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  • #46
    for now...

    Originally posted by FBKShunter
    Wasn't anilca suppose to create native corporations, and give them land so the natives of alaska could be self supporting. But even after anilca, most villages have few jobs, no property taxes, and the infrastructure is built by the state and federal goverment. This agreement should make the need for subsistence less, not more. If it hasn't, the agreement has been a failure right?

    Not much time, my daughter and I are floating downriver to hike the hills in search of the first morel mushrooms.

    It was ANCSA that created the 12 regional Native corporations and the individual village corps. One fantastic little book on this is by Art Davidson, titled Does One Way of Life Have to Die So Another Can Live? Art's book centers on the Yupik Eskimos of SW Alaska.

    Another is by Canadian jurist Thomas Berger, and his report is titled Village Journey, the Report of the Alaska Native Review Commission.

    ANCSA in effect gave title to 10% of Alaska to the Natives, some 44 million acres. Prior to ANCSA, Alaska Natives technically held "aboriginal title" to all of Alaska. ANCSA was touted as a landmark win for Alaska Natives, when in effect it wasn't. It forced them into a cash economy instead of a subsistence economy. It forced them right into the white-man's corporate world, mandating they mine, drill, and exploit what land they had left. For millennia, the Alaska natives lived a subsistence lifestyle dependant on clean air, clean water, wild places with wild animals and fish. Suddenly they were forced into forming corporations that would ruin much of what they loved and depended upon...yet who would run these corporations? How many Yupiks and Athapaskans were corporate execs? How many had the skills to manage a complex competitive enterprise like a corporation?

    The values of a corporation were not the values of Alaska Natives. The values of a corporation are profit, growth, expansion, and resource development, all things that were contrary to the Native way of life. Traditional subsistence does not turn a big profit.

    Here's a quote from Berger's report: "Native people who had little money before 1971 [when ANCSA passed] have little money today. Where there was unemployment, there is still no work. Where unemployment has been alleviated, it is not because of ANCSA....The imposition of a settlement of land claims that is based on corporate structures was an inappropriate choice, given the realities of native life in village Alaska. The serious changes that ANCSA has introduced to native life are becoming evermore apparent with the passage of time. ANCSA has affected everything: family relations, traditional patterns of leadership and decision making, customs of sharing, subsistence activities, the entire native way of life. "

    The ability to continue subsistence living (that they'd practiced for millennia) was what the Native peoples of Alaska wanted above all else. ANCSA implied that "right" was granted with a preference to fish and game resources. The "need" to continue the solid tradition of subsistence was always supposed to be recognized, whether or not the villages and individuals became rich via corporations or not.

    You said that "this agreement should make the need for subsistence less, not more." Ironically, many consider that the objective of ANCSA. As I said above, subsistence is not dependent upon income. Let me grab Art Davidson's book...I think there is a good quote on this in there.

    Okay, here it is: "The Yupik culture, like other Native American cultures, depends upon a subsistence resource base for which there are no alternatives. The relationships are really very simple. If the fish and seal and beaver and birds were to disappear, we could no longer hunt and fish. Our culture would die. Our way of life and our people would disappear."

    What Art Davidson was striving to say was that the Native culture is defined by subsistence activities. Without these activities, their culture is dead. I personally agree 100% with Davidson's book. One way of life should not have to die so that another (white-man way) can live.

    Now...we come back to subsistence. The Natives realize the clause in ANCSA (and ANILCA) guarantees them a preference. After everything that has gone down the pike since ANCSA, they are going to hold on to that one glimmer of hope given them by our federal government. Why? Because they are losing their culture; their culture is dying. Us whites are in effect like the Borg in some Star Trek movie...'we will assimilate you.' <grin>. I'd like to see the Native culture appreciated, respected, taught, and somehow continue. This culture is wholly dependent upon subsistence activities. It doesn't matter whether every village has a grocery store, welfare recipients, what have you. Their very being is tied to the land and sea. Surely many here recognize that, for the very being of many of us hunters and anglers is also tied to the land and sea. And therein lies all the emotion in this argument: "I am just as much dependent on hunting and fishing as they are! Why should they have more rights than me?!"

    Because our government technically granted those rights to them. We can break our promise, as we have in the past, fight this in court and have the courts break our promise, as we have in the past, use the U.S. Congress to void parts of a treaty, as we have in the past, or we can try to come up with some compromise solution.

    I learned to make birch-bark baskets from an Athapaskan woman. Those here before me learned how to make moose-soled, caribou-shin mukluks from Athapaskans, and taught me. Everything the white man learned about how to survive in the north came from Native peoples here before us. I have all the respect in the world for Native elders who are trying, against all odds, to move away from corporate greed and resource extraction on their lands, and back toward subsistence economy and lifestyle. Unfortunately, in many cases, it's failing. Sure, there will be some merging of cultures, and that's okay. But please don't mistake the fact that Natives who buy sugar and coffee from the village store, or use a snowgo or 4-wheeler, with the notion that they don't still depend and need to practice a subsistence way of life, however they can. long-winded there, sorry. (EDIT: I was writing this as Gogoalie responded)
    Mark Richards


    • #47

      The state is walking a tight rope on this issue. On the one hand, they are trying not to make it a racial issue. They try to make it a rural/urban issue. I think the reason for that is that the state wants as much as possible to stay out of the labyrinth of "indian law".

