Legislature(2013 - 2014)BARNES 124

03/11/2014 08:00 AM COMMUNITY & REGIONAL AFFAIRS


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08:05:29 AM Start
08:06:31 AM HCR24
08:17:16 AM Presentation: Indian Law & Order Commission Report
10:01:12 AM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
*+ HCR 24 SUPPORTING DOG MUSHING TELECONFERENCED
Moved Out of Committee
+ Presentation: The Indian Law & Order Commission TELECONFERENCED
Report - "A Roadmap for Making Native America
Safer"
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
    HOUSE COMMUNITY AND REGIONAL AFFAIRS STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                   
                         March 11, 2014                                                                                         
                           8:05 a.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gabrielle LeDoux, Co-Chair                                                                                       
Representative Benjamin Nageak, Co-Chair                                                                                        
Representative Neal Foster                                                                                                      
Representative Bob Herron                                                                                                       
Representative Lora Reinbold                                                                                                    
Representative Sam Kito III                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Kurt Olson                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 24                                                                                              
Recognizing, honoring, supporting, and encouraging support for                                                                  
dog mushing and dog mushers in the state.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED HCR 24 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
PRESENTATION: INDIAN LAW & ORDER COMMISSION REPORT                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HCR 24                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: SUPPORTING DOG MUSHING                                                                                             
SPONSOR(s): COMMUNITY & REGIONAL AFFAIRS                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
03/03/14       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
03/03/14       (H)       CRA                                                                                                    
03/11/14       (H)       CRA AT 8:00 AM BARNES 124                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
JESSIE MILLER, Staff                                                                                                            
Representative Neal Foster                                                                                                      
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Presented HCR  24 on behalf of Representative                                                             
Neal Foster.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DIANA HAECKER                                                                                                                   
Nome, Alaska                                                                                                                    
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in favor of HCR 24.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
AURORA LEHR, Vice President                                                                                                     
Alaska Federation Natives (AFN)                                                                                                 
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION  STATEMENT:  Testified  during  the  discussion  of  the                                                             
Indian Law & Order Commission Report.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
TROY EID, Chair                                                                                                                 
National Indian Law & Order Commission (ILOC)                                                                                   
Denver, CO                                                                                                                      
POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented the Indian Law  & Order Commission                                                             
report.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MICHELLE DEWITT, Executive Director                                                                                             
Bethel Community Services Foundation                                                                                            
Bethel, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of  the recommendations                                                             
in the ILOC report.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
JAMES HOELSCHER, First Sergeant                                                                                                 
Village Public Safety Officer (VPSO)                                                                                            
Hooper Bay, Alaska                                                                                                              
POSITION  STATEMENT:  Spoke  to  the needs  in  rural  Alaska  as                                                             
related to the Indian Law & Order Commission Report.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SHANNON JOHNSON-NANALOOK                                                                                                        
Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA)                                                                                                 
Iliamna, Alaska                                                                                                                 
POSITION  STATEMENT:  Testified  during  the  discussion  of  the                                                             
Indian Law & Order Commission Report.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MIKE MYERS, Roving Village Public Safety Officer (VPSO)                                                                         
Dillingham, Alaska                                                                                                              
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on the challenges faced by VPSOs.                                                               
                                                                                                                                
HOLLY HANDLER, Attorney                                                                                                         
Alaska Legal Services                                                                                                           
Alaska Federation of Natives (AFN)                                                                                              
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Spoke  on the Tribal Law & Order  Act and the                                                             
ILOC report.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
8:05:29 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR BENJAMIN NAGEAK called  the House Community and Regional                                                             
Affairs  Standing  Committee  meeting   to  order  at  8:05  a.m.                                                               
Representatives  Kito  III,  Foster, Reinbold,  and  Nageak  were                                                               
present at the call to  order.  Representatives Herron and LeDoux                                                               
arrived as the meeting was in progress.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
                 HCR 24-SUPPORTING DOG MUSHING                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
8:06:31 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR NAGEAK announced that the  first order of business would                                                               
be  HOUSE CONCURRENT  RESOLUTION NO.  24, Recognizing,  honoring,                                                               
supporting,  and  encouraging support  for  dog  mushing and  dog                                                               
mushers in the state.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
8:07:41 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JESSIE MILLER,  Staff, Representative  Neal Foster,  Alaska State                                                               
Legislature, provided the following testimony:                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     With the  first musher  of the  Iditarod Dog  Sled Race                                                                    
     into Nome just  a few hours ago, it is  fitting that we                                                                    
     present this  resolution.  Dog mushing  is the official                                                                    
     sport of  our state.   Dog mushing helped to  save many                                                                    
     lives during  the diphtheria epidemic of  1925 in Nome.                                                                    
     Dog  mushing  brings  thousands  of  Alaskans  together                                                                    
     every year to volunteer for  various races, to cheer on                                                                    
     its  mushers, and  to welcome  the many  more who  come                                                                    
     from  out-of-state.   We  would  ask  the committee  to                                                                    
     support HCR  24 and  recognize [the  sport] as  a past,                                                                    
     present, and future culture of our state.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
8:08:50 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DIANA HAECKER  stated that she  is married to  four-time Iditarod                                                               
finisher,  Nils Hahn,  and is  the  mother of  a budding  musher,                                                               
Lizzy Hahn,  who is nine  years old.  She  related that she  is a                                                               
reporter for the Nome Nugget and  a musher.  Four hours ago, Nome                                                               
greeted the  2014 Iditarod  champion under  the burled  arch, and                                                               
even though she  has photographed every winner since  2003 and is                                                               
an avid musher,  she always chokes up when the  mushers arrive in                                                               
Nome.  These events epitomize the  allure of Alaska, the dream of                                                               
the north,  and the greatness of  its people, she said,  and what                                                               
these  mushers endure  captures  the essence  of  legends.   This                                                               
resolution will help preserve the  joy of mushing and its culture                                                               
so her  daughter and  future generations will  have the  right to                                                               
mush in  this great  state.  The  organizations that  have passed                                                               
this resolution  in the  last six months  include the  Willow Dog                                                               
Mushers Association, the Willow  Area Community Organization, the                                                               
Pioneer  Igloo  Number 1  in  Nome,  the  Nome Kennel  Club,  the                                                               
