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Stevens blames sovereignty push on lower 48 group
Thursday, October 9, 2003

"A rather well-heeled Indian organization in the South 48" is telling Alaska Native tribes they are entitled to a court system and housing systems, Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) says.

Stevens, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, will not name the alleged instigators. "I know they aren't the people who come to see me as Native people seeking housing," he told reporters on October 2.

The remarks were part of a longer press briefing with members of the Alaska media. He was defending two appropriations riders that deny federal funds to tribal justice systems and housing authorities in Native villages. The justice money would be redirected to the state while the housing money would go to regional Native associations.

In the briefing, Stevens also said the sovereignty movement by Alaska tribes is a threat to the state. "The road they're on now is the road to the destruction of statehood," he said.

Native leaders in Alaska are calling the remarks racist and are demanding an apology. Stevens says he is being misinterpreted.

Get the Story:
Stevens remarks called racist (The Anchorage Daily News 10/9)

Relevant Links:
Sen. Ted Stevens -
Native American Rights Fund -
Alaska Federation of Natives -

Related Stories:
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Alaska Natives debunk federal funding myths (05/07)
Stevens files Alaska Native gaming rider (01/24)
Alaska Natives press unity on sovereignty (10/25)
Stevens: Too many Alaska Native tribes (10/24)
AFN events kick off today in Anchorage (10/21)
GOP request has Alaska Natives fuming (1/28)
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