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Alaskan and American Natives -some ways to help

I am very interested in Native Alaska/American rights and wanted to get this posted so others can see the types of things we need you to support with us. I have put my own personal comments in (these) to show where her words stop and mine begin. The Alaska Federation of Natives was present at a oversight hearing meeting of congress in May of 2008 and here is part of what Julie Kitka said:

AFN Requests for the Congress & New Administration

1. Applicable economic stimulus funds intended to assist federally recognized tribes or Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) corporations should be directly funded from the federal government, and not through the States.

(I agree with this since we should have the power to decide for ourselves and the money should come directly to us otherwise we will be subservient to the states forever.)

2. There should be clarifying language stating that the ANCSA corporations shall be treated as Indian Tribes for the purposes of the Economic Recovery bill.

(I personally think that the Alaska Permanent Fund, worth over a billion dollars, should be turned over directly to the Natives and for us to have sovereignty over our lands. All those who are against apartheid in Africa should be interested in this cause since it is basically the same thing happening here as there.)

3. Any matching fund requirements in authorizing law under the Economic Recovery bill should be temporarily waived for Indian tribes and ANCSA corporations.

(Or we could get the state of Alaska to pay the matching funds...)

4. The Congress should authorize, and President Elect Obama should establish, a Native American Economic Council to provide Native Americans an opportunity to have a seat at the table when major economic decisions are made, to allow involvement in major new economic restructuring which will affect Native Americans, and to help focus on productivity and encourage Native American involvement in building US competitiveness in the global economy. Native Americans need to be brought into major new economic restructuring which will affect our communities right from the start, and not after the fact. We have the capacity across the nation because of our experience in tribal enterprises (both for profit and notforprofit) to contribute expertise in development, which is sound.

(What I believe would be more fair is to establish 3 Supreme Court Justices that are Native Alaskan/American in addition to those already there so we have a real say in how things are done, that we should be given control of the BIA, BLM and have a new Native American Economic Council that has power over these areas, sort of like Bush created Homeland Security to have control over the other agencies.)

5. The Congress should authorize and PresidentElect Obama should establish, a Native American Development Bank, similar to the Asian Development Bank or the InterAmerican Development Bank and capitalize it in the economic recovery package he submits to the Congress.

(This is a fantastic idea since economic power is a valuable tool long denied to us. It is why I believe the Alaska Permanent Fund should be turned over to us as well as having a bigger say in how our resources are used.)

6. The Congress should encourage intertribal economic collaboration including the creation of Indigenous Sovereign Wealth Funds.

(What I believe should happen is something like what happened with the creation of Israel and we give monetary/military support each year where we should be given the country of Canada which joins the Alaskan Natives with those of the lower 48. This is solely my own idea and one I was thinking of a lot. If Europeans wish to come to the Americas they can always immigrate to the USA and this gives us a real place to control and work together to build while joining all of the indigenous tribes. )

7. The Congress and new Administration should strengthen and expand government contracting as a model to diversify and provide value to the US government during this recovery. The SBA 8(a) program is a success and can be a strong vehicle in the economic recovery. Tribal small businesses are a key vehicle for ramping up job creation at the same time providing real value, transparency, and accountability.

(I agree with this since it is often hard for indigenous people to compete with other Americans for credit and loans and these programs make it so we compete only with each other so we can thrive.)

8. The Congress and new Administration should encourage entrepreneurship and small business development. A successful example, which could be ramped up is the public private partnership the Alaska Marketplace Ideas Competition.

(It is sometimes hard and I can imagine it will be especially hard while we are all trying to recover to want to risk money since not many programs have been available for us to try to develop and maintain small businesses or even major companies.)

I know I ask for more real power then the AFN but I think it needs to be a real change and we should ask for what is right instead of just what we think we will get.

If you live in the USA, please call your political representatives to support Native Alaskan/Indigenous rights and for them to be a leader in creating some of these things that have been denied us for ages but need to be done like several positions on the Supreme Court, a new agency that has control over the BIA and BLM since you can read in your history books how we protected the land and Nature flourished under our leadership and this is a time when wisdom is needed along with courage to do what is needed. If you do not deal with us honestly and Justly then how can you expect the rest of the world to trust you?

If you live outside of the USA write you own leaders and ask them to support our causes since we are one world and one people. If you are European then I especially want your support. The greed and disgrace of your ancestors in their world land grab can be corrected in your generation. Sorry if that sounds a bit blunt but I can't think of a politer way to phrase it... I know the Canadians might be a bit shocked by this thought but once they realize their lives would not change all that much they will embrace an idea whose time has come. Of if you can talk all the Americans whose parents immigrated to move there instead that would work for me, too.. Ok, so I am only half serious about the Canada part, but that is the vastness of the injustice done to our peoples and I hope you got some perspective on it.

Maria

Comments

marietta64's picture

HI

vERY POINTED DEMAND

liberia unitewd youth for community safety and development's picture

luycd2003@yahoo.com

Ovliver Johnson Liberia United Youth. I put some story to my block ,I am very happy to send you imformation that will help you to move forward but the commercial Internet is down so I am sorry. I will reply to this storry.