Association of  Village Presidents,  and the  entire body  of the                                                               
Alaska  Federation of  Natives.   She thanked  members for  their                                                               
consideration  and  said that  she  wishes  she could  adequately                                                               
convey the joy and beauty that  dog mushing brings to Alaska.  In                                                               
response to  a question,  she stated that  Dallas Seavey  won the                                                               
race today.  She related  that musher Jeff King scratched because                                                               
the winds were so horrendous.   It puts people in fear every time                                                               
the  wind starts  howling, and  these  world-class athletes  just                                                               
endured  these winds,  she stated.   She  added that  Aliy Zirkle                                                               
came  in  second,  two  minutes  after  Dallas  Seavey,  and  she                                                               
believes that Mitch Seavey arrived just a minute ago.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE REINBOLD thanked  her for her passion  and love of                                                               
the sport.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
8:12:46 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR NAGEAK closed public testimony on HCR 24.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  LEDOUX moved  to report  HCR 24  out of  committee with                                                               
individual  recommendations  and  the accompanying  fiscal  note.                                                               
[Hearing  no  objections, HCR  24  was  reported from  the  House                                                               
Community and Regional Affairs Standing Committee.]                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
8:13:24 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The committee took an at-ease from 8:13 a.m. to 8:17 a.m.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
^Presentation: Indian Law & Order Commission Report                                                                             
       Presentation: Indian Law & Order Commission Report                                                                   
                                                                                                                              
8:17:16 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR NAGEAK announced that the  final order of business would                                                               
be a presentation on the Indian Law & Order Commission Report.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
8:17:41 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
AURORA  LEHR, Vice  President, Alaska  Federation Natives  (AFN),                                                               
noted that  she also  staffs the Council  for the  Advancement of                                                               
Alaska Natives,  a committee  of the AFN  Board and  comprised of                                                               
the 12  regional nonprofit service  providers and  some statewide                                                               
organizations  that  serve  Alaska   Natives.    This  year,  one                                                               
priority  [of   the  council]  is  to   increase  public  safety,                                                               
especially in rural  Alaska.  She noted that there  is a national                                                               
spotlight on safety in Indian  Country right now, particularly in                                                               
Alaska.   She said there will  be two presentations, and  the one                                                               
today is  designed to provide  information to the public  and the                                                               
legislature  on "where  we're  at and  who  the parties  involved                                                               
are."  In a few weeks,  [a second presentation] will explore some                                                               
collaborative recommendations  on how  to move forward  in making                                                               
some much-needed improvements.   She stated that  there have been                                                               
numerous reports before, and the  latest report from the National                                                               
Indian Law and Order Commission  (ILOC) is very comprehensive and                                                               
is based on extensive research  and testimony, and the commission                                                               
chair is online  to testify.  The main difference  in the current                                                               
report  is that  since Alaska  faces  so many  issues, an  entire                                                               
chapter has  been dedicated to the  state.  She praised  the ILOC                                                               
for  putting  so much  effort  into  research and  for  providing                                                               
recommendations.  She added that  the issues need to be addressed                                                               
at the state level.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
8:23:41 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
TROY  EID,  Chair,  National  Indian  Law  and  Order  Commission                                                               
(ILOC), stated  that the  ILOC was  created by  a federal  law in                                                               
2010, and he was appointed as  a volunteer, with eight others, to                                                               
review  public safety  and criminal  justice issues  for the  566                                                               
federally-recognized  Native nations  across  the United  States.                                                               
The group  has been working  in the  field and spending  time and                                                               
energy to  try to understand  some of  these issues.   During the                                                               
course of the commission's work,  the group spent an entire month                                                               
of combined  time in  the State  of Alaska, he  noted.   About 40                                                               
percent  of  the  federally-recognized   Native  nations  are  in                                                               
Alaska,  he pointed  out, and  the time  spent here  has been  an                                                               
honor.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
8:25:23 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  LEDOUX inquired  as to  how many  of the  appointees on                                                               
commission are Native American.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR.  EID answered  that of  the nine  members of  ILOC, four  are                                                               
enrolled members in  Native tribes.  There are  six Democrats and                                                               
three  Republicans, he  added, and  he  is a  Republican who  was                                                               
appointed  by  Senator   Harry  Reid  and  voted   chair  by  the                                                               
commission members.  The statute  requires nine commissioners and                                                               
an advisory committee.  There  are no Alaskans or Native Alaskans                                                               
on the commission, he noted, but  there are two advisors who were                                                               
heavily relied upon: Wilson Justin and Georgianna Lincoln.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
8:27:11 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  EID said  the  ILOC was  assisted by  many  great people  in                                                               
Alaska.   He noted  that he  is a  former state  cabinet official                                                               
from Colorado, and  he was a U.S. attorney  under President Bush.                                                               
He said the  report given to the committee is  well-worth a read,                                                               
particularly  Chapter  2.  He expressed  that  the  situation  in                                                               
Alaska  is  very  outmoded  in  terms  of  relying  on  a  highly                                                               
centralized,  and  very  wasteful, policing  and  justice  system                                                               
"that really  has been bypassed  by the times."   Considering the                                                               
growth  in  Alaska  and  the   serious  issues  faced,  the  ILOC                                                               
recommendation is to really look  at local control: Alaska should                                                               
rely  more on  Native  nations to  enforce,  combat, and  prevent                                                               
violent  crime.   The statistics  are important  to remember,  he                                                               
stated.   In Alaska, victims  of domestic violence  are suffering                                                               
those assaults  at 10  times the national  average, and,  by some                                                               
indications,  sexual assaults  are  about 12  times the  national                                                               
average, not  including that such  crimes are underreported.   He                                                               
said that Alaska Natives have the  highest rate of suicide in the                                                               
entire  Western Hemisphere,  and  one out  of  every four  Alaska                                                               
Native  juveniles currently  suffers  from post-traumatic  stress                                                               
disorder, and that is the  same rate as returning combat veterans                                                               
from Afghanistan.  This is serious, he reiterated.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. EID  said a central system  of law enforcement may  have made                                                               
sense a  long time ago,  but all  nine members of  the commission                                                               
believe  Alaska  is  on  the wrong  track  with  its  centralized                                                               
system.   He added that  not relying  on local government  "to do                                                               
the  heavy  lifting"  for  law  enforcement  contributes  to  the                                                               
disproportionate rates  of violent crime  and, for  the taxpayer,                                                               
is a "very wasteful, wasteful system."  He continued:                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     We recommend quite strongly that  Alaska take a look at                                                                    
     its  system.   We  love  Alaska.    We're not  here  to                                                                    
     criticize anybody,  but we just  have to tell  you that                                                                    
