Sen. Albert Kookesh, D-Angoon, is fighting the proposed annexation by the Ketchikan Gateway Borough of more than 4,000 square miles of uninhabited land lying outside its boundaries. Kookesh is sponsoring Senate Joint Resolution 15, which calls for the annexation to be stopped.
"Annexation of land is a serious issue with long-term consequences that can permanently affect a community," Kookesh said. "This proposed annexation was defeated more than 10 years ago, and I still don't see any good reason for it to go forward."
I am in total support of Kookesh's concerns. The annexation will cause further exploitation of all our natural resources that still belong to the Taan ta Kwaan (Sea Lion People) and the Saan ya Kwaan (Cape Fox People).
I will not speak for the Saan ya Kwaan because it is not my place, but I will speak for the Gaanax adi Clan/Drifting to Shore House of the Taan ta Kwaan.
We object to any annexation proposals. Annexation of these lands will have major effects on the subsistence rights of our people and future land claims that are ongoing and owed to us by the federal government.
I suspect the Ketchikan Borough has a hidden agenda on annexation. Timber exploitation is a good guess. Wrangell and Prince of Wales residents also should be concerned and not support this annexation.
This proposed annexation of lands is only being pushed by a few opulent people that only care about themselves and how much money they can line their pockets with in Ketchikan.
Don Hoff Jr.
Former Ketchikan councilman