The Liberian United Youth for Community Safety and Development, INC.
Chief Executive Officer Mr. Fred C Johnson LUYCD representative of LUYCD to LDCs Conference in Istanbul from 7-13 may 2O11.
Ban ki –moon Call to work together for a better world
Se

TERESA's picture

ALASKAN NATIVE

Hi Maria,

Thanks for notifiying us about Alaskan Native. I am grateful am learning alot from the Voice of our Future Applicant Members

Thanks for your Cooperation

TERESA
VOICE OF OUR FUTURE APPLICANT

TERESA KAGECHA i would like to use the new password and email to participate in the WORLDPULSE VIEWS - COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION MOBILISING

aleila's picture

Some questions.

I am a Native Canadian woman.

I appreciate your passion. I appreciate the injustice we have suffered. I have some questions.

Would you please further help me understand as to why you feel you "...should be given the country of Canada..."?
Do you feel you have rights to my ancestors land?

Also, in regards to your comment "...I know the Canadians might be a bit shocked by this thought but once they realize their lives would not change all that much they will embrace an idea whose time has come. Of if you can talk all the Americans whose parents immigrated to move there instead that would work for me, too." What do you mean by this exactly?

Are you saying you feel eye for an eye is the means by which to correct injustice?

Thank-you.

Maria de Chirikof's picture

Hi

For the eye for an eye thing, that speaks of violent images to me and I am against violence. I am about Justice.

The part about Canada (and I hope I did make clear this way just my personal musings!) was when my thoughts wander to how we can ever get Justice for the indigenous peoples of the north Americas and was thinking what would be great is to somehow join us together and there in between us is Canada. I thought it was created by Europeans during their land grab thing so here was a way for us to have a real place to have sovereign power besides our separate reservations (which Alaskans don't even have).

I really wanted people to think 'a whole country! why is she asking for a whole country?' to emphasize that put all together we do equal a whole country...

One reason I picked Canada was the only time I was there was on a bus ride back from college in upstate NY and riding the bus through Canada. I had a suitcase full of dirty clothes since I did not realize they would look when we got to the border like that since I had flown to NY. I was feeling a bit mortified when we stood in line there and I looked ahead to see what we were doing, it was my first trip to another country. I just wanted to die of embarrassment when I saw they would look into our bags like that and moved to the end of the line. Once they realized why I was so nervous about it they did a very kind thing. They were very nice and let it pass without looking (this was way back in the early 80's) so I always picture Canadians as kind and caring. I figured if there was anyone who would be willing it would be them since I know America would not be willing to. I probably should have put that part into the article so they would know I think nicely of them in general!

When I think of these types of things I can imagine how the Aborigines in Australia feel when Europe sent their criminals and ones who shamed their families there so they would not have to deal with them. I mean, what do you do when passing someone who seems a bit unbalanced, you smile, nod, look away and pass quickly, right? But what do you do when they decide to declare themselves rulers of your country?

I get tired of it seeming like it is prejudice against Europeans when it is history and facts. I always want to tell those who think that 'hey, that was not me, that was my grandparents' this:

Suppose you have a house in a nice neighborhood and someone comes and forces you into a closet and others see this and come and do that to every one else in that neighborhood. They try to say it is perfectly ok because we give them a glass of water and a slice of bread a day (and shampoo, can't forget that wonderful example).

You know without me having to explain why that it is wrong to break into someones house and take it over like that. Why is it ok when it happens to a country instead of a house? And the 'well, everyone else did too" does not make it right by any means.

So you then try to say it was not me who did that but knowing how it came about, can you face yourself knowing it was bought with blood that is now on your hands? Hell was not created for people like me (not a Christian, I mean) but people who do things like this.

It is why I say things like we should be given several places on the Supreme Court, the highest court in our land, as one of the important things to begin Justice. It really drives me crazy that it always feels like they are afraid we will get violent against them. I say if you are afraid people are wanting to kill you then stop and ask yourself why that is...

Giving us a real say and real power should not be a bad thing and I never understand why it seems like everyone is against this idea or just simple does nothing while thinking something should be done.

Do I believe that all the immigrants should leave? Of course not but do you believe they should rule?

Maria

aleila's picture

Hi

Thanks for your reply and for helping me to understand what you are expressing with your writing,

I appreciate this dialogue. We need more dialogue and more action on these issues. Also, I honor your feelings and your voice.

Myself I am in part, inspired by the wisdom and experience of my elders, and what they have taught me.

To be clear, I too am against violence. I too fight for justice every day.

I agree that people need to have real say and real power in life, and the real responsibility that this carries. I of course would love to see Native peoples truly represented in the highest courts, as everyone should be represented fairly. I personally know many who are also fighting hard (in Canada, and in the world) to improve the lives of all people and seek justice. Here I have seen that when there is a stance of us vs, them it creates more suffering.

In thinking about your last question I see that I do not think in black and white terms so I cannot answer your question simply. I do not feel that anyone should be invaded in any manner, nor anything stolen or raped from them as has been the case for so many generations. We are each of us fully responsible for our words and our behavior. I have yet to see how holding anybody responsible for the actions of their fathers is ever productive. However, I do think that each generation has a responsibility to work towards healing and justice. I am not sure that I believe any one person or people should rule or should not rule based solely on their ancestry. I think the best leaders should come forward, and in a process, anchored with integrity (which does not yet fully exist in this country anyway), let the people themselves decide.

Aleila

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