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Leadership dispute puts hold on relocation of Native village

The current site of Newtok village. Photo from Alaska Department of Commerce Relocation Report

A tribal leadership dispute has put a hold on a relocation of the Alaska Native village of Newtok.

Tribal members elected a new council last October and reaffirmed their decision at a meeting in June. But the old council is refusing to give up power and has appealed to the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

The dispute has prevented the tribe from receiving $6.5 million in relocation funds from the state. The current village is in constant danger of encroachment from the Ninglick River.

"Who's suffering here is the community members," Scott Ruby, the director of the agency that administers the money, told the Associated Press.

An audit by the state accused the old council of mismanagement.

Get the Story:
Tribal dispute puts Alaska village in limbo (AP 11/12)
Relocation of Alaska's Sinking Newtok Village Halted (The Guardian 8/5)

Government Accountability Office Report:
Alaska Native Villages: Most Are Affected by Flooding and Erosion, but Few Qualify for Federal Assistance. GAO-04-142 | Highlights

Related Stories:
GAO report reviews funding for Alaska Native villages (12/15)

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