Stop complaining of land trade

Letter to the editor

Posted: Sunday, October 24, 2004

I am tired of people talking about trading public lands and thinking the land deal the Natives are trying to get is so wrong.

First, this land was bought by the U.S.A. from one that did not own it.

Second, the settlement of 1971 that people think took away our rights to the land did not do so. Until all parts of the settlement are reached we have certain rights to any and all public lands.

What happened was, in the settlement of 1971, the Natives were to receive millions of acres. But the federal government and the state of Alaska put all the lands under the Mental Health Department and the University of Alaska to stop this from happening.

They also ended up setting up no less then four landless villages, because the state government wanted the lands in those areas.

If you want to stop the trading of lands then make your government(s) turn over the acres given to the Natives by the highest court of the land, or the settlement of 1971. Then if we try to trade lands you may have a reason to fight it. Until then at least learn what is going on first before you start complaining about something without finding all the facts first.

I am surprised that the Native corporations have not been fighting to get all the settlement lands given to them. This fact shows that they do not have the interest of the Natives in their hearts.

James Brouillette


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