indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+ indianz.com on soundcloud
phone: 202 630 8439
Fredericks Peebles & Morgan LLP
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines
Print   Subscribe
Mike Williams: Trust lands are vital to tribal self-determination

Filed Under: Law | Opinion | Trust
More on: alaska, alaska native, bia, land-into-trust, mike williams
     


A view of the Akiachak Native Community, the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit that prompted the Obama administration to include Alaska tribes in the land-into-trust process. Photo from Calista Corporation

Mike Williams Sr. of the Akiak Native Community provided this testimony to the Bureau of Indian Affairs in support of including Alaska tribes in the land-into-trust process:
As you are well aware, trust lands have long been a keystone of federal Indian policy. They enhance tribal self-determination generally by helping Tribes solidify a land base; protecting homelands from alienation and allowing for a more comprehensive exercise of governmental authority over internal affairs and tribal lands. Tribes, as the most immediate and accessible form of local government, are far better positioned to know how best to allocate resources for the community’s needs, or how to deal with offenders in effective and culturally relevant ways.

Presently, Alaska Native Tribes and individuals own well more than one million acres of fee land. Some of these lands were transferred to Tribes under Section 14(c) of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971 (ANCSA), some of these lands were otherwise transferred by ANCSA village corporations to Tribes, and others were acquired by gift or purchase. In addition to these fee lands, Alaska Native Tribes and individuals also received lands conveyed through the Alaska Native Town Site Act and the Alaska Native Allotment Act. These lands are held in restricted fee status and cannot be alienated with the consent of the Secretary of the Interior. However, because they lack of formal trust status, the State of Alaska refuses to recognize town sites and allotments as Indian Country.

The fee lands currently in Alaska Native ownership lack even the basic protections afforded to undeveloped fee lands held by ANCSA village and regional corporations. While undeveloped corporate land is protected via federal statute, Alaska Native fee lands can be taxed, foreclosed upon, adversely possessed, and subjected to eminent domain proceedings. Alaska Tribes, like all federally recognized Tribes, have a paramount interest in securing a land base and having such a land base protected through trust status. The Secretary’s proposed rule would assist Alaska Natives by providing them the land base necessary to promote village-level economic development, including the development of housing projects and public works projects of tribal governments, as well as provide desperately needed public safety services to America’s most remote communities.

Get the Story:
Mike Williams Sr.: Trust Lands are vital to Native Self-Determination (The Delta Discovery 6/25)

Also Today:
Judge Stays Holding of Alaska Land in Trust (Courthouse News Service 7/2)

Federal Register Notices:
Land Acquisitions in the State of Alaska (July 1, 2014)
Land Acquisitions in the State of Alaska (May 1, 2014)

Relevant Documents:
Dear Tribal Leader Letter from Kevin Washburn (April 30, 2014)

District Court Decisions:
Akiachak Native Community v. Jewell (September 30, 2013)
Akiachak Native Community v. Salazar (March 31, 2013)

Related Stories:
BIA extends public comments on land-into-trust rule for Alaska (7/1)
Judge blocks land-into-trust decisions in Alaska pending appeal (6/27)
Opinion: Unanswered questions about land-into-trust in Alaska (6/26)
Geoff Strommer: Land-into-trust rule makes life safer in Alaska (05/20)
Tribal leaders laud inclusion of Alaska in land-into-trust process (05/09)
NCAI praises inclusion of Alaska tribes in land-into-trust process (5/2)
BIA accepts public comments on land-into-trust rule for Alaska (5/1)
BIA proposes rule to include Alaska in land-into-trust process (4/30)
Judge deletes Alaska exception in land-into-trust regulations (10/02)
Sen. Begich supports land-into-trust decision for Alaska tribes (4/23)
APRN: NARF attorney discusses decision in land-into-trust case (04/09)
Decision in Alaska case could reopen land-into-trust regulation (4/5)
NARF calls land-into-trust case 'victory' for all Alaska tribes (4/3)
Judge rules tribes in Alaska can follow land-into-trust process (4/1)
Rep. Young won't support Alaska tribes for land-into-trust fix (03/20)


