HB 527 would've helped Native shareholders

Letter to the editor

Posted: Thursday, May 27, 2004

Well folks, looks like we struck out at home base for a second time. Shareholders would have received a home run with House Bill 527 sponsored by Bruce Weyhrauch R-Juneau. It made it as far as the judicial panel, then it was stalled. Is that the correct political term? Hats off and a big thank you to ex-state securities examiner Vince Usera for leading where no leaders have gone before, to help the shareholders of Native corporations. We all would like to see corporate accountability in all 13 Native corporations past and present. What do they have to hide behind the corporate veil that we have tried to pierce? Three decades is a long time to hide behind the veil.

We must remember the true intent of the Alaska Native claims act. If we have not benefited from the act, as is the case here, then there is something very wrong with the true intent of the act, when a few shareholders have received a major sum of cash and the shareholders on the other side have not. If it was not for the oil and other natural resources that lay hidden in the ground here in the state, the government would not have any interest in our fate as an aboriginal people of the state. We have lost out with the true purpose of the Alaska Native Land Claims Act. I would say it has been a breach of contract. Where do we go from here? We must not forget any monetary contributions given by any Native corporation to any Republican or Democrat running for governor. That was from the pockets of the shareholders, not just from the CEOs or officers of the corporation with their own political interests.

Well folks, I hope next time we are up to bat we have a home run. Let us turn to the next page and see what history has in store for us.

Tim Ackerman

Juneau



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