Legislature(1995 - 1996)
12/04/1995 10:00 AM JUD
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
JOINT HOUSE AND SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE December 4, 1995 10:00 a.m. Anchorage, Alaska HOUSE MEMBERS PRESENT Representative Brian Porter, Chairman (Via teleconference) Representative Joe Green, Vice Chair Representative Cynthia Toohey Representative Al Vezey HOUSE MEMBERS ABSENT Representative Con Bunde Representative Bettye Davis Representative David Finkelstein SENATE MEMBERS PRESENT Senator Robin Taylor, Chairman (Via teleconference) Senator Lyda Green, Vice Chair SENATE MEMBERS ABSENT Senator Mike Miller Senator Johnny Ellis Senator Al Adams OTHER HOUSE MEMBERS PRESENT Speaker Gail Phillips (Via teleconference) OTHER SENATE MEMBERS PRESENT Senator Rick Halford Senator Georgianna Lincoln (Via teleconference) COMMITTEE CALENDAR Impact of Venetie Case to Tribal Status in Alaska WITNESS REGISTER BRUCE BOTELHO, Attorney General Department of Law P.O. Box 110300 Juneau, Alaska 99811-0300 Telephone: (907) 465-3600 POSITION STATEMENT: Gave testimony and answered questions GARY HARRISON, Chairman Chickaloon Village and Traditional Chief of the Athabascan Nation Box 1105 Chickaloon, Alaska 99674 Telephone: (907) 745-0707 POSITION STATEMENT: Gave testimony CHARLES COLE, former Attorney General 406 Cushman Road Fairbanks, Alaska 99701 Telephone: (907) 452-1124 POSITION STATEMENT: Gave testimony ART SNOWDEN, Administrative Director Alaska Court System 303 K Street Anchorage, Alaska 99501 Telephone: (907) 264-0547 POSITION STATEMENT: Gave testimony MATTHEW NICOLAI, President Calista Corporation 601 West 5th Avenue Anchorage, Alaska 99501 Telephone: (907) 279-5516 POSITION STATEMENT: Gave testimony KARI BAZZY GARBER, representing Garber & Bazzy 189 C Street, Suite 211 Anchorage, Alaska 99501 Telephone: (907) 258-2260 POSITION STATEMENT: Gave testimony DORCAS STEIN, Executive Director Native Village of Barrow P.O. Box 1139 Barrow, Alaska 99723 Telephone: (907) 852-4411 POSITION STATEMENT: Gave testimony GERALD HOPE, President Tribal Council Ketchikan Indian Corporation 429 Deermount Street Ketchikan, Alaska 99901 Telephone: (907) 225-5158 POSITION STATEMENT: Gave testimony GEORGE EDWARDSON, Vice President Inupiat Community of the Arctic Slope P.O. Box 934 Barrow, Alaska 99723 Telephone: (907) 852-3746 POSITION STATEMENT: Gave testimony DICK BISHOP, Executive Director Alaska Outdoor Council 1555 Gus's Grind Fairbanks, Alaska 99709 Telephone: (907) 455-6151 POSITION STATEMENT: Gave testimony MARY BISHOP 1555 Gus's Grind Fairbanks, Alaska 99709 Telephone: (907) 455-6151 POSITION STATEMENT: Gave testimony JACK SCHAEFER P.O. Box 109 Point Hope, Alaska 99766 Telephone: (907) 368-2330 POSITION STATEMENT: Gave testimony ACTION NARRATIVE TAPE 95-62, SIDE B Number 000 NOTE: Nothing recorded on the first side of the tape. UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: Going on to the -- the list of powers that are held by a tribal entity without regard to a land based Indian country determination, would you go through the specific list of what those powers are as they apply in Alaska -- or as they apply, in your opinion, following recognition of these tribes in Alaska. BRUCE BOTELHO, ATTORNEY GENERAL, DEPARTMENT OF LAW: Madam Chairman, they would generally include, as I said.... SENATOR RICK HALFORD: Generally include.... CHAIRMAN LYDA GREEN: Excuse me, Attorney General, Senator Halford would like the specific answer, not the general answer. MR. BOTELHO: Madam Chairman, I'm not sure what the distinction is. SENATOR HALFORD: Well, there are a number of specific acts. Obviously, Public Law 280 -- it's -- it's, I think your opinion, it doesn't apply. The Indian Child Welfare Act I think does apply, in your opinion. But there are a number of other things, rather than just the general statement that entities have a right to determine their membership and deal with domestic relationships and I would kind of like you to go through the specific list of what they -- what they are. MR. BOTELHO: Madam Chairman, the answer to that is, I think, already given. Those are the -- those are the powers. There are specific acts of Congress that have already extended on an act-by- act basis, tribal status to villages and there is a laundry list, a fairly extensive laundry list - I do not have it in front of me, but would be akin to the Indian Child Welfare Act, where the specific powers are granted by Congress. The distinction here is that a list itself indicates that quite apart from all the specific federal acts that confer -- (indisc.) use the word try -- to provide the opportunity for Alaskan villages to access specific programs that for all purposes -- all federal purposes, these tribes would (indisc.) establish a sufficient government-to- government relationship with the federal government. So, I guess the long and short of it is, I would be pleased Madam Chairman, to submit a list of specific federal acts. I don't have them in hand. I don't think that they are particularly relevant in the sense that they pre-existed (indisc.) both the federal (indisc.) recognized Indians Tribal (indisc.) Act of 1994 and our posture in this litigation. SENATOR HALFORD: Well, it would seem that if you were -- you were taking an action that allowed something to occur, you would know what -- what the result of your action was. And granted, the listing is a federal function but, I mean, I would like to see exactly what we're talking about. I think there are some conflicts -- had there not been for example, do we not have a state Supreme Court case that goes directly in contradiction to the Indian Child Welfare Act just in the last couple of years. MR. BOTELHO: Let me answer again, Madam Chairman. I think we have a good sense of what this decision not to challenge means and what the effect is and they are stated generally because that's exactly what they are. With regard to specific acts of Congress that have already denominated for the purposes