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
Kill The Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines
Print   Subscribe
Alaska tribes enter new era with first land-into-trust application

Filed Under: Law | National | Politics | Trust
More on: aaron schutt, afn, alaska, alaska native, ancs, bia, ccthita, dc circuit, jahna lindemuth, land-into-trust, larry roberts, meetings, richard peterson, tcc
     
   

Thousands of Native leaders, elders and youth are meeting in Fairbanks, Alaska, all week. Photo by Eric Engman / First Alaskans Institute

The very first land-into-trust application has been filed in Alaska and the Bureau of Indian Affairs stands ready to help tribes restore their homelands, a top official said on Thursday.

The new era is starting out small. The Craig Tribal Association filed an application for a one-acre parcel that includes its headquarters and a head start.

But with more tribes poised to join the movement, the BIA's regional office wants to help, principal deputy assistant secretary Larry Roberts said at the largest gathering of Alaska Natives in the state.

"We have 11 employees that stand ready to work on fee-to-trust in Alaska," Roberts said in Fairbanks on the opening day of the 50th annual Alaska Federation of Natives convention.

The application comes just three months after a federal appeals court in Washington, D.C., upheld the BIA's decision to include Alaska in its land-into-trust regulations. For decades, the agency had excluded the 220-plus tribes in the state under an interpretation that was found to be erroneous during a prior stage in the case.

The following month, the state of Alaska announced that it would not appeal the case to the U.S. Supreme Court, ushering in a dramatic change in tribal relations.

"We are now in an era of collaboration and communication," Attorney General Jahna Lindemuth said at AFN. The decision to drop the case was one of her first on the job, she noted.

Even though tribes in the lower 48 have been following the land-into-trust process since 1934, it's uncharted territory for those in Alaska. The rural character of the state and the presence of Native-owned corporations has posed some interesting questions.

Regional corporations, for example, own the subsurface rights to their lands while village corporations own the surface rights. That sort of situation could complicate matters in the future, argued Aaron Schutt, the president and CEO of Doyon Ltd, one of the 13 regional corporations.

"There's no special Alaska circumstance that requires the BIA to consult, or get the permission of, or otherwise even involve the regional corporation in the decision," Schutt said. "That troubles those of us who might own that subsurface."

At the same time, Schutt said Doyon supports the goal of restoring tribal homelands. The corporation and the Tanana Chief Conference are collaborating on a potential application.

"There are lots of opportunities to work together," Schutt said during a panel discussion.

With just one application in the queue for now, the state is actively encouraging the public to participate. Although Lindemuth plans to submit comments to the BIA by November 9, it's anyone's guess as to how long the review process might take.

"It is a 16-step process," Roberts noted. Approval could take as little as year or "many years depending on the application," he added.

Like the Craig Tribal Association, the Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes is starting out small when it comes to land-into-trust. President Richard Peterson said a possible application is "just our parking lot."

But the fact that the BIA will process any application in Alaska, however large or small, speaks volumes.

"It's a very early stage right now. It's a very exciting time," Peterson said. "There's a lot of potential."

D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals Decision:
Akiachak Native Community v. Department of the Interior (July 1, 2016)

