title?

The United States Supreme Court handed down a decision in 1975, United States v. the State of Alaska (422 U.S. 184), in which it was found that the 1867 treaty between Russia and the United States (15 Stat 539) was a quitclaim.

A quitclaim cannot transfer title, especially since the United States itself asserted that Russia had not acquired it. Under the maxim “Nemo dat quod non habet” or no man can give another any better title than he himself has” fully applies in the case of Alaska.

This maxim particularly applies where the State of Alaska erroneously uses the 1867 Treaty of Cession as the basis and justification for the State of Alaska constitution.

Alaska is separate and distinct internationally recognized third parties that did not consent to annexation.

Bearing in mind that the United States consented to the international treaty obligations, the United States cannot legitimately claim the Territories of Alaska without the consent of the Alaska Natives.

Too much emphasis is on the Russians who were latecomers.

The Chinese were here trading with Alaska Natives in the 10th Century. People traveling into Kuiu country had to get permission from our great grandfather to hunt, trap, and fish in our areas.

They still had to do the same in my father’s time.

James, Jr. of Ketchikan is 2nd. Chair of the Kuiu Kwaan Nation.

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