of those respective acts that Alaska villages are tribes, this position is entirely irrelevant and I again submit that if this is of interest to members of the committee, I will be delighted to submit that list to you. I don't have it at hand. With regard to the powers of a tribe not occupying Indian country, the areas are generally as I have outlined. There is nothing more specific to say. SENATOR HALFORD: I am kind of amazed that you don't have a list. I -- I assume you expected to -- to deal with the legislature and the people of Alaska in explaining the effect of your action and I am amazed that you don't have -- really a presentation that says these are the powers, these are why they are not a problem in your opinion, and just the ability to do that. Because I think that's - - that's an important consideration in your advocating the position you're taking. I would hope that you would, possibly during the lunch break or something, get somebody on your staff, or if you can get them started now putting together a list so you can fax it to us so we have it for this afternoon's consideration. Because I think, you know, we get sucked into an after-the-fact consideration and one of the things that I don't like about the way it happens is because we generally -- I mean, or at least I'll speak for myself - - all the things that -- that accrue as benefits in terms of tribal powers, I have no objection to. All the things that accrue as powers over people and allocation and these sorts of things, that's where I think we have a constitutional obligation to all of our citizens. If the federal government will provide medical care for a group of our citizens, we should be very grateful and only wish they would provide it for all of us. But by the same token, what we are talking about is differences and I guess the Indian Child Welfare Act and some of the cases that have come out of it have really brought to -- to the forefront some very, very distinct problems with equal protection. I mean, we have an obligation to protect all of our citizens equal and the Indian Child Welfare Act makes it hard to do that. And because most of it's worked very well, you know, it hasn't been a problem. But when you expand it and you put three or four or five different tribal entities in an inter-family argument and then say that you have different rights based on that, I think it's -- it's very dangerous. So, I would hope you'd get a list to us as quickly as you can. MR. BOTELHO: Madam Chairman, we -- we will endeavor to do that over the noon hour and to the extent that Senator Halford is referring or, you know, expressing concern about whether the state is going to be involved in -- in jurisdictional disputes with tribal entities, I think the answer is (indisc.) yes, and the Indian Child Welfare Act is -- is probably a good example. It's been in play long pre-dating this issue of the listing in the state. The state has -- had conflicts with tribal entities over placement of children. At the same time, we've also worked agreements with several that I think have in more recent years, proven that we are able to, at the state, work with tribal entities towards the best interests of the child within -- within the terms of the act. It doesn't mean that it's without dispute and we'll continue to have conflicts. CHAIRMAN GREEN: Representative Toohey. REPRESENTATIVE CYNTHIA TOOHEY: Are you finished Senator? SENATOR HALFORD: For now. REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY: Mr. Botelho, what happens if a -- if a gentleman or a woman from Venetie comes to the city - let's say kills somebody - whose -- whose laws are they breaking? Are they breaking ours or are they breaking the tribal and who has jurisdiction over those -- those members? MR. BOTELHO: Madam Chairman, Alaska is known as a Public Law 280 state. That is that the federal government has granted Alaska exclusive jurisdiction over federal matters in the state whether or not occurring on Indian land. REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY: Thank you. SENATOR HALFORD: Just a thought. Years ago under the, I think the Sheffield Administration, Bob Price put together a manual of basically precedents in Indian law in the rest of the country. I wonder, I think the Attorney General's Office should still have those and it might be very effective to get copies of that. He now works for one of the corporations, I believe. I'm not sure that he agrees with his old opinions, but this Attorney General doesn't agree with his last year's opinion, so it's probably okay. But I wonder if we could get a copy of that for every member of the committee. Are you familiar with the manual I'm talking about. MR. BOTELHO: Madam Chairman, if Senator Halford is referring to the joint work that he and Don Mitchell put together, the answer is yes. SENATOR HALFORD: Could we.... MR. BOTELHO: If there's another document that's being referred to, I'm not sure. SENATOR HALFORD: Well, this was done -- it was during the Sheffield Administration and there was actually a commission appointed on.... MR. BOTELHO: Yes, this would be the report that I'm referring to then. SENATOR HALFORD: Ya. It's not the report, it's -- it's the information background that explained the significance and it went through things like 280 and what states were in and what states were out and all the other powers that were in question. MR. BOTELHO: That's the report I'm referring to. SENATOR HALFORD: Ya, I -- I would appreciate it if you would make that available to the -- to at least the members of this committee. CHAIRMAN GREEN: Representative Green. REPRESENTATIVE JOE GREEN: Thank you, Madam Chairman. Bruce, I know I'm probably unrelentingly hammering on this concern that I have about what happens in act two of this thing, but I'm wondering also if you would mind answering a situation that as elected officials we have an obligation to the Constitution of the state of Alaska, and that if we either collectively or unilaterally give up that