Natives protect state's nature, property

Posted: Wednesday, June 27, 2007

In response to Steve Reeses' Thursday letter, he suggests we go to a Web site to see who these people are from the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council. I went to this site and observed that the board of directors was composed mostly, if not all, by Caucasians! Now, I understand that these may very well be Alaskans, but they are not Alaska Natives. Who appointed these guys to maintain our lands?

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We Natives have been doing this for centuries! According to our tribal values, our way of life already consists of respect for nature and property. We are stewards of the air, land and sea. We don't need anyone coming in to say this is how is should be done.

We Tlingits, Haida, etc., have been protecting nature all our lives; this goes unspoken! Here's SEACC singing praises for itself for what we have been doing all along - not for only 30 years as it has been.

Here are a couple quotes from SEACC's Web site:

"Science has demonstrated repeatedly that salmon, deer, and other fish and wildlife important to the people of the region depend on having a healthy Tongass rain forest."

We would have had healthy wild fish without hatcheries. Alaska Native people took care of our land long before science came along and will continue to do so.

The Web site states: "The hearty people who live in Southeast Alaska continue to depend on the bounty of the land and waters for their income and survival."

For thousands and thousands of years now, Natives have maintained our land quite well without the assistance of SEACC.

SEACC's mission statement: "SEACC's purpose is to ensure that a substantial portion of Southeast Alaska is retained and protected in a minimally changed condition, while encouraging human enjoyment and use of these remarkable resources as far as is consistent with retaining them substantially unimpaired. In order to accomplish this purpose and objective, our major concern is to achieve a system of reservations of various sizes and types of specific management framework that will achieve this objective."

Again, who appointed these guys? If it's not broke, don't fix it!

Darlene McKinley


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