TITLE: Calling for Congressional Field Hearings in Alaska to Investigate the Effects of ANCSA Section 1604 (b) and to Restore our Traditional Tribal Hunting and Fishing Rights under the ANCSA
WHEREAS, we, the members of the National Congress of American Indians of the United States, invoking the divine blessing of the Creator upon our efforts and purposes, in order to preserve for ourselves and our descendants the inherent sovereign rights of our Indian nations, rights secured under Indian treaties and agreements with the United States, and all other rights and benefits to which we are entitled under the laws and Constitution of the United States, to enlighten the public toward a better understanding of the Indian people, to preserve Indian cultural values, and otherwise promote the health, safety and welfare of the Indian people, do hereby establish and submit the following resolution; and
WHEREAS, the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) was established in 1944 and is the oldest and largest national organization of American Indian and Alaska Native tribal governments; and
WHEREAS, 40 years ago the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) was adopted by the United States Congress and “extinguished the aboriginal hunting and fishing rights” of the Federally Recognized Tribes in Alaska, in section 1604 (b); and
WHEREAS, this “extinguishment” has threatened the way of life of all of the First Nations in Alaska, and limited the ability of our Tribal Governments to manage our affairs; and
WHEREAS, the Federally Recognized Tribes of Alaska would like to offer testimony on how this section of ANCSA has had a detrimental and disproportionate impact on our peoples; and
WHEREAS, Congress has a trust responsibility to Alaska’s First Nations, and the well being of its peoples, and being informed on major legislative actions and their effects is a duty of Congress.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the NCAI hereby urges the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs and the US House of Representatives Committee on Indian Affairs hold immediate field hearings in Juneau, Bethel, Anchorage, Kotzebue, Kodiak, and Fairbanks to hear from Alaska’s Tribes about 1604 (b) of ANCSA and about possible legislative solutions; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the NCAI will formally request the Congressional investigation of the effects of ANCSA 1604 (b) on the Federally Recognized Tribes of Alaska; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the NCAI calls on Senator Mark Begich, Senator Lisa Murkowski, and the Congressman for all Alaska, Representative Don Young, to work together to draft and co-sponsor legislation that will repeal 1604 (b) of ANCSA, and expressly recognize the aboriginal hunting and fishing rights of the Federally Recognized Tribes of Alaska, and their desire to see the First Nations of Alaska thrive in their traditional ways for the next 10,000 years; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that this resolution shall be the policy of NCAI until it is withdrawn or modified by subsequent resolution.
The foregoing resolution was adopted by the General Assembly at the 2012 Annual Session of the National Congress of American Indians, held at the Sacramento Convention Center from October 21-26, 2012 in Sacramento, California, with a quorum present.