which we are sworn to uphold, do we run the risk of perhaps abrogating our -- our responsibility as elected officials of the state. And, of course, I'm talking about the fact that this was what, at least on the appearance, was a rather unilateral decision by the Administration. Where do you go to the point of saying that's enough and if I go beyond that, now I'm abrogating my sworn responsibility to the state. MR. BOTELHO: Madam Chairman, I think that's an issue that's entrusted to each of us individually as we take our oaths of office. But we're sworn to uphold both the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the state of Alaska. Now the Constitution of the United States is supreme. My judgment, given the actions of the Congress last year in acknowledging itself, the list -- the list process, our chances of prevailing on appeal were virtually nil. (Indisc.) it clearly supports the decision by this Administration, reached for other reasons, that this is the right answer; that it is clearly fulfilling the oaths of office that this Administration has undertaken. And that's not to say that others, such as yourselves, who have taken the same oath could reach a different conclusion. REPRESENTATIVE GREEN: And I think that's the concern that I'm expressing which has been expressed to me by others of the legislature that by eliminating us, the decision that was made may have -- I mean all of us are subject to error and maybe a better decision might have been made had there been a little more dialogue between the various branches of government. And so my concern then is, and certainly you're far more legally trained than I am, but it seems to me that when you make an oath that you take a certain personal obligation that -- I think it transcends your own individual interpretation of that oath. I think it's pretty plain and I think you have a very strong obligation to stay with that oath and I don't -- I disagree with you; certainly I don't stand on legal ground but morally sir, I think you -- you don't have an individual right. You have a right that's spelled out in that oath you take. CHAIRMAN GREEN: Senator Halford. SENATOR HALFORD: Follow up. Was there a request made to Judge Holland to reconsider his decision? MR. BOTELHO: There was. SENATOR HALFORD: Could we have faxed copies of that request to the members of the committee for this afternoon's meeting as well? MR. BOTELHO: Yes, we could. REPRESENTATIVE GAIL PHILLIPS, SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Madam Speaker, this is Representative Phillips. Would you have one of those faxed to me, also. CHAIRMAN GREEN: Yes, we will. SENATOR HALFORD: Was there an appeal prepared that was then dropped prior to the -- the decision not to pursue the case? MR. BOTELHO: No, the appeal had not been sufficiently (indisc.) because Judge Holland had not yet entered a final judgment. SENATOR HALFORD: Is there a draft of an appeal plan? MR. BOTELHO: Not that I recall. And I'm informed here no, there was not. SENATOR HALFORD: Thank you. Another topic. CHAIRMAN GREEN: Yes, Senator Halford. SENATOR HALFORD: What are the -- the cases where the state has granted -- or agreed to immunity from lawsuit by entities claiming sovereign immunity? MR. BOTELHO: I can only recall two cases where the issue even arises. One that the state was not involved in, and that was the Nenana Fuel v. Venetie and the Stevens Village situation, where the issue is even arisen in litigation. SENATOR HALFORD: Well, what is the -- I mean are there any places where the state recognizes any sovereign immunity to any quasi- governmental entity? MR. BOTELHO: Any quasi-governmental entity? SENATOR HALFORD: Of a tribal nature or that would be included in this list. MR. BOTELHO: I can't recall any. I think that for the most part where the state has, at least formally, the state has not consistently but we have as a department urged departments of state government that enter into agreements, grants, and the like to seek a specific waiver of sovereign immunity as a condition of receiving the grants. SENATOR HALFORD: So it is -- it is still the opinion of the Department of Law that there should be a specific waiver of sovereign immunity in any case where any grant brings up the question? MR. BOTELHO: That has been the position we have taken. Whether agencies have done so consistently, I think the answer is no, they have not. SENATOR HALFORD: So, where do we have sovereign immunity questions outstanding, then? Or do we know? MR. BOTELHO: We don't know; we don't administer programs. We have advised agencies to seek such waivers when granting monies, and those could range from Community & Regional Affairs, Education, Health & Social Services, and the like. Many departments administer such grants. SENATOR HALFORD: Isn't there an administrative hierarchy that says when the Department of Law comes down with a clear standard, it has to be followed in a legal question. MR. BOTELHO: I'd sure like to believe that, Senator. SENATOR HALFORD: Well, I think -- I seem to come up with more questions than answers, but -- but I'd kind of like to know where the sovereign immunity questions are outstanding. And if there is any correlation between that list and this list. MR. BOTELHO: Well, Madam Chairman, the state is not currently involved with any litigation, that I am aware of, involving sovereign immunity. UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: (Indisc.) the question? SENATOR HALFORD: If we don't litigate and it's asserted, I suppose surrender avoids the battle. CHAIRMAN GREEN: Representative Vezey. REPRESENTATIVE AL VEZEY: Thank you, Madam Chairman. Mr. Botelho, I'd kind of like to go back and -- over some of the ground I -- I started on earlier because I don't have an answer yet. You gave us a definition for what a tribe was. Well, in the context that we're talking about Alaska, what does it take to be a -- for lack of a better word -- a member or a citizen of a tribe? What is the definition? MR. BOTELHO: Madam