Former Sealaska general counsel dies

Posted: Tuesday, January 15, 2002

Former Sealaska General Counsel Bruce Keizer died in Seattle early this week.

Keizer, a Sealaska shareholder, served in the position from 1994 to 1996. Keizer also served as Sealaska's assistant general counsel from 1990 to 1994, testifying in 1990 before the U.S. Congress in favor of legislation that would establish a Trust Counsel of Indian attorneys to ensure that Indian trust assets are properly managed by the federal government.

"Bruce was always a gentleman, one of the hardest workers at Sealaska, for many years," said Sealaska Board Chairman Albert Kookesh. "Bruce was proud to be Aleut. Although there are more Natives today with law degrees and graduate degrees than ever before, there are still only a few Alaska Native lawyers. The loss of an individual the caliber of Bruce Keizer will be felt throughout the entire Alaska Native community."

Keizer, whose hometown was Ketchikan, advocated for Natives from what are called "landless communities," those with no local village corporation with land claims.

"After he left Sealaska Corp., he continued to advocate for shareholder issues and to work to improve Sealaska as an institution," said Sealaska President and CEO Chris E. McNeil Jr. "He was a very capable individual and a positive force in our community, and we will miss him."

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