Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Time to Act: Stand with Sealaska & Sign your Support for S881

Native Paint stands with Sealaska in support for S881. What is impressive about Sealaska is their progressive interest in green energy and affordable sustainable jobs for Southeast Alaska.

Sealaska has been a cornerstone of strength to Southeast Alaska. It is now time to stand with them. Whether you are on the East Coast or West Coast or in Alaska - NOW is the time to make a stand for this indigenous group. Help the United States demonstrate their evolution and fulfill their promise to the Sealaska people who are Native Americans.

Your successful support will:

*Return dozens of sacred sites to Native ownership forever.

*Continued public access as guaranteed under federal law.

*Help the United States Government become a keeper of their promise to Native Americans.

*Open the doors for sustainable affordable jobs with new green energy and eco-tourism projects.

*Help the Tongass gain 30,000 acres of old growth reserves.

Quick Facts

"Your Letter of Support"



  1. >>Continued public access as guaranteed under federal law<<

    Access to clear-cuts, such as have been promised on Northern Prince of Wales and Kosciusko Islands are worthless to the people of 8 communities that depend on the National Forest for their subsistence. If you don't think Sealaska is going to clear-cut then look at this video:

    Hoonah's Legacy

    >>Help the United States Government become a keeper of their promise to Native Americans<<

    That promise was kept. Sealaska filed for their final ANCSA land claims on June 10th, 2008 - the very last day allowed by law. The ONLY reason Sealaska has not completed it's legal claims since then is that it wants better logging lands with taxpayer-paid already-built roads and bridges taken out of public ownership and transferred to Sealaska Corporation - which is a for-profit corporation, NOT a tribe, and NOT supported by all Southeast Alaskan Natives. Sealaska put the stop to the transfer of it's selected lands via a letter of request, NOT the US government.

    >>Open the doors for sustainable affordable jobs with new green energy and eco-tourism projects.<<

    ALL of the jobs of the current resident in 8 communities surrounded by the Tongass National Forest area that Sealaska wants as it's own private land will potentially be lost as the forest we depend on for our livelihoods will be damaged and clear-cut - and access will be ONLY at the agreement of Sealaska who could sell the land or withdraw the rights of local residents to access the land at any time without any course of redress available to local residents in the affected areas.

    >>Help the Tongass gain 30,000 acres of old growth reserves<<

    And lose the most valuable old growth reserves on North Prince of Wales and Kosciusko Islands which Sealaska has said that it intends to log - more valuable not only because they overly Karstlands, but also because they are the homes of the Alexander Archipelago Wolf and the Queen Charlotte Goshawk - which are very close to being endangered species - AND those dependent on the public forest lands will demand that these endangered animals become listed under the Endangered Species Act if Sealaska takes these lands out of the public domain.

  2. The very bad bills to support Sealaska's efforts, HR2099 and S.881, are strongly opposed by many of Sealaska's own Native shareholders. If you don't believe me go see for yourself at:


  3. I don't consider the Sealaska Underground page a legitimate source representing the vast majority of indigenous shareholders. The founder started the page because he was booted off another FB page for outlandishness postings.

  4. I did not live in Hoonah and have watched that video. I did find it sad. I do know the logging employed Hoonah residents as this was a major source of monetary flow. Did Hoonah profit from logging that happened during this video's time? It is easy to point fingers at Sealaska (who are made up with Hoonah people).

    As people and economies have evolved I know this would not happen today. It is easy to have 20/20 vision in hindsight and much easier to make one "entity" responsible. I have witnesses Sealaska being one of the green leaders amongst all Native corporations.

  5. My family has lived in SE Alaska for 50 years involved in both the fishing and logging industries and I must respectfully disagree with several points in this post.

    Sealaska is a for-profit corporation. They have already clearcut their first 291,000 acres under ANCSA. Sealaska now wants to substitute roaded, public-use land including sensitive karst, important old-growth wildlife habitat, and critical community subsistence areas for the remaining land they are owed under ANCSA. The small communities who live off these lands are understandably worried about losing their very livelihoods. Sealaska has shown no regard for these communities.

    The only thing impressive about Sealaska's land management is the size of their clearcuts. There is nothing "sustainable" about their logging. They are in business to make the biggest profit in the shortest amount of time. Their management gets impressive salaries. Their shareholder dividends are much less. No one who actually lives here thinks "green" and "Sealaska" in the same sentence!

