Clarence Jackson: Fulfill promise to Alaska Native corporation

"I remember 1971, when the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act was before Congress and there was a genuine concern in the country about wanting to improve conditions for Alaska Natives.

Forty years have passed since ANCSA became law, and Sealaska Corp. — the Alaska Native Corporation on whose board of directors I have served since 1972 — has yet to receive its final conveyance of up to 85,000 acres that Congress promised. Looking back, it would have been hard for us to believe in 1971 that we would still be asking for our land now in 2011.

This summer, legislation that would finally transfer lands promised in ANCSA is before Congress. In the U.S. House of Representatives it is H.R.1408 and in the U.S. Senate it is S.730.

The House bill was to go to markup, a legislative process, on Wednesday, which will be the farthest point we’ve reached in the six years that we have sought this legislation.

I am 40 years older and wiser, and yet I am hard-pressed to understand why there is now such a lack of concern about our Alaska Native peoples."

Get the Story:
Clarence Jackson: Goodwill toward Alaska Natives was evident in ANCSA era, and today (The Juneau Empire 7/14)

Southeast Alaska Native Land Entitlement Finalization and Jobs Protection Act:
S.730 | H.R.1408

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