An Alaska Native perspective on Alaska Day

On Oct. 18, 1867, a Sitka ceremony featured the raising of the US flag over the fort; but this flag wasn’t raised over Kuiu Kwaan and Tennakee Kwaan soil.

Doctor of Law (Land & Title Specialist) James P. Bailey’s “Smoking Gun” research found:

• US claims title to Alaska through a quitclaim from the Tsar of Russia by the Treaty of Cession of 1867. In 1821 the Tsar attempted to restrict other nations from the waters that washed the shores of the northwest coast of North America; i.e. to all territory lying north of the 51st degree of latitude by virtue of discovery.

• Under the Law of Nations, Russia did not have title by discovery to any lands not occupied by Russia. The documents are clear – Russia could not successfully claim title to the northwest coast of North America and the adjacent islands.

• Russia lacked title in much of the lands owned and occupied by the Indigenous peoples of Alaska. Bailey made an in-depth research at the Smithsonian Institute, the National Archives and Congressional Records where records are stored for all the states in the union. There is nothing to show the US bought Alaska; and there is nothing on record to show Russia owned Alaska, no “Bill of Sale,” Flawed title does not improve with the passage of time.

Secretary of State John Quincy Adams, on behalf of US President Monroe, declared in diplomatic communications that this territory (Alaska) was not part of the Russian Empire and asserted that the “Natives were independent tribes inhabiting an independent territory.” These diplomatic communications gave full citations under the law of Nations as to why Tsarist Russia did not acquire the region of Alaska. US 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. This placed the sovereignty of the Alaska Nations on equal footing as any European Nation.

In conclusion, the 1867 Treaty of Cession between Tsarist Russia and the US is an unlawful treaty since the US already denied that the Northwest Territories (Alaska at the time) was part of the Russian Empire. The US Supreme Court supported this position when it determined in 1975 US vs. State of Alaska (422 US 184) that the 1867 Treaty of Cession was a quitclaim. Quitclaim cannot transfer title. Natives still have Dominion.

George Suckinaw James, Jr., Second Chair of Kuiu



Sun, 02/19/2017 - 12:01

My Turn: What kind of Alaska do you want to live in?

This question gets to the heart of the matter. What is it we really want Alaska to look like? What kind of Alaska do we want 20 and 40 years from now?

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Sun, 02/19/2017 - 02:29

My Turn: Let’s not act like victims of new state taxes

“I guarantee everybody in Alaska will find something about this plan they don’t particularly care for,” Gov. Bill Walker said when he unveiled his proposal to tackle the state’s fiscal crisis. Now, 14 months later, with the Legislature poised to pass some new tax measures, those voices are making themselves heard. Instead of harmony in the chorus of complaints though, everyone is fending for themselves.

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Sun, 02/19/2017 - 01:57

Letter: Rep. Tarr’s statements at the Native Issues Forum

Dear Rep. Garan Tarr,

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Alaska editorial: Much-maligned SB 91 needs tweaks from Legislature, not repeal

This editorial first appeared in the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner:

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