Resolution 2019-26: Protect Alaskan Waters to Ensure the Waters Remain Pristine and Uncontaminated

WHEREAS, Tanana Chiefs Conference (TCC) is an Alaska Native tribal health and social services consortium established by the Interior Alaska tribes and tribal communities, to provide a unified voice in advancing sovereign tribal governments through the promotion of physical and mental wellness, education, socioeconomic development and culture of the Interior Alaska Native; and

WHEREAS, the traditional homelands of the Tanana Chiefs Conference spans from the Interior of Alaska from the Brooks Range to the North, and South to the watersheds of the Tanana River, to the West the lands encompass the Upper-Kuskowkim and Innoko River and continues into the Yukon and up to the Koyukuk River; and

WHEREAS,  the Native people have a profound and deeply rooted cultural connection to the land and rely heavily on fish and game not only for food security, but to sustain the very existence of Native life, tradition and culture; and

WHEREAS, mainting water quality is critical to maintaining our Alaska Native hunting and fishing economies; fish and game provides the main source of food for rural Alaska; and

WHEREAS, rural residents harvest about 22,000 ton of wild food annually, an average of 375 pounds per person with fish making up about sixty percent (60%) of the take[1]; and

WHEREAS, so that future generations of Gwich’in can continue to safeguard our navigable waters and protect our critical cultural and hunting and fishing resources in perpetuity.[2]

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Tanana Chiefs Conference Full Board of Directors will take action to preserve for our tribal members and descendants the waters within the Tanana Chiefs Conference traditional territories so they remain clean, pristine, and free of pollutants that could harm our people and hunting and fishing resources.

[1] Deputy Commissioner, Alaska Dep’t of Fish and Game, at 2013 Senate Energy Committee Hearing on ANILCA.

[2] Kerry Stoebner, Alaska Native Water Rights as Affected by the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, American Indian Journal, March 1978.

Submitted by: Gwichyaa Zhee Gwich’in Tribal Council


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