Resolution 2020-04: Support for State Legislative Recognition of Alaska Native Tribes

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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, In existence since time immemorial, Tribes are the traditional governing nations of the Indigenous people of Alaska, each have their own distinct traditional cultures and forms of autonomous sovereign governments; and

WHEREAS, Alaska Native tribes have endured colonization, Congress’s explicit termination of our aboriginal rights to the land and hunting and fishing rights, the State’s purposeful intention to wipe tribes from history, and continual opposition to actions of self-determination such as child protection; and

WHEREAS, The foundation for federal recognition of tribes is in Article 1, the commerce clause of the US Constitution, US Supreme Court decisions, treaties, statutes and other agreements all which have added to a current robust federal relationship with the US government; and

WHEREAS, The State of Alaska has historically ignored federal preemptive law, requiring tribes to gain recognition through federal and state courts; and

WHEREAS, The State’s lack of recognition of Alaska Native tribes has continued the termination era for tribes in Alaska and has been detrimental to the well-being of Alaska Native people; and

WHEREAS, Representative’s Kopp, Edgmon, Ortiz, Story, Fields, Kreiss-Tomkins, Foster, Hannan, Claman, Zulkosky, LeDoux, Lincoln, Spohnholz, Hopkins, Johnston, Tarr, Tuck, and Stutes have recognized that our
state lacks clear guidance on intergovernmental relations with tribes and have therefore sponsored legislation to rectify through a statutory change.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Tanana Chiefs Conference Full Board supports state recognition through a State legislative bill; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the TCC Full Board supports HB 221, “An Act providing for state recognition of federally recognized tribes.”

Submitted by: Executive Board


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