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

printer friendly version
Alaska tribes sign agreement for refuge services
Monday, May 3, 2004

After nearly two years of negotiation, the first tribal agreement to provide services to a federal wildlife refuge was signed on Friday.

Representatives of the Council of Athabascan Tribal Governments came to Washington, D.C., to ink the unique contract. The council, which represents 11 tribes in Alaska, will help manage the Yukon Flats National Wildlife Refuge.

"This historic agreement is one of the first of its kind, and we look forward to an ongoing relationship that will continue for years and will ultimately improve the management and operation of the Yukon Flats for future generations," said Anna Huntington-Kriska, the council's executive director.

The agreement was signed with the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service, which manages the national refuge system. The tribes will perform a number of activities for the 2004-2005 season, including surveying moose, monitoring wildlife harvest, helping with outreach in local villages, identifying and marking public access easements and maintaining some federal property in and around Yukon Flats.

"For most of known history, Indian cultures, religious beliefs and customs have centered on their relationship with fish and wildlife resources," said Interior Secretary Gale Norton, who accepted the agreement at a ceremony on Friday.

Even though all decision-making and management authority stays with the refuge, two groups have protested the agreement. The Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility and the Blue Goose Alliance of New Mexico fear the Bush administration will turn over management of national refuges and parks to tribes in Alaska and the Lower 48.

PEER points to an April 2002 Federal Register notice that identified 41 refuges and 34 national parks for possible tribal management. The group, which also opposes efforts to allow states to manage federal properties, says tribal control will lead to downsizing and reduced services.

Under the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act of 1975, tribes can enter into contracts and compacts to carry out services previously handled by the federal government. Tribes use the law to take over Bureau of Indian Affairs and Indian Health Service programs.

In recent years, tribes have sought to extend the law to other Interior agencies but have run into resistance from some government officials, outside groups and non-Indians. An effort by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribe of Montana to help manage the National Bison Range, located entirely within reservation boundaries, ended this year with no agreement.

Under the self-determination law, only refuges and parks that have tribal significant are eligible for agreements. Tribes must demonstrate cultural, historic and legal ties to a particular federal property.

That isn't hard for the Alaska tribes, five of which are located within the boundaries of 8.5-million acre Yukon Flats. The rest are located around the refuge.

The agreement is subject to a 90-day Congressional review period. Lawmakers on the House Resources Committee and the Senate Indian Affairs Committee have supported tribal contracting for refuges and parks, and both committees have held hearings on the subject.

Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), the vice chairman of the Indian panel, last week held a hearing on a draft bill that would encourage more tribal-federal partnerships. "Tribal governments are the principal stewards of the natural resources on tribal lands," he said. "And for thousands of years before the European contact, tribes also served as the responsible stewards of the natural resources on the millions of acres of land that were under their dominion and control."

Relevant Documents:
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Council of Athabascan Tribal Governments, Reach Agreement (USFWS)

Relevant Links:
Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility - http://www.peer.org

Related Stories:
Alaska tribes to get contract for wildlife refuge (2/18)
Tribal bison range talks continue (10/9)
Group opposing tribal control of park units (6/10)

GOP lawmaker challenges Bush administration (6/6)
Alaska Native hearing turns testy (6/5)

Copyright 2000-2004 Indianz.Com
More headlines...

Latest Headlines:

