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
Native American Bank - Native people investing in Native communities
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:
Bureau of Indian Affairs still failing on online security measures (2/21)
Mary Annette Pember: Indigenous people can't ever back down (2/21)
Harold Monteau: Democrats to blame for President Donald Trump (2/21)
Tohono O'odham Nation leaders share concerns about border wall (2/21)
Pacific Northwest tribes finally rebury remains of Kennewick Man (2/21)
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe affirms election results after recount (2/21)
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe hopes to see return of casino business (2/21)
Bureau of Indian Affairs confirms Wilton Rancheria casino in trust (2/21)
Mohegan Tribe said gaming executive didn't disclose stake in firm (2/21)
Tribal sovereignty foe in charge of nation's environmental agenda (2/20)
Trump gets another extension in Supreme Court tribal casino case (2/20)
Senate finally ready to consider nomination of Ryan Zinke for DOI (2/20)
Senate Indian Affairs Committee sets hearing on Trump 'priorities' (2/20)
Tim Giago: Our Lakota children are dying while we wring our hands (2/20)
Mark Trahant: Indian programs gain 'high risk' label at worst time (2/20)
Native Sun News Today: 'Haven For Hope' proposed for homeless (2/20)
Ivan Star Comes Out: 'Civilization' aims to alienate Native America (2/20)
Cronkite News: Navajo leader pleads to Trump to help power plant (2/20)
André Cramblit: Sorry but Indian Country just got 'Trumped' again (2/20)
Dina Gilio-Whitaker: Sen. Hoeven raises red flags in Indian Country (2/20)
Peter d'Errico: Indian Country's 'trustee' isn't trustworthy anymore (2/20)
Raymond Hitchcock: The facts about Wilton Rancheria's casino plan (2/20)
Wilton Rancheria seeks to join lawsuit as gaming site is put in trust (2/20)
Tribes find common ground with Trump on Supreme Court nominee (2/17)
Bureau of Indian Affairs issues 'trespass' notice to #NoDAPL camp (2/17)
Hearing on injunction against Dakota Access moved to February 28 (2/17)
Native Sun News Today: Drilling test in treaty territory stirs concern (2/17)
Editorial: Presidents on Mount Rushmore didn't treat tribes so well (2/17)
Native women pushing for action on missing and murdered sisters (2/16)
Army Department formally cancels Dakota Access Pipeline review (2/16)
Native Sun News Today: Dakota Access firms see spills, explosions (2/16)
James Giago Davies: Tribes face bigger threat than Dakota Access (2/16)
Cronkite News: Navajo school official worried about Trump era cuts (2/16)
Monte Mills: Tribes turn to courts to battle Dakota Access Pipeline (2/16)
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.