Chairman, I'm not sure I quite heard the question. Is the question (indisc.) reiterate what is the definition of a tribe? REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY: No, you gave us the definition of a tribe earlier this morning, but in the context of Alaska, what constitutes a tribe -- what is the definition of a tribe -- how does one become a member of a tribe. I mean, let's take for instance 1 of the 226 villages that have been established by the federal government and the state has concurred in, is Evansville - Evansville Village. How does one become a member of that tribe? What constitutes that tribe? MR. BOTELHO: Well, this may be somewhat redundant, Madam Chairman, but a tribe is what the federal government has decided is a tribe and again, that could be accomplished in one of several ways. It could be done by executive action, it can be done by Congressional action, and it can be done by judicial determination. If it's done by judicial determination, there is a common law test, which I went through. The federal government, the Executive Branch, has had a regulations process for groups who do not believe that (indisc.) previously recognized to assert that they are in fact a tribe. In Evansville, not otherwise being on the list, might use that process; might also simply go to Congress and ask for an act, just as Tlingit Haida Central Council did. And that determination is conclusive in the eyes of the law. REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY: If I may continue - I'm assuming that you're -- you're through with your answer, Mr. Botelho. Okay, there -- I know of no legal entity, such as Evansville Village. We refer to villages in Alaska, in my opinion, it's for lack of a legal entity name, but there is an entity, an Evansville Village Corporation under the Alaska Native - ANCSA. What is the -- is there a correlation between Evansville Village that the federal government has recognized as a tribe and Evansville Village Corporation? MR. BOTELHO: Not -- not according to the list. It may, in fact have been a (indisc.) relationship and it's quite possible that Evansville Village Corporation, Inc. would have appeared in the 1988 list. (Indisc.) don't know. REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY: Okay, so you're -- you're -- if I understand your testimony correct is, the members of these tribes have not been established by law yet. Is that your testimony? MR. BOTELHO: No, it is not, Madam Chairman. Memberships is determined by the tribe, itself. Presumably, the tribe has already made that determination in almost all cases. And I say that in part, because the list is largely made up of villages listed in -- in ANCSA, itself. REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY: Madam Chairman, I'm -- I'm a little confused. It seems like I'm getting the answer that I don't know what comes first, the chicken or the egg. You -- you really have managed to confuse me. I mean, you say that this tribe already exists, but it hasn't been defined -- I mean, if it already exists, what is -- who does it consist of, what is it? Who are the people that in Evansville Village, whoever that might be, that are going to have the power to deal directly with the federal government, the power to accept federal monies, and the power to adjudicate people that that village has authority over, whoever that might be. MR. BOTELHO: Madam Chairman, if we're talking about if Evansville appears on the list, again I can take a moment to see whether it does.... REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY: It -- it does, I assure you and I happened to pick Evansville because I know most of the people that live there but. MR. BOTELHO: Then the question of who the federal government deals with in Evansville is a matter between the federal government and - - and the tribe called Evansville. I do not know whether it has an IRA council, traditional council, or some other form of government. REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY: Well, what if one of the people living in the area, in Evansville, wants to be a member of the tribe and the federal government says they can't be a member, I mean, what -- what -- where do we draw the line here. MR. BOTELHO: Madam Chairman, the federal government will not determine who is and is not a member of the tribe. The tribe will make that determination and if a person wishes to challenge that would have to do it first to the tribe. REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY: Well okay, then who is this tribe? If we haven't formed this tribe yet, but you say it already exists and it will determine who is a member, where does this tribe come from? Who does it include and who does it, more importantly, exclude? MR. BOTELHO: Madam Chairman, I realize this is somewhat circular. The list is a list of tribes which the federal government has already determined, has a government-to-government relationship with it. This is not a list of entities that (indisc.) into existence as a result of the list. REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY: Well, let me -- let me ask this then. Could I buy my way into this tribe? Is membership for sale? MR. BOTELHO: Madam Chairman, I think that would be a matter between Representative Vezey and the tribe. I don't know the answer because I do not know the basis on which they determine membership. REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY: Well okay, you don't know the basis on which they determine membership so birthright or material possessions or residency are not a requirement for being a member of a tribe. MR. BOTELHO: Madam Chairman, I do not know with regard to Evansville, what the basis of tribal membership is. REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY: Madam Chairman, thank you. I won't belabor that (indisc.). I do have -- I have a whole bunch more questions, but I would like to ask one more at this time and that is, quite frankly, I mean, nobody has convinced