Muscogee Nation seeks to disenroll citizen who leads rival Kialegee Tribal Town
DNA links present-day Pueblo populations to ancestral homeland at Mesa Verde
Supreme Court justice speaks at Trump hotel before hearing Trump travel ban
President Trump doubles down with defense of 'beautiful' Confederate symbols
Department of Justice invites more tribes to gain acccess to criminal databases
News21: Tribes fight for clean water and more funds from federal government
Tad Lemieux: Inuit community wins landmark court decision on consultation
Charles Kader: Another film trafficks in marginalized death in Indian Country
Peter d'Errico: Asserting sovereignty under the watchful eyes of domination
Secretary Zinke condemns White supremacists but vows 'support' for Trump
Muscogee Nation raids allotment and makes arrest in dispute over casino bid
Mississippi Choctaw citizens win court decision to put new casino to a vote
Eastern Pequot Tribal Nation questions legality of new casino in Connecticut
Nez Perce Tribe shares $409,000 in gaming revenues for education programs
WNV: Puyallup Tribe enters battle against natural gas terminal in Washington
Mark Trahant: Learning from history to see why the Trump presidency is over
Harold Monteau: Donald Trump needs White supremacists to remain in office
Trump defends groups 'innocently' protesting removal of Confederate statue
New York Times turns to Native Americans for Conversation on Race project
Crow Tribe votes on potential changes to constitution despite court decision
Grand Traverse Band wasn't consulted about visit by Columbus replica ships
Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate celebrates release of bald eagle that had been shot
Klamath Tribes break ground on hotel as part of long-term casino expansion
Wilton Rancheria continues to see litigation over casino project in California
Energy firm seeks to keep illegal pipeline in place over objections of landowners
North Dakota secures $10 million in federal funds to pay for #NoDAPL response
Arne Vainio: Tough patient turns out to be a warrior with a promise to his brother
Mary Annette Pember: True Sioux Hope Foundation brings donors to Pine Ridge
Steve Russell: Poverty in Indian Country -- and in America -- is really about race
Dakota Access Pipeline dragging out dispute over disturbance of tribal artifacts
Trump offers late rebuke to 'White supremacists' as industry leaders quit council
Seneca Nation citizen maintains 5-year protest against NFL team's racist legacy
Oneida Nation starts construction of third casino as outlet mall remains on hold
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe still confident as Trump team reviews casino plan
Tribes report mixed results in slot machine revenues at casinos in Connecticut
Trump administration abandons tribes in battle over boundaries of reservation
Yurok Tribe forced to rely on outside salmon again as yearly festival approaches
Zenobia Jeffries: Media must be honest about planned race riot in Charlottesville
DVIDS: Military partnership brings health care to Round Valley Indian Reservation
Sandra LaFleur: Let's return to our traditions by restoring power to Native women
Harold Monteau: Democrats need to get their act together in new election season
Northern Arapaho Tribe reclaims remains of students who died at Carlisle school
Elouise Cobell's family brings Presidential Medal of Freedom to Blackfeet Nation
Department of Justice opens civil rights investigation into Charlottesville death
Muscogee Nation issues citizenship to former police officer accused of murder
Tim Giago: Broken treaties remain among America's deepest and darkest secrets
Oglala Sioux Tribe secures restitution for funds stolen by former district official
Appeals court schedules hearing in long-running Mechoopda Tribe gaming case
Pit boss and patron plead in blackjack scam at Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate casino
Doug Steiger: Reform the Indian Health Service by looking at tribal success stories
Young indigenous activist fights Trump administration in climate change lawsuit
Kialegee Tribal Town warned not to engage in gaming on allotment in Oklahoma
Mark Trahant: Prepare for a big mess when Congress returns to work in September
Cronkite News: Most Native families aren't speaking their own languages at home
Agua Caliente Band faces opposition from states as high court weighs water case
Crow Tribe mourns shooting victims as details remain scarce about triple homicide
Non-Indian man sentenced to life in prison for murder, assault on Crow Reservation
Aquinnah Wampanoag citizen aims to make history with Massachusetts campaign
Cherokee Nation ready to move forward with opioid lawsuit in tribal court system
Wiyot Tribe questions attempt to buy ancestral island that was site of massacre
Southern Ute Tribe offers $1 million matching grant for KSUT public radio station
Jim Cooper: Wilton Rancheria casino brings benefits to everyone in our community
Sara Trechter: County wastes more than $600,000 battling Mechoopda Tribe casino
Anticipation builds as Indian Country calls for shutdown of Dakota Access Pipeline
Brian Lightfoot Brown: Welcome to the oldest recorded powwow in North America
Cronkite News: Backlogs at immigration courts reach a record high in Trump era
Mary Annette Pember: School offers safe place for girls on Pine Ridge Reservation
Alex Jacobs: Beware the new 'tribalism' in American politics with Donald Trump
>>> 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.