     having  looked  at  all 566  of  these  Native  nations                                                                    
     around  the  country for  the  last  three and  a  half                                                                    
     years, Alaska really  does stand out as  a system where                                                                    
     more local control would really  help all of the people                                                                    
     in Alaska, Native and non-Native alike.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
8:31:20 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  EID said  that ILOC  has  a series  of recommendations  that                                                               
starts with  the premise that  Alaska Native nations ought  to be                                                               
treated in the manner in which  they really are-the way they have                                                               
existed from  the beginning.   They  are federally  recognized as                                                               
sovereigns,  he said,  self-governing  with  a specific  identity                                                               
under law.   The  state of Alaska  should start  addressing these                                                               
issues  on a  government-to-government  basis,  he stressed,  and                                                               
with  that he  is talking  about respect,  not about  creating an                                                               
Indian  reservation  system.  Alaska  could  have  a  much  safer                                                               
environment,  he stated,  if the  legislature can  take steps  to                                                               
clarify the boundaries that Native  nations have, work with them,                                                               
and  begin to  take that  territorial  integrity as  a basis  for                                                               
jurisdiction, for policing, and for courts.  He said:                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     It doesn't  have to be  an issue of fighting  over land                                                                    
     status  endlessly; it's  simply a  question of  drawing                                                                    
     boundaries  that the  parties can  agree on  and really                                                                    
     make local law enforcement do  the heavy lifting.  Make                                                                    
     sure there's a  pathway into the courts,  but make sure                                                                    
     that  all  the  rights  that Alaska  Natives  have  are                                                                    
     respected, as well as non-Natives.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. EID pointed out that the  rest of the United States relies on                                                               
local government  and not on  a strong central  state government,                                                               
which does not  have the means or the legitimacy  to do this job.                                                               
It is failing  miserably in Alaska, he stated.   He said he looks                                                               
forward to  the day when there  can be more recognition  of local                                                               
control, because it  is in every Alaskan's interest  to save that                                                               
kind of money and to not  have an environment where Alaska spends                                                               
more money  litigating against Native  tribes than all  the other                                                               
49 states  combined.   "There's got  to be a  cheaper way  and an                                                               
easier way,  and I think  its starts with that  initial respect,"                                                               
he concluded.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
8:33:45 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE REINBOLD said she has not  lived in the Bush for a                                                               
long time,  but she wants  to support the  efforts of ILOC.   She                                                               
noted  that Mr.  Eid encourages  local government,  and yesterday                                                               
the  Alaska House  of Representatives  passed legislation  arming                                                               
VPSOs [village  public safety officers],  which is a step  in the                                                               
right direction.   She noted that many  boroughs are unorganized,                                                               
and she asked which local government Mr. Eid is referring to.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. EID  said arming VPSOs is  important and is supported  by the                                                               
commission.  Some  villages are in the position to  do what he is                                                               
describing  and some  are not,  and what  needs to  happen is  to                                                               
begin  to put  that  question  to the  Native  communities.   The                                                               
legislature  should   have  conversations  on   a  government-to-                                                               
government basis, he said.  In  the Lower 48, sometimes small and                                                               
remote  tribes  will  band  together  and  have  intertribal  law                                                               
enforcement, courts, and  such, he explained, and  the state will                                                               
recognize that.   They will work out a system  to ensure that the                                                               
boundaries  are clear,  but it  is  a common  occurrence for  one                                                               
court  to  serve  a  number   of  different  Native  communities.                                                               
Another way to  deal with the issue is to  have the dialogue with                                                               
smaller villages that are not ready,  and to ask, "What can we do                                                               
right now to build capacity in  those villages to help them?"  He                                                               
said they cannot  necessarily do everything but  maybe they will,                                                               
eventually.   The  state should  work on  the capacity  building,                                                               
such as  building up the tribal  court systems.  It  may entail a                                                               
program connecting  geographic areas with a  public defender, for                                                               
instance.   He explained that the  point is to get  the locals to                                                               
do more  and to build  the capacity with them.   "What we  see in                                                               
Alaska-really-is the opposite.  The  locals are struggling to try                                                               
to do  a lot of  these things,  sometimes with great  success, by                                                               
the way,  but too  often the  state's attitude  is: no,  that's a                                                               
threat to the  central system that we have."   The central system                                                               
never  effectively  serves the  role  of  local law  enforcement,                                                               
because the  response times  are too long  and the  distances are                                                               
too  great, he  explained.   There must  be a  strategy to  build                                                               
local control and accountability, even  if it is done by regional                                                               
groups or organizations taking the lead, he added.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
8:37:22 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  REINBOLD  said  she   rarely  agrees  with  Chief                                                               
Justice Fabe, but "this is something  we agree on."  She asked if                                                               
building up  tribal courts would  be done at the  federal, state,                                                               
or local  level.   She asked  if the plan  is moving  forward and                                                               
what the legislature can do.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
8:38:08 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  NAGEAK  said  one  problem  is the  lack  of  a  formal                                                               
recognition of tribes in Alaska.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. LEHR said she could not clarify that.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR NAGEAK said that most  of the government in rural Alaska                                                               
is tribal.   Tribes want  to work with  the state, but  "there is                                                               
some disconnect there somewhere."                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS. LEHR said  the state does recognize that  there are federally                                                               
recognized  tribes in  Alaska.    The issue  tends  to be  around                                                               
ownership of land  and not having a reservation  system in place.                                                               
She  added,  "The  state understands  that  there  are  federally                                                               
recognized  tribes,  but  that   doesn't  necessarily  solve  any                                                               
problem."                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. EID noted that the  state does not currently recognize Alaska                                                               
Native nations  on a government-to-government basis.   That needs                                                               
to happen  today-not tomorrow, but  today.  Every other  state in                                                               
the country  does, and every  president since Richard  Nixon has.                                                               
"The idea that  it is somehow debatable or optional  is a sign of                                                               
an  ancient  era," he  opined.    The U.S.  Constitution  clearly                                                               
recognizes these as sovereign [inaudible].   Once that respect is                                                               
shown,  and it  must be  more  than symbolic,  [the state  should                                                               
then] look to  [the tribes] as the local government  and offer to                                                               
help solve  these problems.  The  effort has to start  by saying,                                                               
"You are a government; we respect  that; we believe in that."  He                                                               
said  it is  not a  scary thing  to do;  it is  just part  of the                                                               