me that there's a lot of logic into the establishment of these 226 new government entities and they have been granted power, but they have been granted power by the Secretary of the Interior, who does not have the power to arbitrarily create these quasi-government entities. Now do not you think that the fact that apparently, from everything that's said, I can only assume that this has been arbitrarily, that that is a violation of the law and the power of the Secretary of the Interior? The fact that it is arbitrary is that not grounds to contest the establishment of these government entities? MR. BOTELHO: Madam Chairman, the difficulty is this. In 1994, Congress specifically reviewed the 1993 list which we have contested. (Indisc.) that no entity on the list may be removed, except by act of Congress. The second aspect in the act made clear that the Secretary of Interior had erred by failing to include in the 1993 list the Tlingit and Haida Central Council. As one looks at the committee report attached to the act, one is quite clear that Congress specifically deliberated over the status of Alaska tribal entities and made clear that this act was not to interfere with the controversy in existence in Alaska, then and today, with regard to the existence or nonexistence of Indian country. So whatever our views, collectively or individually about the arbitrariness of the Secretary of Interior's list, Congress has expressly acknowledged it. The consequence of that is that there has been (indisc.) no more than Congressional acquiescence in the acts of the Secretary of the Interior. CHAIRMAN GREEN: Representative Green. REPRESENTATIVE GREEN: Thank you, Madam Chairman. Bruce, I mean when you -- when you really stop and look back at this -- this whole thing as was indicated by the former question, that we have within the state of Alaska, as many tribes as essentially as there are in the Lower 48 with a fraction of the population and those could be confrontational to say the least, certainly they could argue with state law, doesn't this create a morass of problems as opposed to a more orderly form of government. And the concern I have is that wouldn't it be better if -- if the Department of the Interior can arbitrarily decide to not follow its procedures for establishing what constitutes a tribe, wouldn't we be better off as a state with so many of these, to force some litigation to determine whether or not it would be better in the state's ultimate interest to find out what constitutes a tribe rather than just an arbitrary decision by the Secretary of the Interior. And wouldn't it also perhaps be better for the state down the road, because you and I both may disagree on whether or not there will be any further slippery slide that I've referred to earlier, we can almost be sure that there is going to be some litigation at some time, that it would be better than to have just a single judge, and no disrespect to Judge Holland, but perhaps it would be better to have an appellate court where you have more than one judge to determine something so important to a single state. I mean, the consequences of this what may appear to be just a rather nominal act in Washington for this way off refrigerator called Alaska, may not be of much concern to them, but it's of vital concern to us and it seems to me we need to take appropriate steps to stop that rather than to acquiesce. MR. BOTELHO: Madam Chairman, Representative Green raises (indisc.). There is no doubt that there will be a great deal of work involved in sorting out over time, what relationship the state will have to these entities. I know it's of no surprise that we've seen several local governments in the state deactivate - deincorporate as it were - disincorporate - at state chartered local governments in favor of traditional councils and the like to govern, and that's something we intend to sort through and we're going to have to sort through and would have had to sort through regardless of this particular decision. The decision I'm referring to is the decision of this Administration not to pursue the appeal, not the decision of Judge Holland per se, and it gets back to the fact that the Governor - this Administration has chosen not to have a battle over this issue which (indisc.) counterproductive and which again to an extent has been validated by Judge Holland's decision but was not the basis for the conclusion that the state should try to develop a better, happier relationship with the villages throughout Alaska. I guess I want to again re-emphasize that this is not a judge-driven policy call; it is one that is committed to the Governor, and his Administration has made that call and (end of tape). TAPE 95-63, SIDE A Number 000 MR. BOTELHO: ...Administration before the Hickel Administration and beyond. SENATOR ROBIN TAYLOR: Madam Chair. CHAIRMAN GREEN: Yes. SENATOR TAYLOR: I think we all understand that the (indisc.) nature of politics and the decisions that may often be made for political purposes. The part that I think of the Attorney General's testimony that concerns me was Senator Halford's question when he said, "(Indisc.) that the Attorney General had dramatically changed his legal opinion which appears to be different today from what it was only a short time ago." I think the question is one of legal interpretation that he might best render a decision for a (indisc.) or render an opinion on and that is has your opinion legally changed? We all understand an election took place, but how has your legal opinion changed? MR. BOTELHO: Madam Chairman, with regard to Indian country, that position has remained quite consistent and with regard to the question of the challenge to tribal status, based on change in federal law this last year my judgment is that we would lose on appeal the question of tribal status. I think prior to congressional action last year, our chances of prevailing on the question of tribal status and the listing was a much, much more viable case. CHAIRMAN GREEN: Senator