      On the other, they are attempting to be as fair as possible to both the urban and rural resident while at the same time managing the resource wisely. And doing all this in a democratic society. It's not an easy thing.

      I'll never forget the first introductory class I took on Indian Law. The professor said that in the US, we all are considered equal. But Indians are a little more equal. That is because allthough they are US citizens, they did not reliquish the rights they had before citizenship. That is, they were treated as sovereign nations by the US governments, many of the treaties made with specific indian tribes have been extended by law to all aboriginal americans.

      That is just a fact that we need to face. We need to understand that this is in the background of the whole subsistence debate. If the state were to move against subsistence, the feds may take over management, and/or a case may go to the supreme court with no guarantee of a state victory. If the state were to lose a case on the supreme court level we would all lose.

      If you don't think there is a case here you need to go back to ANCSA days when the Alaska Natives laid claim to virtually all the land in the state. After studying the issue and realizing that there was a real case here, congress passed ANCSA to settle the land claims issue. But that was just land claims, there are other issues that were not necessarily settled by ANCSA and one of them is the use of resources on the lands previously claimed.
      Wasilla Real Estate News


      • #48
        Fed F&amp;G management by zip code

        plain and simple .... there is no 'time of shortage' with Deer on Prince of Wales Island. In fact the 'mother' Board just added 1 deer to the current limit of 4 for POW 'rural' hunters. Over 2 years of recent biology (among many other studies) find the Deer are in no disarray. Yet the Fed restricts non-rural (and non local rural) hunters, contrary to the St of Ak Deer season. In fact the Fed law allows POW zip coded hunters to kill Doe against St of AK law. Also the majority of people (towns of Hollis, Thorne Bay, Coffman Cove, Wale Pass and Naukati) are on official Fed record as being against restricting any user group.

        Another burning (subsistance) issue in these parts is the Fed Rural designation of Saxman. Saxman city limits is surrounded by Gateway Borough (ketchikan but not city limits) residents. If you have a Saxman zip code you are Rural. If you live on either side of Saxman you have a Ketchikan zip code and are considered non-rural; even actually if you live south of Saxman which is more physically rural than Saxman. This situation makes many Natives that live in Ketchikan (the most Native per capata city of the larger towns) very angry, as Ketchikan is non-rural. if you live on one side of the street you are rural but if you live on the other side you are non-rural.

        Yes ..... this Fed management by zip code is great !!!!!!!

        2 reg books saying 2 different things ... State Troopers and Fed Officers in the field with 2 conflicting sets of laws to enforce.

        Native Corporation lands are all but stripped of timber. Most cut out from boundry to boundry. Very poor if any hunting (deer) on those moonscaped lands and there won't be anymore $ return from those lands for probably 200 years. There will be 100 to 150 years of stem seclusion stage forest not suitable for Deer habitat. Great resources management. It's sad.

        Now Lisa wants to allow trading USFS timber lands to Native Corps. One acre of timber for two acres of stumps. What a deal ... It's even sadder !!!!!
        Last edited by muskeg; 06-04-2006, 20:44.
        johnnie laird


        • #49
          Originally posted by bushrat

          Now...we come back to subsistence. The Natives realize the clause in ANCSA (and ANILCA) guarantees them a preference.

          From what I've read and studied, ANCSA was about land claims. It granted ownership of land to native groups and paid them cash as compensation for the taking of other land. That's a fairly simple explanation. I'm not clear that ANCSA gave any kind of special subsistence right or preferance.
          ANILCA is the act that granted a rural preferance for hunting on federal land(and federal land only). Are you all aware that the rural preferance does not apply on native owned land? Private land falls under state regs. Rural preferance is NOT native preferance. Anyone of any race that lives in the area considered "customary and traditional" for a certain resource, such as moose, is eligible for rural preferance.
          There are plenty of areas of federal land that are open to all hunters. Some of them are even showing game shortages, but are stil open to anyone(any state res) thru draw and registration hunts.
          It's not a perfect system. No game management system will ever satisfy everyone. But there are times and places where divvying up the amount of game available means certain folks will be restricted.
          I certainly don't think that subsistence today has to look like it did 100 years ago. It shouldn't have to remain in a static state.
          I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
          I have less friends now!!


          • #50
            Title VIII of ANILCA

            ANILCA is a very large bill ... only title 8 addresses subsistence management and use findings. At first the bill did read 'native' but when that was found unconstutional congress just went through the bill and scratched out the word 'native' and inserted 'rural'. But the bill did not define 'rural' or what defines 'times of need'.

            The St of Ak constution states 'ALL' alaskans are equal when it comes to the harvest of F&G. The Fed law ANILCA in title 8 states there must be a rural preference system ...... the rub !!!!!
            johnnie laird


            • #51
              meaningful preference

              Recently legal council has interpeted .... "title 8 requires that subsistence hunters have a meaningful preference over non-subsistence hunters" and must "allow the balance of subsistence, conservation and sport hunting".

              The Fed 'mother' Board continues to make closures to certain user groups even when a 'meaningful preference' is in place.
              johnnie laird


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