country's constitutional  framework and part  of who we are  as a                                                               
nation.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
8:41:45 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR LEDOUX inquired  as to how that  would work practically.                                                               
She totally  supports the  idea of local  control, she  said, but                                                               
there are  reservations in the  Lower 48 where everyone  would be                                                               
subject to tribal law.  Alaska  has no tribal land, so would only                                                               
members of  tribe be subject  to the  law or would  everybody who                                                               
lives in the vicinity be subject to tribal law?                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  NAGEAK said  that when  land claims  were settled,  the                                                               
majority  of  people  in rural  Alaska  wanted  tribes;  however,                                                               
Congress  wanted something  else and  created corporations.   The                                                               
corporations  own  land,  and  all   members  of  the  tribe  are                                                               
shareholders in  a corporation.   "Every time  we try to  come up                                                               
with  something to  help our  people,  [it is  said that]  tribes                                                               
don't have land,  well, I beg to  differ.  The tribes  do own the                                                               
land because  most of  the members  of the  tribes in  Alaska are                                                               
members of the corporation," he stated.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. EID explained that, in the  Lower 48, when a Native person is                                                               
on tribal  land or  within the boundaries  of a  reservation, the                                                               
tribe has  authority over that  person for criminal purposes.   A                                                               
tribe  does  not  have   criminal  jurisdiction  over  non-Native                                                               
persons on tribal land, and that  is based on a 1978 U.S. Supreme                                                               
Court case, called Oliphant, which was  viewed, at the time, as a                                                               
case that  would have very far-reaching  consequences-and it has.                                                               
The  situation  changed  slightly  last spring  by  the  Violence                                                               
against  Women  Act, which  gave  tribal  jurisdiction over  non-                                                               
Natives in  certain domestic violence  cases.   It was a  tool to                                                               
try to address domestic violence,  but Alaska was exempt from the                                                               
Act.    He noted  that  both  Alaska Senators  support  including                                                               
Alaska in  that section  of the Violence  against Women  Act, and                                                               
this topic  will come to  the forefront  in Alaska in  the months                                                               
ahead.   It is important  for the state  to begin to  think about                                                               
it, he opined.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. EID  said there is a  whole body of law  regarding the Alaska                                                               
Native corporations  and how  they can put  land into  trusts for                                                               
Native villages or  as a basis for jurisdiction.   He stated that                                                               
changing land status or land title  would have to be clarified by                                                               
Congress.   "But what I'm  asking you to please  consider doesn't                                                               
depend  on whether  you change  the  land status  or whether  you                                                               
recognize what's already there.   All this legislature would have                                                               
to do is work with the Alaska Native nations on a government-to-                                                                
government basis and  come up with boundaries  that are realistic                                                               
boundaries  for law  enforcement purposes  and for  courts."   He                                                               
suggested working cooperatively,  and it could be  a project that                                                               
is cosponsored  by the state and  the Native nations.   "It could                                                               
be mediated," he offered.  It  could just be done party to party,                                                               
he said,  and it would  be very similar to  drawing a line  for a                                                               
borough, township,  or a municipality.   He continued:  "You just                                                               
draw  a  government line  [and]  you  wouldn't necessarily  worry                                                               
about who owned the specific land.   You would say, here's a line                                                               
that makes sense for self-government."                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
8:49:08 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  FOSTER said  he  supports  pushing Alaska  Native                                                               
justice  to the  lowest level  possible.   He said  he represents                                                               
about  60 communities,  and nearly  all are  small villages.   He                                                               
asked if some form  of justice system could be at  the level of a                                                               
100-person village,  "or is this  something that we have  to have                                                               
at the hub level?"                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. EID  answered that  he understands that  there are  some very                                                               
small communities in Alaska.   He suggested being realistic as to                                                               
where to start,  and one way would  be to focus on  where the big                                                               
problems are.   Alcohol is one  huge problem, he noted,  and some                                                               
limited  authority  might  be   directed  at  combatting  alcohol                                                               
possession and abuse  where it is needed, which could  be done in                                                               
very small  villages by having  a tribal court judge  that serves                                                               
four to five villages.   The judge does not have  to be a lawyer,                                                               
he explained,  just someone who  is honest and willing  to assume                                                               
the responsibility.   The  state could  deputize these  people as                                                               
state judges  for certain purposes,  and they could be  Native or                                                               
not.    "So many of the  tribal governments in the  Lower 48 have                                                               
both Native and  non-Native judges; they hire  whoever they need,                                                               
or they work with whoever they need  to get the job done; they do                                                               
it in a way  they see fit, like other local  governments do."  He                                                               
said that  Alaska law can  be applied when necessary,  and judges                                                               
can  be trained  to handle  certain types  of cases.   An  appeal                                                               
might  be  directed  elsewhere,  if  desired.    He  said  to  be                                                               
realistic about what  can be done now; start  with something that                                                               
is important  like alcohol and  extend that authority at  a local                                                               
level.  Train  those people and then over the  next generation, a                                                               
growing pool of people can take on a lot of other things.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
8:53:05 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  NAGEAK opened  public  testimony on  the  Indian Law  &                                                               
Order Commission Report.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
8:53:21 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MICHELLE  DEWITT, Executive  Director, Bethel  Community Services                                                               
Foundation, said  she has  lived in  Bethel since  the mid-1990s,                                                               
and most of  her work has been with the  Tundra Women's Coalition                                                               
addressing  domestic  violence  and  sexual  assault.    She  now                                                               
directs the  Bethel Community  Services Foundation,  which serves                                                               
the community  and provides grants to  the region.  What  she has                                                               
learned from the  many years working with  Native people impacted                                                               
by domestic violence and sexual assault  "is that we need to stop                                                               
spending  so  much time  trying  to  fix  broken systems."    She                                                               
expressed  that  she  left  the   Women's  Coalition  because  of                                                               
"systems."     Seeing  how  systems  interact   with  people-with                                                               
victims-she realized that "we need  to stop being so defensive of                                                               
systems  that exist.   Just  because there  are systems  in place                                                               
doesn't  mean that  they're  the  best way  or  the  only way  to                                                               
address  crime  or   to  interact  with  people   or  to  provide                                                               
services," she stated.   She expressed her opinion  that VPSO and                                                               
trooper positions could  be added "for the rest  of my lifetime,"                                                               
but  it will  not address  crime  in Alaska's  most rural  tribal                                                               
communities.   The number of  Native Alaskans dealing  with these                                                               
issues  is overwhelming,  she stressed,  and she  appreciates the                                                               
