Corporations are STILL not Tribes!

From Lingit Latseen

Remember this post? Below is more fuel for your fire.

It raises a few questions in my mind. What is a tribe? Is it a government entity cast in the form of the non Native world? Or something else?

Securing a Future for Our Children Alaska Tribal Leaders Summit
Natalie Napoleon

Mike Williams, Chief of the Yupiit Nation, and spokesman for the Alaska Tribal Leaders Summit, announced last week that Alaska’s federally recognized tribes who have been working together to amend ANCSA so as to regain title to their ancestral lands, have their hunting/fishing rights and the rights of our children born after December 18, 1971 restored, will be meeting October 18 and 19, 2011 in Anchorage to address a law which some believe made ‘tribes’ of Alaska’s Native regional corporations.

The law in question, PL108-199 SEC.161, as amended, is one sentence long: “The director of the Office of Management and Budget and all Federal agencies shall hereafter consult with Alaska native corporations on the same basis as Indian tribes under Executive Order No. 13175.” It was enacted without hearings as a “rider” attached to the 2004 Consolidated Appropriations bill. Few tribes know of its existence.

Executive Order # 13175 requires the Federal Government to consult with Alaska Native and American Indian tribes before passing regulations or laws, like this ‘rider’, that may negatively impact their members, or their status as Federally Recognized Tribes.

Williams says that “on the strength of this rider, our Corporations have been holding ‘government to government’ sessions with Federal officials on issues ranging from subsistence to the BIA budget without the small tribes of Alaska invited, or present. They have also requested the National Congress of American Indians to seat them among America’s Tribal Nations alongside the Tribes that created them in 1972.

“With all due respect, our Native corporations are still just that – state chartered corporations operating under Alaska state law,” says Williams. “They are not Tribes, they are not governments. They do not pass laws, enforce laws, run schools; nor do they care for the elderly, the poor, and our most precious resource, our children.

“As being interpreted and implemented by the Obama Administration, this law undermines the ability of our small village governments to be heard by the US government as they cannot compete with multimillion dollar corporations for access. Many cannot even buy airline tickets to send their leaders to critical consultation sessions in Anchorage and Washington DC while the corporations are able to attend each and every one.”

Already impoverished by ANCSA, and weakened by laws like this rider, Alaska’s small tribes are at risk of being forgotten and ignored by the United States government and by the corporations that they created in 1972 to manage their ancestral lands and to champion their causes and concerns.

“Unless repealed, this law will permanently divide and disable Alaska’s Native people and accelerate the loss of our ANCSA regional corporations and our ancestral lands,” says Williams. “That would be a tragedy because we cannot exist apart from our ancestral lands.”

Read the rest at The Delta Discovery


About Vince

I am a Tlingit, born and raised in Tlingit Country, and a proud member of the Tlingit Nation.
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