At the House Natural Resources Committee hearing today, the United States Representative Don Young, with both passion and conviction, reminded the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) that the Native-owned Sealaska corporation is entitled to their land promised to them in the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) by the United States Congress 39 YEARS AGO! The Tongass Forest is the land of Sealaska's forefathers. It is a perfect selection for this Native entity.
Young valiantly challenged BLM to support Sealaska and cut the red tape. He underscored this with the fact that the United States of America has been through seven Presidents and seven Secretaries of the Interior since this legislation was enacted.
Representative Young did not speak to BLM out of something he researched and then "cut and pasted" into a speech for the hearing. He did not need anyone to prepare talking points for him. Young has lived with and witnessed the intense struggle of the Native Americans indigenous to Alaska. Watching Young valiantly stand-up for what Congress promised the Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian Indians of Sealaska 39 Years ago reminded many proud Alaskans of why they elected him.
Like a lot of past and present citizens in Southeast Alaska, many of Sealaska executives and directors, hunt and fish on Sealaska land. They are not going to turn it into Mars as the XYZ Society would have you believe. They love the land. It is their life blood. Sealaska is not a cold hard corporation. Because Sealaska is a conscientious Native corporation there is almost a biological element to the corporation that brings balance not just to the books - but to the land. Support S. 881 and H.R. 2099.
As a society it is time evolve. As a society it is time to grow up. As a society it is time to honor our promises to Native Americans. Sealaska has a right to fulfill their land settlement that was agreed upon and promised to them 39 years ago. It doesn't matter if elite special interest groups like it or not. When a deal is made, a deal should be honored by an honorable country. As a person of honor, as a society of honor -- it is time to seal the deal for Sealaska!
Watch Representative Young's admonishment to BLM at the hearing.