Federal Register Notices:
Land Acquisitions in the State of Alaska (December 23, 2014)
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:
Obama administration fudges numbers to hit land-into-trust goal (10/12)
Opinion: Alaska enters a new era with tribes and land-into-trust (08/29)
Alaska tribes enter new era as state drops land-into-trust battle (08/16)
Chilkoot Indian Association plans to follow land-into-trust process (07/15)
Alaska tribe weighs next move after victory on land-into-trust (7/11)
Jenny Bell-Jones: Clearing up misconceptions about Alaska tribes (7/5)
Tribes in Alaska celebrate long-awaited victory in trust land case (7/4)
Appeals court poses tough questions in Alaska land-into-trust case (03/07)
Patrick Sullivan: Court to rule on land-into-trust for Alaska tribes (1/5)
Vice President Joe Biden reflects on triumphs of Obama's Indian policies (10/28)
Jenny Bell-Jones: Opposition to tribes in Alaska defies justice (09/17)
Mark Trahant: Telling the story about tribal sovereignty in Alaska (09/04)
Opinion: Alaska will lose appeal in BIA land-into-trust lawsuit (09/02)
President Obama meets Native leaders after landing in Alaska (09/01)
Transcript: Obama remarks following Native leaders roundtable (09/01)
Alaska governor pursues appeal in landmark land-into-trust case (8/25)
President Obama to visit Native villages on historic trip to Alaska (8/25)
Alaska Natives to welcome President Obama at end of month (8/17)
Mary Bishop: Beware of bringing land-into-trust process to Alaska (8/25)
Jenny Bell-Jones: Embrace land-into-trust for Alaska tribes (8/18)
Gordon Jackson: Land-into-trust brings hope for Alaska tribes (8/17)
Richard Peterson: Alaska GOP ignores facts on land-into-trust (8/13)
Alaska governor faces deadline in major land-into-trust case (8/11)
Sarah Deer: Ending the cold war over land-into-trust in Alaska (8/3)
Liz Medicine Crow: Land-into-trust a safety issue in Alaska (07/24)
Opinion: Take a modern approach to land-into-trust in Alaska (5/4)
Opinion: Deadline approaches in Alaska land-into-trust dispute (04/27)
New governor of Alaska seeks delay in land-into-trust litigation (2/5)
Law Article: Major change for Alaska tribes with land-into-trust (12/24)
BIA finalizes rule to add Alaska tribes to land-into-trust process (12/19)
VAWA jurisdiction provision poses special issue for Alaska tribes (12/15)
Congress clears bill to extend VAWA tribal provisions to Alaska (12/12)
Senate backs measure to extend VAWA tribal provisions to Alaska (12/9)
Vice President Biden calls for inclusion of Alaska Natives in VAWA (12/4)
Opinion: Land-into-trust will help tribes in Alaska meet needs (07/17)
Mike Williams: Trust lands are vital to tribal self-determination (07/02)
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:
Blackfeet Nation citizens approve historic water rights settlement (4/21)
Native Sun News Today: Cheyenne River Sioux woman still walking (4/21)
James Giago Davies: Our future is not bleak but bright with promise (4/21)
Rosalyn LaPier: Tradition blends with science in tribal communities (4/21)
Simon Moya-Smith: Media continues to peddle in Indian stereotypes (4/21)
Steven Newcomb: Bill in California dehumanizes indigenous peoples (4/21)
American Indian Library Association battles Trump's big budget cut (4/21)
Navajo Nation citizen faces death penalty for murder of tribal officer (4/21)
Meskwaki Tribe diversifies economy with barbecue sauces and more (4/21)
Aquinnah Wampanoag Tribe must keep fighting despite gaming win (4/21)
Native Sun News Today: Body of missing Cheyenne River man found (4/20)
Ivan Star Comes Out: True tribal histories are concealed in America (4/20)
Steve Russell: Thoughts about sovereignty and tribal governments (4/20)
Dwanna Robertson: Dispelling a common myth about tribal gaming (4/20)
Whiteclay liquor stores ordered to shut down after losing licenses (4/20)
Cherokee Nation blames pharmaceutical industry for opioid crisis (4/20)
Eastern Cherokee citizens back chief amid call for impeachment (4/20)
North Carolina woman punished for abducting Cherokee children (4/20)
Ramapough Lenape Nation denied permit for anti-pipeline camp (4/20)
Ho-Chunk Nation remains confident as rival tribe sues over casino (4/20)
Nottawaseppi Huron Band invests casino funds in unique project (4/20)
Pechanga Band reaches midway point of $285M casino expansion (4/20)
More data needed to address human trafficking in Indian Country (4/19)
Senate Indian Affairs Committee set for 1st field oversight hearing (4/19)
Navajo Nation Council rejects bill to change name to 'Dine Nation' (4/19)
Non-Indian tenant loses bid to stay on Colorado River Reservation (4/19)
Native Sun News Today: Cheyenne River citizen opens bookstore (4/19)
Cheyenne-Arapaho citizen honored for law enforcement service (4/19)
Cronkite News: Attorney General links sanctuary cities to gangs (4/19)
Anna Hohag: Bringing indigenous science to water management (4/19)
Dakota Access Pipeline announces May 14 as first date of service (4/19)
Fort Peck Tribes finally gain access to federal criminal databases (4/19)
Mohegan Tribe wins approval to develop site of former hospital (4/19)
Stockbridge-Munsee Band sues to stop expansion of rival casino (4/19)
Cowlitz Tribe enters law enforcement deal as casino debut nears (4/19)
Trump administration faces test as tribes clash over new casino (4/18)
Attorney General vows help for public safety in Indian Country (4/18)
Zinke cites 'heart-breaking' crime rates against Native women (4/18)
Bill brings funding for AMBER Alert systems to Indian Country (4/18)
Native Sun News Today: Paper moves closer to Native readers (4/18)
Elizabeth Cook-Lynn: Looking at racism through some new eyes (4/18)
Secretary Zinke won't return land taken from Salish and Kootenai (4/18)
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.