Halford. SENATOR HALFORD: Just a follow up on that. Did you or the state have any input or interaction on that congressional action? MR. BOTELHO: I'm aware of no involvement directly by the Governor's Office - Washington, D.C. Office - on the list and my office was not involved. SENATOR HALFORD: You said no involvement directly, is an interesting qualifier. Did... MR. BOTELHO: Let me be specific. To my knowledge, no person in my department was involved at all in the congressional action and I'm unaware of any activity by this Administration with regard to that legislation. SENATOR HALFORD: But the action was just the next year's list, was it not? I mean the list comes out every year does it not? MR. BOTELHO: The list, Madam Chairman, is now required to come out every year. That is a result of action taken by Congress in 1994. Prior to that time, there was a five-year gap between the 1988 and 93 listing. SENATOR HALFORD: But wasn't that the whole substance of the change that there had to be a list every year? MR. BOTELHO: Madam Chairman, the answer is no. I'll reiterate that Congress expressly considered the list of 93, found that the list was wanting with respect to Alaska, because of the (indisc.) between 1988 and 1993 of the Tlingit and Haida Central Council and the act also specifically provided that the Secretary may not remove an entity on the list, that only Congress may do so. CHAIRMAN GREEN: One of the things Bruce -- this is Lyda -- that I would kind of like to have a description of is once the tribal status of a village or a group is implemented, what would be the practical difference in viewing that village and the way it operates the day after tribal status and the day before tribal status. What functions would they literally be taking over and how would their relationship with state and other local officials change? MR. BOTELHO: Madam Chairman, I think for the most part we haven't noticed and we didn't expect to see any -- any changes. Where it is most likely to arise is the situation, which I think both Senator Halford and Representative Vezey have alluded to, and that's going to be in the context of the Indian Child Welfare Act; perhaps in terms of the state formally registering birth certificates or adoption orders by tribes. The state has, in fact accommodated that issue for the most (indisc.) Indian Child Welfare related actions for the last several years. There are a lot of tribal adoptions that have taken place without the involvement of the state. That perhaps has been an action of acquiescence in part. My guess is that one could expect to see more formal relationships develop. We have agreements with several communities dealing with ICWA - the Indian Child Welfare Act. I suspect we'll see more of those in terms of how (indisc.) state social workers will relate with tribal social workers. We'll have the issue of how to deal with registrations of domestic relations acts. CHAIRMAN GREEN: Senator Halford. SENATOR HALFORD: Aren't you also going to have a new issue in the tribal set aside provisions of the Welfare Reform Act that's just coming out? MR. BOTELHO: That's clearly an issue right now pending in Congress. I don't think it's at all affected by this decision. I think most of the discussions have focused on the twelve regional nonprofits who have been providing those social benefits, do not see it related directly to this position at all. CHAIRMAN GREEN: Do we see in the future then as -- as you referred to it awhile ago is that you acquiesced and certain things came forward and the state did not oppose it; therefore, it was implemented. As we have granted then (indisc.) adoption and other what are called sort of soft legal issues, does that naturally then begin to spread like ink on the sponge and just be absorbed as part of the function without the state further opposing any taking of those types of powers. MR. BOTELHO: Madam Chairman, I think if I understood your question - because it broke up here - my understanding is concern about creeping expansion of authority? CHAIRMAN GREEN: That would -- that's fair. MR. BOTELHO: It's breaking up here in Juneau. All of us are perplexed - the technician is out of the room. CHAIRMAN GREEN: I'm concerned that the precedent is set with the even limited definition of what tribal status affords to a tribe to govern. Is that going to continue to expand? MR. BOTELHO: Madam Chairman, the basis for what a tribe without land may do is pre-circumscribed; it's also, I think, fairly -- fairly static. That does not mean that Congress could not decide to expand the powers available to a tribe, as such. There is no way of predicting that it would not do that. I'm not aware of any legislation in that area, but it is an area of great activity and perhaps the most dramatic example in the last several years was the creation of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, (indisc.) where Congress has specifically expanded a power towards tribes. But again in that particular context, it requires a land base. So, I guess the long and short of it is, I can't give you the assurance, Madam Chairman, that there won't be additional powers, but they are powers that, in my view, are almost exclusively powers that could only be extended by Congress and not by Executive or Judicial (indisc.). Number 109 REPRESENTATIVE BRIAN PORTER: Madam Chairman. CHAIRMAN GREEN: Yes, Representative Porter. REPRESENTATIVE PORTER: Bruce, at a State Affairs Committee hearing earlier this summer on another issue the situation in Tyonek was described by people on both sides of their issues and (indisc.) these concerns are the basis for the suit you mentioned that involves Tyonek or not, but if I understood their situation they have - the village - whatever entity they have - has decreed that non-village members give 24 hours notice before entering the village geographic dimensions that are defined I guess by their village corporation, and may be rejected -- that 24-hour notice can be then acted on and their (indisc.) could be disallowed entry into that village. (Indisc.) questions. One, I'm certainly assuming and would like your agreement or not, that what we're doing here by not filing this appeal, would not allow that to happen; and two, that they can't do that anyway. Am I off base on that? MR. BOTELHO: Madam Chairman, Representative Porter, you are not. The Tyonek situation is the facts which have bounced between the district court, the Ninth Circuit I think twice, and once to the U.S. Supreme Court, are perhaps even more egregious - I won't say perhaps, I think they are, at controversy initially was passage of Tribal Ordinance No. 4 is my recollection, which prohibited members of the tribe from renting property to non-tribal members; in particular, two sets of school teachers, or two families, and in essence evicting them from -- from the community on the basis of not only tribal status, but the existence of Indian country and that matter is currently pending in front of Judge Holland on remand with the court - Ninth Circuit directed that Judge Holland make specific findings with regard to the existence of Indian country. And that the case has been actually ongoing for several years and again, my guess is that his decision when it issues, will parallel those that he reached in the Venetie and Kluti Kaah cases. REPRESENTATIVE PORTER: Thank you. I hope that is the case. CHAIRMAN GREEN: Representative Green. Number 152 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN: Thank you, Madam Chairman. Bruce, when I asked you earlier about the possibility of going beyond just the local jurisdiction and getting into the possibility of Indian country, you said no, that in fact, there would be a line in the sand - a barrier would be put up, not to worry, and yet I think I heard you say to Senator Green's question that there was no guarantee that there wouldn't be the sponge effect of creeping jurisdiction. My question now is if that's possibly a not as strong a wall as we thought, what would the state's position be if we were to get a bad decision in the Ninth Circuit Court on the issue of Indian country. Would the state acquiesce again, or would they come to the -- come to the table? MR. BOTELHO: Madam Chairman, were the state to not prevail on the question of Indian country in the Ninth Circuit, we would take appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. CHAIRMAN GREEN: Pardon me. Senator Taylor, did you have something? SENATOR TAYLOR: Pardon? CHAIRMAN GREEN: Did you have a question? SENATOR TAYLOR: No -- no. CHAIRMAN GREEN: Okay, thank you. As previously announced, we'll be adjourning... UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: Madam Chairman. CHAIRMAN GREEN: Just a moment. Gary, did you have -- you have one -- about 30 seconds. Come to the table. Number 172 GARY HARRISON, Chairman, Chickaloon Village and Traditional Chief of the Athabascan Nation: Yes, Ma'am. My name is Gary Harrison; I'm chairman of Chickaloon Village and I'm also been made a traditional chief of the Athabascan Nation and pretty hard to do in 30 minutes what the 5-minute limit said. But first of all, many people need to understand the treaties which have been made in regards to Alaska. (Indisc.) was one of the first treaties that were made and these treaties are supposed to be the highest law of the land, as been pointed out previously. And in this particular treaty it was pointed out prior that -- that Russia did not own any land so this treaty was not a land sale. And it also made mention to the fact that they were supposed to protect the Natives, the indigenous inhabitants, from both foreign and domestic abuses. I'd also like to point out another treaty which has been made and it's the U.N. Treaty and in it, it has Article 73. And in it, the United States and its people were supposed to uphold that they were supposed to bring the inhabitants of the territories at that time which Alaska was one, up to self-government in regards to their social, political and economic which is only part of what it is, but they took this as a sacred trust. And in it they were supposed to also protect us from foreign and domestic abuses. What the state of Alaska did when they had a prerequisite before they held the vote in 1958 to write and speak English basically was not upholding these rights which they took a sacred trust to uphold. And I understand most of you people who have taken a sacred oath to uphold these treaties. I also wanted to point out that in there, there is Article 12, Section 12 of this Constitution of the state of Alaska, which everyone has taken an oath to uphold that's supposed to be at this hearing -- these House and Senate representatives. I also wanted to point out that the Land Claims Act, which was not a jurisdictional act -- 2 F of that shows that. Also, it's been noted that this act is nothing more than the Hawaiian Homes Act has been over in Hawaii and Hawaii now has a bill in Congress which recognizes their homelands have been usurped by many people, the state of Hawaii being one of them, and it hasn't been done properly. Just like here in Alaska, the lands and the jurisdiction of the indigenous population has not been legally terminated, which I can point out and probably will have to in courts of law. Allotments -- Native allotments have been determined as Indian country in the Sakinaw (sp) case, which was a Supreme Court case, which now they're saying applies to the tribal governments in Alaska. In 1982, there was a Tribal Tax Status Act passed which gave the tribes throughout the United States, the ability to lay and collect taxes. Most people say, well they don't own any land. Well, I want to know what government around here lays taxes on itself. They do not. They lay taxes on other people. The borough doesn't tax itself, it taxes the people in the borough. The state does not tax itself, it taxes the people in the state. You want to talk about equal protection. Well, I'd like to see a little bit of the equal protection. I'd