Opinion | Politics

Alannah Hurley: Sen. Begich stands up for Alaska Native rights

Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska) campaigns in the village of Napaskiak. Photo from Facebook

Alannah Hurley explains why the United Tribes of Bristol Bay support the re-election of Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska) over Republican challenger Dan Sullivan:
Sen. Mark Begich understands, respects, and stands up for Alaskans and Alaska Natives, while his opponent Dan Sullivan has proven time and time again that he cares less about the Alaska Native community, our way of life, and our concerns.

I've witnessed Sullivan's disrespect for the people of Bristol Bay as he continues to push for destructive mining in the Bristol Bay Watershed regardless of our region's outright opposition to the development of mines like Pebble for the last decade. As a 28 year old Yup'ik woman who grew up and still lives year round in Bristol Bay, I know Begich has earned our vote.

I, like many others in this region, have been raised to respect our traditional values and a way of life which is based on an irreplaceable fishery. I care deeply about the Bristol Bay region and about keeping our watershed pristine from mines like Pebble that would pose extreme and grave risks to all of us. For example, we need only look to the recent Mount Polley mine disaster where "modern mine" tailings dam failed and dumped millions of tons of toxic waste into the Frasier river system to know that mines and fish cannot co-exist.

One of the major reasons I oppose Dan Sullivan for Senate is because as Natural Resources Commissioner, he consistently promoted the Pebble mine and sought to silence public and tribal input on natural resource issues. He worked on the Bristol Bay Area Management Plan to reclassify state land at the Pebble deposit as strictly mineral land, not land needed for subsistence hunting and fishing.

Get the Story:
Alannah Hurley: Begich stands for issues important to Bristol Bay (The Bristol Bay Times 10/10)

Related Stories:
Fred John: Dan Sullivan can't be trusted with our Native rights (10/7

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