Tribal roundtable hosted by Don Young and the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources

Published: Mar. 4, 2022 at 5:01 PM AKST
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Since the enactment of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) of 1971, many forces have forever changed the lives of Alaska Natives in terms of self-determination.

This year has been acknowledged as the 50th anniversary. During this time there have been many events, including the tribal roundtable hosted by Don Young and the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources in Washington, D.C.

Don Young opened the roundtable by thanking each of the panel participants. “I want to thank ANVCA (Alaska Native Village Corporation Association) Director Hallie Bissett, Alaska Federation of Natives Co-Chair Joe Nelson, Native Village of Napaskiak Chairman Stephen Maxie, Cook Inlet Tribal Council President and CEO Gloria O’Neill, and ANCSA Regional Association President Kim Reitmeier for joining me in D.C. to help inform Members of Congress.”

The panel participants shared many aspects about Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, as Joe Nelson explained. “ANCSA added some tools to our toolbox that we have been putting to good work for our communities for the last 50 years. It added a layer of sophistication, but we have been rising to the occasion more skillfully with each successive generation.”

Not only were panelists explaining the historical attributes of the act, but also the future as this historic decision continues to impact Alaska. The act contributes to many facets of Alaska such as the economy, its Alaska Native shareholders, and many of the communities in which shareholders live.

In conclusion, Kim Reitmeier said, “Since the passage of ANSCA, numerous industries have been strengthened in Alaska creating jobs in both private and public sectors by creating Native-owned for-profit corporations. ANCSA also brought additional economic diversity to the state that has benefited, either directly or indirectly, all Alaskans.”

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