A burden lifted

Posted: Wednesday, August 29, 2001

Rep. Scott Ogan's impeachment movement is, by the history of federal subsistence rulings, approaching the subject wrong. No matter who had been in the governor's seat, the subsistence issue could never be won by the angle Ogan presents to the public and legislative members. It never has been won that way and never will be won that way.

Because of direct experience witnessing this federal issue challenged in other states (Washington and Oregon), I truly always knew in my heart what the outcome of this issue would be. This legislative state should give the issue a break and show generosity to people that only recently in history were suddenly broke out of their aboriginal place on earth.

Our hearts should go out to these older Alaska Native people that have had to live lives totally filled up with nothing but blood, sweat, tears and years of fighting for everything that should have naturally been theirs. They live lives fighting for every right and piece of aboriginal land they should have had but was taken in one horrific way or another. These older Alaska Native people are people that truly go for what they know is rightfully theirs and will stay with it until their very death. To them, the injustice is so indefensible, so undignified and deep they have an unbelievably hard time believing someone could actually slap them directly in the face as bad as they have.

Within the legislative body some, Natives and non-Natives alike, often play the consistent role of making great efforts to remove every right and everything from Native people they possibly can, for these kinds of reasons, I am grateful for the generous change in pressure put upon Native people shown by Gov. Knowles' recent decisions and feel he should be openly thanked because people don't understand how much he lightened a great burden put upon their shoulders.

Joan Dangeli


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