    Sealaska Corporation is not "an indigenous group". The "promise" to Sealaska was that they have 327,000 acres under ANCSA from which to pick their last 65-80,000 acres. In the meantime, the FS built roads and managed federal land and communities grew around those areas. What about the promise to the people who have invested their very lives into their communities? If this bill was good for these small communities, why are they so desperately fighting it?

    The "sacred sites" just happen to be 250 bays, shorelines, and mouths of salmon streams that all the public uses and enjoys. If this land goes private, Sealaska can find any reason it wants to put up no-trespassing signs.

    Continued public access? To what, clearcuts? And the roads - one and a half lane gravel roads, the ONLY ROAD to some of these communities, barely wide enough for two regular pickup trucks to squeeze by each other. No one is going to be able to use them while Sealaska runs dozens of loaded log trucks on them, taking over these little gravel roads.

    This bill would drive existing small mills that rely on Forest Service logs out of business, and eliminate existing hunting and guiding businesses. One lovely thing about these islands is their remoteness and that we can go to quiet scenic places, without worrying too much about finding a bunch of tourist lodges or charter fishing boats over-fishing the best local subsistence fishing places. Sealaska just sees these islands as a cash cow, and driving existing users out of business would merely eliminate some of their competition.

    Help the Tongass gain 30,000 acres of old-growth reserves?? Three former Fish and Game Commissioners just sent a letter to the Alaska State governor warning him that this bill would log critical habitat areas and probably result in the listing of the northern goshawk and the wolf as threatened and endangered species. If that happens, all logging could be stopped. If Sealaska makes any argument for this bad bill, it should not be about how good it is for old-growth areas!

    Sealaska Shareholders Underground has legitimate opinions. They are not afraid to ask questions or speak out when they question something. Corporations don't like that kind of scrutiny especially if they have something to hide. Sealaska makes a lot of misleading statements, for instance that this bill would not set a precedent for other land claims. Last week Araujo told Wrangell people it COULD set a precedent. They say this is land owed under ANCSA. That is untrue. This is PUBLIC land and is NOT owed under ANCSA. They complain about "delays" but they turned in their entitlement areas to the BLM for the ANCSA areas back in 2008, and now this bill reaches far beyond what they are owed under ANCSA.

    This bill puts additional profits for Sealaska Corporation above community needs and responsible environmental management. It is bad for Southeast Alaska.

  6. First of all - thank you for your post. I respectfully disagree with much of your "opinion" above. Perhaps we can agree that sometimes people can see the same thing but interpret it in differing ways.

    I apologize for generalizing the Sealaska underground page. I would not join the page because I would not want to associate my name with the founder of the page because of the way he used to dominate the regular shareholders page in a non-productive manner. I will leave it at that. This is just my opinion. I enjoy the diversity on the regular shareholders page (created by shareholders).

    Regarding your comment on old growth reserves by the ex-Fish Game employee's, my first thought was consider the source. Fish & Game in the past hasn't had significant Native participation on their board. I remember when I lived in Anchorage that this was an issue because we felt like our voice wasn't being heard in that era. If those employees are from that era...well...you get the picture. http://abcnews.go.com/Business/wirestory?id=10557030&page=2

    Reading an article today, I saw that Rick Harris, Sealaska's executive vice president, said the bill aims to preserve road-less areas, protect and reduce the cutting of old growth trees and accelerate the transition to harvesting second growth. "We believe our legislation offers greater conservation gain," he said.

    I hope Sealaska is successful. I do not believe they have been perfect in the past, but as I said, hindsight is 20/20. I do believe they continue to grow in consciousness as they learn from the past. Because of their social responsibility with their constituents (shareholders) - I do not see them as a cold, hard uncaring corporation. I see them as a Native owned-entity trying to balance social responsibility with the fact that they are a for-profit corporation. It is not easy.

    Sealaska has well over 20,000 shareholders. Providing large dividends would be difficult, however witnessing their commitment to provide benefits in the form of scholarships and jobs is applaudable.

    I do hope that you and others like you continue to share your input with Sealaska. You sound very intelligent and well spoken. I do believe your voice counts. Though I may not agree with everything you said - I agree that what you say is important. I believe that the leadership is thinking green and if they are being perceived as you say - then it is important for them to hear you opinion so they can make their efforts more visible.

    Keep on..keeping on....