Native Leaders Meet With Secretary of Indian Affairs

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

Alaska Native leaders from across the state met with assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs Larry EchoHawk in Fairbanks Monday morning.  It was EchoHawk’s third visit to the state to hear directly from Alaska Native issues. 

EchoHawk heard concerns about substance abuse, subsistence, climate change and energy, but the central focus was a fundamental challenge created by the 1971 Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act or ANCSA.  The act gave land and shares in Alaska Native corporations to tribal members born before December 18, 1971.  Harold Napoleon of the Native Village of Paimiute, speaking on behalf of leaders who met over the weekend, says the Act has resulted in over 60 percent of today’s Alaska Native people not having shares in their corporations.

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