report and agrees wholeheartedly  with the recommendations.  From                                                               
the perspective  of a  practitioner in  direct services  in rural                                                               
Alaska,  it  is  time  to respect  people;  respect  tribes;  and                                                               
empower  communities,   stakeholders,  and   tribal  communities.                                                               
Alaska needs  to consider  the [tribes  and communities]  as full                                                               
partners and engage people in local solutions to these issues.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
8:57:13 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HERRON  asked  why   Alaska  did  not  fight  for                                                               
inclusion  rather  than fight  for  exclusion  of Alaska  tribes,                                                               
except for Metlakatla.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS. DEWITT  said she believes  that it has  to do with  land; the                                                               
state spends significant resources  defending issues around land,                                                               
and that  impacts social policy  and the ability to  move forward                                                               
on other  platforms.  There  is so much fear  about acknowledging                                                               
sovereignty and  respecting people: "We're  digging in on  all of                                                               
these  issues, when,  in  fact,  we need  to  ...  stop being  so                                                               
defensive about the things that  are broken-that are not working-                                                               
and  start solving  some of  these  issues."   She expressed  her                                                               
belief that the state did not want to give anything up.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
8:59:27 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HERRON  noted  that,  historically,  the  federal                                                               
government has  dealt with American  Indians and  Alaska Natives.                                                               
In 1830,  there was  the Indian  Removal Act,  and in  the 1970s,                                                               
ANCSA [Alaska  Native Claims Settlement  Act] was passed  so that                                                               
"we could  build the pipeline."   He asked  if ANCSA is  a treaty                                                               
"that some  Alaskans like ... because  they were able to  get the                                                               
oil flowing.   Didn't we  extinguish tribal  rights, essentially,                                                               
for  convenience, and  now we're  fighting against  the decision-                                                               
which  was probably  done with  all  good intentions?"   He  said                                                               
ANCSA  is  coming  back  to  bite Alaska  Natives  in  the  worst                                                               
possible way.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. EID explained  that ANCSA is one of the  most amended federal                                                               
laws of  the last  40 years.   It  was amended  essentially every                                                               
single  session of  Congress for  the first  35 years.   He  said                                                               
ANCSA talks about there being  no wardship for Native people, and                                                               
it  makes it  sound like  the tribes  were being  extinguished or                                                               
their  rights were  being  much  degraded.   He  stated that  the                                                               
amendments  have changed  ANCSA, and  it is  very different  from                                                               
what it was in  1971.  If it had not changed,  "then why would we                                                               
have the  Indian Health Service  partnering and providing  all of                                                               
these services?"   There are  so many federal roles  that support                                                               
Alaska Natives,  similar to the  Lower 48, which could  not exist                                                               
if the  original ANCSA was  taken literally,  he added.   In some                                                               
sense, ANCSA  creates confusion,  but it is  not a  surprise that                                                               
Congress can  fix it  with support  from the  Alaska Legislature.                                                               
He stressed his point that  the legislature and the governor have                                                               
a key  role here.  A  system was envisioned that  would bring out                                                               
the best  in everybody in  Alaska, and  it was not  necessarily a                                                               
decision  of  expediency, but  one  designed  to maintain  Alaska                                                               
Native identity and be able to  have development.  The reality of                                                               
today needs  to be  looked at,  as there is  too much  crime; the                                                               
state wastes  too much money on  central services; and it  is not                                                               
working.  He stated, "You can  add VSPOs-you can do these things-                                                               
but it will  not change the structural problem that  exists."  He                                                               
suggested that the  bold thing to do is to  look at the structure                                                               
and ask  if it really  serves the  needs of modern  Alaskans when                                                               
the state  has grown  so much  and when the  crime problem  is so                                                               
great.   The  legislature  can  take a  leadership  role, and  it                                                               
starts with looking at the root cause.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
9:03:37 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KITO III noted that  there are over 200 recognized                                                               
tribes  in Alaska,  and he  asked how  a public  safety structure                                                               
would work for the smaller communities.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. EID  emphasized that  it needs  to be  worked out  with state                                                               
leaders and  tribal leaders.   He reiterated that the  task needs                                                               
to  be   tackled  on  a   government-to-government  basis.     He                                                               
recognizes that  tribes are  numerous and  many are  very remote.                                                               
The  process  will   take  time  and  attention   to  detail,  he                                                               
explained, but the  effort is not happening now,  and the state's                                                               
posture  has been  to  deny  that these  are  governments and  to                                                               
operate out of  the urban hubs.  The  legislature could establish                                                               
governmental boundaries  with agreement  from the  Native nations                                                               
and allow  jurisdiction within those lines.   It should not  be a                                                               
legal fight, he added.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
9:06:09 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  NAGEAK  said  regional  corporations  have  established                                                               
nonprofits that  receive lots of  federal funding.  They  are not                                                               
recognized  as tribal  entities, but  they allow  shareholders to                                                               
take care of some  of the social ills and needs.   Today there is                                                               
push-back  from  tribal  governments  as  there  are  territorial                                                               
conflicts between them [and the corporations].                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
9:07:36 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HERRON inquired as to  the intent of the co-chairs                                                               
in going forward with this report.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  NAGEAK said  he has  no  idea.   He said  he wanted  an                                                               
opportunity  to  bring  it  to  the public,  and  it  is  up  for                                                               
discussion regarding [what the committee does with it].                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR LEDOUX recalled that today  was to be informational, and                                                               
several weeks from  now, [the committee] might  have a discussion                                                               
about things it can do.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:09:01 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HERRON referred  to  a letter  from the  attorney                                                               
general asking  someone to attend  this hearing.   He recommended                                                               
that the report  be held for further consideration  in order that                                                               
the attorney  general can share  his views when he  is available.                                                               
He expressed his  desire to have on the record  what the attorney                                                               
general is  doing, specifically, to recognize  sovereignty in the                                                               
state.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR NAGEAK agreed with Representative Herron's suggestion.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
9:10:46 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JAMES HOELSCHER,  First Sergeant,  Village Public  Safety Officer                                                               
(VPSO),  noting  that he  is  a  Yupik  Eskimo from  Hooper  Bay,                                                               
informed  the  committee  that  he   has  been  involved  in  law                                                               
enforcement for  about 20 years in  Hooper Bay.  He  then related                                                               
that  there  are  challenges working  with  the  three  different                                                               
organizations with which  a VPSO works, which are  the state, the                                                               
VPSO employer  (which can be a  nonprofit or a borough),  and the                                                               
local  city or  tribal  government.   He  opined  that all  three                                                               
