Protest was about rights denied to Natives

Posted: Thursday, January 13, 2000

The net was set at the Capitol steps in the hope that something will be settled between the Natives of Alaska and the state of Alaska and the federal government. Two very powerful players in the latest politics in the state. The social engineering brought on in the form of Native corporations on the indigenous people has already inflicted the first blow: divide and conquer. The corporate world has brought division among the people in the form of wealth and land being put on the plate and a few being able to partake of the meal. I, for one, have nothing to show for the Alaska claims act. We still are landless. All rights are denied whether it be from the corporations or from the state or the federal government. Valid and existing rights, or should we call it subsistence, since statehood this has been an issue. I am sure if all Natives were informed of what was to become of their God-given right to harvest the land and sea for food was to be taken away and put in a bottle, they would not have signed the Alaska Native claims act. The picture that was given to them was all would be rosy. Little did we know what would happen. I expect this subsistence issue to be unsolved for another three decades. Sealaska gave a fine example of gross negligence in the logging around the small town of Hoonah. Bear habitat was reduced to a fraction of what it was. The bears have moved closer in and around Hoonah. The teen-age boy that was not far from his house got mauled by a bear. Is this a sign of what is to come? Was an environmental impact survey done on the effects of logging close to an inhabited area? People of Tenakee beware: logging first, bears come next.

Tim Ackerman

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