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Alaska Native leader wasn't upset by EPA official's comments






Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy apologized at the winter session of the National Congress of American Indians in Washington, D.C. March 12, 2014

An Alaska Native leader who presented a jar of moose meat to Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy wasn't offended by comments she made about the gift.

Thomas Tilden, first chief of the Curyung Tribal Council, presented the meat to McCarthy during her visit to Alaska last fall. It wasn't a gift from a Native girl, as previously reported by Indianz.Com and The Wall Street Journal, but it did come from a moose killed by a Native boy.

The Wall Street Journal reported that McCarthy later said the smell of the meat was so strong that it "could gag a maggot." She apologized for the comments last week at the winter session of the National Congress of American Indians but Tilden said he wasn't upset.

"To me, it was kind of funny, and I talked to the mother and we all kind of laughed at it. We didn't mean to offend her," Tilden told Environment & Energy Daily. "We want her to come back and we'll cook her fresh stuff. Anything you put in a can is different than what you get off the stove."

Politicians in Alaska have expressed outrage over McCarthy's comments. They are also upset that she has taken steps to protect a Native fishery from development.

Get the Story:
Tribal chief who gave McCarthy moose meat laughs off 'maggot' remarks (Environment & Energy Daily 3/17)
EPA Head Apologizes for Saying Little Girl's Moose Meat Gift Could 'Gag a Maggot' (CNS News 3/17)
State House condemns EPA chief's remarks about Alaska gifts (The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner 3/18)

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Highlights from Day 2 of NCAI winter session in Washington DC (3/13)