organizations have a shared mission  in that they all want better                                                               
public safety.   The different organizations  have shared members                                                               
and   long-term  and   short-term   goals.     Furthermore,   the                                                               
organizations have  different expertise and resources  along with                                                               
the  need  to  network  resources across  the  regions,  but  the                                                               
difficulties   [of  working   with  multiple   entities]  include                                                               
problems with  the lines  of communication,  including scheduling                                                               
any kind of meeting;  resolving philosophical differences between                                                               
members    to   achieve    goals;    costs;   and    obligations.                                                               
Communication  and  networking  is  complex  and  can  result  in                                                               
problems with either recognizing VPSOs  or disciplining them.  He                                                               
acknowledged that there  can be the perception  of duplication of                                                               
services  when  there are  VPSOs,  village  police officers,  and                                                               
tribal police officers.  Another  challenge in the arrangement is                                                               
that the  stronger partner  may dictate  administrative processes                                                               
that  the  other organizations  may  not  have chosen,  he  said.                                                               
There is also  a challenge in terms of  financial information and                                                               
control.   However, there are benefits,  including: the retention                                                               
of  sovereignty  for  each  organization  while  having  combined                                                               
resources; the  ability to reach  a larger audience;  an improved                                                               
advice  and  support  system;  a   dedicated  focus  on  missions                                                               
validated  by communications;  services,  support, and  stability                                                               
from  each  organization;  and  a  sharing  of  resources.    Mr.                                                               
Hoelscher related that  as a VPSO he  has felt as if  he is being                                                               
pulled  in  different  directions   and  caught  in  the  middle,                                                               
wondering who  he is supposed to  answer to and what  is expected                                                               
of him,  which is stressful  and at  times can be  more stressful                                                               
than  his calls.    He noted  that  what keeps  him  sane is  the                                                               
acknowledgement  that he  ultimately works  for the  residents of                                                               
Hooper Bay.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:16:15 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  FOSTER asked  Mr.  Hoelscher to  provide his  top                                                               
three suggestions, in  writing, of what the  legislature could do                                                               
to help streamline the process in rural Alaska.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. HOELSCHER agreed to do so.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
9:17:15 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HERRON inquired  as to  what Mr.  Hoelscher would                                                               
request if he were the king for  a day in terms of Alaska Natives                                                               
being taken for granted by the judicial system.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. HOELSCHER said he would  hope that everyone would listen with                                                               
open ears to  those educated and honest people who  are trying to                                                               
address community  needs, whether  they are VPSOs,  tribal police                                                               
officers, municipal  police officers,  or Alaska  State Troopers.                                                               
Sometimes  titles,  disagreements,  and  financial  issues  cause                                                               
wrinkles in the  system, he explained.   Mr. Hoelscher emphasized                                                               
his belief  that the communities  should have the  number-one say                                                               
in  what  they  want  with law  enforcement  and  public  safety.                                                               
Furthermore, he  opined, communities set  a precedent as  to what                                                               
services  they expect,  and that  should be  met.   As an  Alaska                                                               
Native living  in an  Alaska Native  community, he  expressed his                                                               
feeling that  some issues seem  to be an  uphill battle.   In his                                                               
over  20 years  as  a  VPSO, he  recalled  arresting parents  and                                                               
children, and  he noted the  difficulty in keeping  an optimistic                                                               
view "with all  that we go through," but  becoming pessimistic or                                                               
cynical would hinder  his effectiveness in his job.   However, he                                                               
is upset  with the direction  Alaska Native people have  been led                                                               
with alcohol and drugs, which  have contributed to the high rates                                                               
of suicide,  domestic violence, and  sexual assault.   He related                                                               
his desire  for everyone to  work toward  the same goal  and hold                                                               
true to it.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:21:12 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HERRON  noted that  Mr.  Hoelscher  was born  and                                                               
raised  in  Hooper  Bay,  and  he asked  how  many  Alaska  State                                                               
Troopers he has trained to understand  what it is like to live in                                                               
Hooper Bay.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. HOELSCHER answered  that he has trained over  20 troopers, as                                                               
well  as  those  who  are  not   assigned  to  Hooper  Bay.    He                                                               
highlighted  that one  of  the best  ways to  be  accepted is  to                                                               
understand the community, culture, and  its people.  He said that                                                               
he finds great enjoyment in  informing people about the community                                                               
of Hooper  Bay and its people  and in having them  participate in                                                               
[community/cultural]  activities,  which  is  necessary  to  gain                                                               
acceptance  and trust.   In  further  response to  Representative                                                               
Herron, Mr.  Hoelscher confirmed  that some  of the  officers did                                                               
not understand  rural Alaska  and could not  stay, and  those few                                                               
are no longer troopers because they  could not adapt to that part                                                               
of their job.   On the other hand, many of  those who were force-                                                               
transferred  out  to  Hooper  Bay   and  were  bitter  about  the                                                               
transfer, enjoyed  being there when  they really got to  know the                                                               
people and  got to see the  culture.  Some individuals  even came                                                               
back on  their own  [after being  transferred out],  because they                                                               
enjoyed the area so much.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:24:07 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. HOELSCHER, continuing his  presentation, highlighted that the                                                               
resources  lacking for  VPSOs across  the board  include housing,                                                               
vehicles, and office  space, which are essential for  VPSOs to do                                                               
their job.   Often, one  or more  of the components  are missing,                                                               
which results in a community not having  a VPSO.  Even if most or                                                               
all of those  items are provided, there may be  a lack of vehicle                                                               
fuel and  vehicle maintenance, office supplies,  heating fuel, or                                                               
running water, he  stated.  Mr. Hoelscher said he  is grateful to                                                               
work in  a community  with all those  resources (he  also pointed                                                               
out  that he  has his  own house  due to  the fact  that he  is a                                                               
resident of Hooper  Bay); however, the majority of  VPSOs are not                                                               
provided  with the  essential components  necessary  to do  their                                                               
jobs.  He noted  that he took the job as a  VPSO about five years                                                               
ago and  prior to that  was the Chief  of Police for  Hooper Bay.                                                               
As a certified  police officer he carried a gun.   He highlighted                                                               
that  it  can   be  challenging  to  be  a   VPSO  responding  to                                                               
emergencies  without immediate  backup.   Even with  the best  of                                                               
conditions, the response time [for  backup] can be hours-and that                                                               
weighs heavy  on his mind  and on the mind  of other VPSOs  to be                                                               
alone in situations where nobody should be alone.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
9:29:10 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SHANNON  JOHNSON-NANALOOK,  Indian   Child  Welfare  Act  (ICWA),                                                               