Copyright © Indianz.Com
More headlines...
Stay Connected:
On Facebook

On Twitter

On Google+

On SoundCloud
Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Secretary Zinke confirms role in talking to tribes about border wall (3/29)
Ray Cook: Unity lost after #NoDAPL camps close in North Dakota (3/29)
Coalition to Stop Violence Against Native Women hosts summit (3/29)
Cherokee Nation donates a record $5M to public school districts (3/29)
Little River Band breaks ground on $170M housing development (3/29)
Mohegan Tribe enters partnership with celebrity barbecue chef (3/29)
Judge holds UPS liable for transporting Indian tobacco products (3/29)
Airline pays $1.3M to compensate tribe for plane crash in Brazil (3/29)
Choctaw Nation opens doors to travel center and gaming facility (3/29)
Non-Indian casino in Massachusetts hits construction milestone (3/29)
Trump boasts about approvals for Dakota Access and Keystone XL (3/28)
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe acknowledges 'setback' in pipeline war (3/28)
Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe continues to battle pipeline in court (3/28)
Judge orders removal of gas pipeline on Indian land in Oklahoma (3/28)
Stockbridge-Munsee leader delivers tribal address in Wisconsin (3/28)
Doug George-Kanentiio: Peacemaking in the era of Donald Trump (3/28)
Native Sun News Today: Trump purge fails to affect South Dakota (3/28)
Victor Swallow: When the Air Force bomber crashed at Pine Ridge (3/28)
Charles Kader: Courts close their doors to unrecognized groups (3/28)
Whiteclay liquor licenses under review amid outcry in Nebraska (3/28)
Cowlitz Tribe brings Michael Jordan's Steakhouse to new casino (3/28)
Sycuan Band starts work on $226M expansion of gaming facility (3/28)
Seminole Tribe accuses state of breaking gaming compact again (3/28)
Colville Tribes hail 'historic victory' on aboriginal hunting rights (3/27)
Dakota Access confirms pipeline about to go into service with oil (3/27)
Senate Committee on Indian Affairs considers new round of bills (3/27)
Witness list for hearing on diabetes prevention and Native youth (3/27)
Tim Giago: There's a smell of treason in the air in nation's capital (3/27)
Mark Trahant: The fight ahead for the future of Indian health care (3/27)
Bill John Baker: Woman play important roles in Cherokee Nation (3/27)
Brian Lightfoot Brown: One last victory for the Narragansett Tribe (3/27)
Native Sun News Today: Oglala Sioux Tribe questions loss of funds (3/27)
James Giago Davies: Troubled times are coming to Lakota country (3/27)
Sarah Van Gelder: Huge bank divests from Dakota Access Pipeline (3/27)
Cronkite News: Navajo Nation hails decision on aging power plant (3/27)
Tiffany Midge: There's a happy ending for Standing Rock out there (3/27)
Steven Newcomb: Getting to the true meaning of our sovereignty (3/27)
Steve Russell: Losing our status as 'domestic dependent nations' (3/27)
Mona Evans: Creek Nation fails to support Indian Child Welfare Act (3/27)
Oklahoma Democrats hire LaRenda Morgan as first Native liaison (3/27)
more headlines...

Home | Arts & Entertainment | Business | Canada | Cobell Lawsuit | Education | Environment | Federal Recognition | Federal Register | Forum | Health | Humor | Indian Gaming | Indian Trust | Jack Abramoff Scandal | Jobs & Notices | Law | National | News | Opinion | Politics | Sports | Technology | World

Indianz.Com Terms of Service | Indianz.Com Privacy Policy
About Indianz.Com | Advertise on Indianz.Com

Indianz.Com is a product of Noble Savage Media, LLC and Ho-Chunk, Inc.