The ANB/ANS Convention ended its annual congressional assembly 2001. Again delegates presented important resolutions, most of which passed the floor successfully at the Native village of Kake, the homeland of the Waa-Zee-Nadi Tribe, a member of the ancient Tlingit-Haida Confederation that still occupies the Southeast Panhandle of Alaska.
This gathering paved the way for the next convention, which will be held at the Native village of Hoonah, homeland of the Kaa-Gwan-Ton and other prominent tribes. It is also the homeland of several of the ANB founding fathers. Men who brilliantly executed their Christian faith building the foundation of this organization on the Holy Bible.
Basically, due to its nature and character, the ANB/ANS buildings can be viewed as the Independence Hall where the first Native constitution was drafted and framed. A law that formed a powerful Native government establishing its powers on the Holy Bible itself. Now a perfect role model-example for greater self-determination that ANCSA, of 1971, offers Natives in disguise. A chance to call for the final congressional gathering to draft and frame a new constitution of government involving the entire Native villages that have occupied Alaska for centuries. To write a just law, hopefully to form a good government establishing its powers on life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. A convention that should end the aging subsistence issue forever. Become aware to secure those inalienable rights above government are instituted among men deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.
Of course the main agenda a the ANB/ANS Convention 2002 will be, strictly, its constitution. It will be most interesting to see whether any changes will affect its original foundation or what kind of changes will be made if any.
Perhaps AFN requesting support in calling for restoration of aboriginal fishing and hunting rights, which should include tribal land ownerships, was like handing the pass key to ANB/ANS to take part in opening the shut door of freedom which was locked up in 1971. After all, AFN is the mother that birthed ANCSA (corporation constitution) and our regional and village Native corporations, which occupy ancestral lands.
Basically, the American extinguishment English language embodied in ANCSA, as a simple provision, is wrong, simply because it misrepresents the definition of blessings the way we know the things that make up Native cultures which we consider our sacred heritage. This language does not qualify as just powers of government that reflects the last-rites and the spirit of genocide. And the soul of ANCSA, itself.
As aboriginal inhabitants of this land, we do have the best rights in law simply because we have the first rights. Furthermore, under the ways of civil government and civil rights, we can exercise and accelerate the self-determination law that applies. The right of a certain group of people to gather to decide the choice of their own government and independence. Meaning Natives can call for another constitutional convention to correct what happened in 1971 mainly to form a more perfect union this time around. This is the proper political rule and systems within our American constitutional democracy also properly defined in our American Independence Document of 1776.
Somewhere in the chapters of our American history we will find a perfect advice that helped shape our present U.S. Constitution. It will also help our Native leaders who will take part in the upcoming ANB/ANS Convention 2002. The beliefs that "God rules in the affairs of men. No Nation without recognizing this fact can survive. Our liberty is a gift from God we cannot be a secure people if we take God our of our lives."
I appreciate the freedom of press. We don't have to wait for the majority rule to express ourselves concerning important Native issues. However, it would be quite appropriate to hear our high ranking ANB/ANS leaders take advantage of the press as well. Including local tribal government leaders. After all, the opportunity to do away with abrupt assimilation toward meaningful autonomy is in effect and at hand, today.
Franklin "Shkane" Williams Sr. is an independent Native culture and sovereignty advocate. He lives in Kake.