Iliamna, Alaska,  explained that Iliamna  is a hub  community for                                                               
the  villages   of  Iliamna  Lake.   Although  there   are  seven                                                               
communities around the  lake, there is only one  VPSO in Kokhanok                                                               
and one Alaska State Trooper based  in Iliamna.  She related that                                                               
she lives in a community without a  VPSO, but it has a great need                                                               
for  one.   She told  the committee  that she  has nine  years of                                                               
experience  living  and working  in  Togiak  as an  Indian  Child                                                               
Welfare Act  (ICWA) worker, and  until returning to  Iliamna, she                                                               
pursued a  bachelor's degree  in social work.   She  related that                                                               
she has  been a  service provider since  the late  1990s, helping                                                               
rural communities,  handling child  abuse and neglect  cases, and                                                               
working  on other  issues related  to children.   She  has worked                                                               
with numerous VPSOs  in the Bristol Bay area and  said they are a                                                               
precious resource for the small  communities.  The VPSOs dedicate                                                               
time  and  energy  to  the  villages,  and  she  understands  the                                                               
complexities of the  many roles they play on a  daily basis.  The                                                               
buddy system  used in Togiak  was such  that the ICWA  worker and                                                               
the VPSO would  respond to a domestic violence  incident, and the                                                               
situation  usually entailed  removing  children  to ensure  their                                                               
safety.   The role  of VPSOs  is extraordinary,  she said.   They                                                               
would have to  arrest the perpetrator; help the  ICWA worker find                                                               
homes for  the children; ensure  that the victims were  safe; and                                                               
provide counseling to the families  involved.  While Ms. Johnson-                                                               
Nanalook got to  go home to her  family, the VSPO had  to go back                                                               
to work and  guard the offender and file  reports.  Additionally,                                                               
VPSOs serve  various roles from  medical examiner to  role models                                                               
who   give    Drug   Abuse   Resistance    Education   (D.A.R.E.)                                                               
presentations in  the schools.   Ms. Johnson-Nanalook  noted that                                                               
she has been  involved with the tribal court,  and the assistance                                                               
VPSOs provide  is vital and  much appreciated.   She acknowledged                                                               
that there is no easy fix  to this complex issue in rural Alaska,                                                               
but  she expressed  hope that  these different  perspectives will                                                               
provide insight  into the  many roles  of VPSOs  and the  need to                                                               
fill these positions  in rural Alaska.  She noted  that her uncle                                                               
was a VPSO  who was honored for his heroism  during the floods in                                                               
1994, and she can name other VPSOs who are her heroes.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
9:36:02 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MIKE  MYERS,   Roving  Village  Public  Safety   Officer  (VPSO),                                                               
informed the  committee that  he serves most  of the  Bristol Bay                                                               
Native  Association  (BBNA)  villages.    Although  most  of  the                                                               
villages are  receptive to  having VPSOs,  the first  question he                                                               
often receives upon  arrival is, "Who are you  coming to arrest?"                                                               
Mr. Myers  stated that  he tells  residents that  he is  there to                                                               
support them  and help  them to  the best of  his abilities.   He                                                               
acknowledged that  some people have misconceptions  regarding how                                                               
people live  in villages and added  that it was an  education for                                                               
him when  he first  moved to Alaska  in 1977.   Some of  the most                                                               
common  problems in  the villages,  he related,  are alcohol  and                                                               
drugs.    Mr.  Myers  pointed out  that  everyone  has  different                                                               
expectations of VSPOs.  For  instance, Alaska State Troopers want                                                               
VPSOs to  be police officers, but  the VPSOs wear many  hats, and                                                               
he even considers himself a social  worker half of the time.  The                                                               
VPSOs face  individuals with mental  health issues, and  it takes                                                               
days to  get someone to  the village  to help the  individual, he                                                               
said.  He said small problems  lead to larger problems, and VPSOs                                                               
might not  be called until  things become "pretty serious."   Mr.                                                               
Myers expressed  the need to  better educate VPSOs,  Alaska State                                                               
Troopers, mental  health professionals, and physicians.   He also                                                               
expressed the need for a  better response time, such that perhaps                                                               
there would be local help in the villages he serves.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
9:41:05 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
HOLLY   HANDLER,   Attorney,   Alaska  Legal   Services,   Alaska                                                               
Federation of Natives  (AFN), said she is part of  the legal team                                                               
for  the Alaska  Federation of  Natives  (AFN).   She noted  that                                                               
Chapter 2 of the National  Indian Law and Order Commission (ILOC)                                                               
report  discusses the  Tribal Law  and Order  Act, and  she heard                                                               
that   there   has   been   some   skepticism   expressed   about                                                               
commissioners  from  outside  of   Alaska  examining  and  making                                                               
recommendations for Alaska.  She  said one of the perspectives of                                                               
the commission is its national  examination of the Tribal Law and                                                               
Order Act, which  was not implemented in Alaska.   The commission                                                               
can look  at how the  policy of self-determination for  tribes in                                                               
the United  States has  impacted the country  and how  its impact                                                               
has been  slower in  Alaska than  anywhere else.   It  is ironic,                                                               
because the  Act discusses Alaska  as being  one of the  areas of                                                               
most dire  concern, she explained.   She said the  commission can                                                               
look at the progress tribes  have made elsewhere and question why                                                               
Alaska has  been left out.   She  added that "the  commission has                                                               
also examined the issues in  Alaska being the epicenter of sexual                                                               
assault and domestic violence in the  country as being not just a                                                               
state problem but an issue of national concern."                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS.  HANDLER noted  that there  were questions  raised about  the                                                               
impact of ANCSA on Alaska tribes,  and while there is certainly a                                                               
lot of  grey areas  in the  wake of  ANCSA, it  has been  a long-                                                               
standing interpretation by federal  courts and the Alaska Supreme                                                               
Court that  ANCSA did not extinguish  the rights of tribes.   She                                                               
noted  that  there  was  a   question  regarding  the  "practical                                                               
implications" of  not having reservation  lands.   The commission                                                               
did not  work with a blank  slate, she said, and  she pointed out                                                               
that  the bibliography  in  the ILOC  report  includes the  Rural                                                               
Justice  and Law  Enforcement Commission  Report  for Alaska.  In                                                               
2012, that  commission issued a  comprehensive report  with ideas                                                               
for "how  this could work  on a  practical basis."   These issues                                                               
seem overwhelming,  but the  groundwork has  been laid  by people                                                               
who have  been paying attention  to these issues for  many years,                                                               
she explained.   "One  of the observations  of the  Rural Justice                                                               
and Law  Enforcement Commission,  that's relevant to  this report                                                               
here today  and thinking about  implementation in the  future, is                                                               
just  examining the  playing field.    There is  some mention  of                                                               
Native tribal  courts and  the resources  that tribal  courts and                                                               
tribal   governments  could   bring   to  a   state  and   tribal                                                               
partnership,"  she stated,  but both  commissions recognized  the                                                               
different "playing field."   The ability of the  state to support                                                               
full-time positions  is very different from  tribal courts, which                                                               
are mostly volunteer.  The  state has paid judges, clerks, staff,                                                               
and  support; whereas,  most tribal  judges work  on a  volunteer                                                               
basis  with, perhaps,  a part-time  clerk who  also serves  other                                                               
roles  such as  the local  ICWA worker  or tribal  administrator.                                                               
She stated that  there is federal funding for  some tribal courts                                                               
in Alaska,  but those are  predominantly three-year  grants which                                                               
is problematic.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS.  HANDLER  concluded  by  saying  that  the  most  significant                                                               
recommendation  in Chapter  2  of  the ILOC  report  is that  the                                                               
report not  be shelved.  One  of the more dismal  observations of                                                               
the  commission  is  the  lack of  follow-through  from  all  the                                                               
previous work that has been  done by the legislature, other state                                                               
groups, tribal  groups, and other  commissions.  So,  she stated,                                                               
the  AFN finds  that the  most significant  recommendation is  to                                                               
make  these issues  a priority,  including the  effort to  pursue                                                               
government-to-government relations.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
9:48:57 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HERRON  noted that  he wants to  wait and  have an                                                               
animated  conversation with  the Attorney  General, and  he asked                                                               
Ms. Handler is she thinks that will help.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. HANDLER said  the commission and AFN  supports more dialogue,                                                               
as there will be no progress unless people start talking.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:49:49 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HERRON  inquired as to  why there is  a reluctance                                                               
by  this and  other administrations  to acknowledge  sovereignty.                                                               
He   noted  that   the  Tony   Knowles  administration   had  the                                                               
"Millennium Agreement," but nobody "took the ball" after that.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS. HANDLER said  she is not the right person  to answer that and                                                               
cannot speak for the administration,  but she has observed in her                                                               
work that  there is a  great deal  of fear in  recognizing tribal                                                               
governments.    Having  discussions  can  help  bring  out  those                                                               
concerns and  may allay fears.   There  are some grey  areas, she                                                               
noted, where  there are  concerns about how  they will  play out.                                                               
She noted  that there is  also "insignificant  cooperation," such                                                               
as  tribal foster  care funding  where the  state and  the Tanana                                                               
Chiefs Conference  just signed an  agreement so that  foster care                                                               
funding can  flow from the  federal government through  the state                                                               
to  the tribal  courts.   When  these discussions  do start,  she                                                               
said,  people  may work  through  their  fears and  realize  what                                                               
resources are out there, and there is much progress to be made.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
9:53:02 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HERRON noted  that the  letter from  the Attorney                                                               
General stating that he could  not attend this hearing was copied                                                               
to others.   He requested  that the  co-chairs write a  letter to                                                               
those  who were  copied and  say, "Why  did you  not take  up the                                                               
invitation to be a part of this debate?"                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR LEDOUX  said she  was curious  as to  why even  a deputy                                                               
attorney general failed to attend.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
9:54:08 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR NAGEAK  stated that the  committee will hold  the report                                                               
until the attorney  general and others in  the administration can                                                               
attend.  "We will make that an open invitation," he said.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR LEDOUX  expressed her interest in  a vibrant discussion.                                                               
She then  said that she  once represented the Lake  and Peninsula                                                               
Borough,  and one  of the  most successful  communities sometimes                                                               
meted out unique  punishments.  It was not done  through a tribal                                                               
court,  she  said,  but  "the  community had  ceded  power  to  a                                                               
community administrator, and when people  didn't shape up in that                                                               
community and violated  the social norms of  that community," the                                                               
traditional  punishment of  banishment was  used.   She asked  if                                                               
unique  punishments would  be available  under tribal  law.   She                                                               
also recalled that  [offenders] in Anchorage were  once given bus                                                               
or airplane  tickets out  of town-so  it was  not just  in Native                                                               
communities.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
9:56:34 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. HANDLER  acknowledged those as  traditional methods  of local                                                               
community   policing  in   Native  and   non-Native  communities,                                                               
particularly  in areas  without law  enforcement.   "When there's                                                               
somebody  in  town that's  repeatedly  engaging  in violence,  in                                                               
bootlegging,   in  carrying   weapons   while  intoxicated,   the                                                               
community   often  feels   ...  that   without  an   outside  law                                                               
enforcement officer  to help deal  with this problem,  that there                                                               
has to  be some sort  of community response,  including escorting                                                               
somebody out of town or purchasing them a plane ticket."                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
9:57:57 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HERRON stated that  Nora Guinn of Bethel-the first                                                               
woman and  the first Native  district court judge  in Alaska-used                                                               
the "blue  ticket" a  lot.   He then  said he  is trying  to stop                                                               
using the  phrase, "local control,"  preferring, instead,  to use                                                               
"local responsibility."                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  NAGEAK closed  public  testimony on  the  Indian Law  &                                                               
Order Commission Report.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
9:59:21 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  LEHR  requested  clarification about  the  attorney  general                                                               
participating and whether that will  be separate from the planned                                                               
hearing on the recommendations of the ILOC.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HERRON said  he  wants to  keep the  conversation                                                               
going  but said  he  is  willing to  wait  to  have the  attorney                                                               
general in  front of  the whole  committee, because  the attorney                                                               
general's view on the ILOC has to be on the record.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
10:00:25 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. LEHR  said she wholehearted  agrees with having  the attorney                                                               
general's office and  the administration on record.   In closing,                                                               
she expressed appreciation to the  members for their time and for                                                               
agreeing that this conversation needs to happen.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
10:01:12 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being no further business before the committee, the House                                                                 
Community and Regional Affairs Standing Committee meeting was                                                                   
adjourned at 10:01 a.m.                                                                                                         

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HCR24 ver A.pdf HCRA 3/11/2014 8:00:00 AM
HCR 24
HCR24.Supporting Lttr.Nome Kennel Club.pdf HCRA 3/11/2014 8:00:00 AM
HCR 24
HCR24.Supporting Resolution.AFN.pdf HCRA 3/11/2014 8:00:00 AM
HCR 24
HCR24.Supporting Resolution.WACO.pdf HCRA 3/11/2014 8:00:00 AM
HCR 24
Indian Law & Order Commission Report.Roadmap.Ch 2.pdf HCRA 3/11/2014 8:00:00 AM
Indian Law & Order Commission Report
Indian Law & Order Commission Report.Summary of Roadmap 012014.pdf HCRA 3/11/2014 8:00:00 AM
Indian Law & Order Commission Report
Indian Law & Order Commission Report Fact Sheet.AFN.pdf HCRA 3/11/2014 8:00:00 AM
Indian Law & Order Commission Report
State of Judiciary 031313.pdf HCRA 3/11/2014 8:00:00 AM
Indian Law & Order Commission Report
Indian Law & Order Commission Report.Lttr Attorney General.pdf HCRA 3/11/2014 8:00:00 AM
Indian Law & Order Commission Report
HCR24.Fiscal Note.LAA.pdf HCRA 3/11/2014 8:00:00 AM
HCR 24