like to see a lot of the Natives' rights upheld here. I feel like I broke into a Ku Klux Klan meeting here. I'm not sure what the heck's going on here, but many people here do not understand the sacred trust and rights which they have taken upon themselves and what I've heard here today is not it. They're only talking about how they can suppress these people, which they've taken a sacred oath to protect -- this is domestic abuse. Number 223 CHAIRMAN GREEN: Gary, if you could give the rest of your testimony in paper, I will see that it gets in to the record. MR. HARRISON: I'm almost done here, Ma'am. Two-eighty -- some people say a 280 state, but they forget to read the retro-session of jurisdiction in the back of it. It says if they have a disclaimer in their constitution, such as Article 12, Section 12 then they do not get jurisdiction -- that retro (indisc.) away from them. Two eighty four says since then they must get tribal consent. There has never been any tribal consent given in the state of Alaska -- not for the land claims act, not for the state of Alaska, not for anything -- there's never been any tribal consent. You want to talk about who the membership is. The Santa Clara Pueblo (sp) suit is a supreme court decision which happens to say that the tribes make up who their membership are and if many people would just take a quick judicial course, they might have a lot of these questions answered for them instead of beating it about here like many people that don't know nothing. And the state has assumed jurisdiction and it needs to have an education so that people like me don't feel like we're in a prejudiced place here, because this -- we are the first people of the land, we've welcomed you people, we've helped you build your homes, and now the only thing we get from you is abuse. Thank you. CHAIRMAN GREEN: Thank you, Gary. SPEAKER PHILLIPS: Madam Chairman. CHAIRMAN GREEN: Yes, Speaker Phillips. SPEAKER PHILLIPS: This is Speaker Phillips. Would you please announce for myself and other members on teleconference, what time you (indisc.) you reconvene. CHAIRMAN GREEN: We will be reconvening in 1 hour and 10 minutes. It will be 1:15 here. SPEAKER PHILLIPS: Thank you very much. Number 245 CHAIRMAN GREEN: This meeting is recessed until 1:15 p.m. Number 251 CHAIRMAN GREEN: Okay, Senator Taylor. UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: Juneau is on-line. CHAIRMAN GREEN: Senator Taylor, are you there? UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: Point Hope is on-line. CHAIRMAN GREEN: Good. UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: Kotzebue is on-line. SPEAKER PHILLIPS: Speaker Phillips is on-line. CHAIRMAN GREEN: Okay. Welcome. UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: Barrow LIO is on-line. CHAIRMAN GREEN: Thank you. UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: Fort Yukon is on the line. CHAIRMAN GREEN: Thank you. SENATOR GEORGIANNA LINCOLN: Senator Lincoln is on the line. CHAIRMAN GREEN: Welcome, Senator Lincoln. UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: Ketchikan (indisc.) on-line. CHAIRMAN GREEN: Thank you. We'll go ahead... UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: Point Hope's here, also. CHAIRMAN GREEN: Thank you. Okay, we'll go ahead and begin the afternoon session by asking a guest in our -- the audience, former attorney general, Charlie Cole is here, who has agreed to give some historical perspective on the issue of tribal status and various other things that may affect this and to help us in our information gathering. Mr. Cole, if you would please come forward. Number 270 CHARLES COLE, former Attorney General, Department of Law: Do I have to be sworn? CHAIRMAN GREEN: Just for the record, give your name. MR. COLE: My name is Charles Cole. I served as attorney general for the state of Alaska from December 1990 to early January 1993. I had some involvement in decisions with respect to tribal status taken during the Hickel Administration, although not during the last 10 or 11 months of Governor Hickel's term. At the outset as Judge Holland says in his decision in the Venetie case, the issue of tribal status in Alaska has nagged, as he put it, both the state, Indian groups, courts for years. And essentially what Judge Holland said, with respect to tribal status in general, in that decision was that the action of the Department of the Interior in promulgating a list of groups of Natives in Alaska to be recognized as tribes was a valid exercise of executive power. The issue arose really in an adoption case and the issue was whether the state was required to recognize an adoption done by the group to -- which concluded that it had status as a tribe. And in the litigation, the state with respect to the exercise of powers by the Secretary of the Interior in this regard, contended 1) that the Secretary did not have statutory authority to recognize tribes in the fashion in which he did; and secondly, that in the process of recognizing tribes, the Secretary was required to follow administrative procedures for the recognition of tribes which had been adopted validly by the Department of the Interior. In somewhat of a novel rule of law, the court, acting through Chief Judge Holland, said that if an executive officer acts illegally without exercising valid powers long enough, that that becomes evidence that the executive officer, in fact, holds those powers. I want to clarify that a little bit, because the United States Supreme Court decision in which -- to which Judge Holland makes reference says that that is entitled to weight in determining whether the executive officer in fact has those powers. Case did not say that if you act illegally long enough you will eventually acquire the power to act. And in this context, Judge Holland said look, the Secretary has exercised the power to recognize tribes and Congress has never called the Secretary up short and said look, you really don't have those powers. And they made reference to the exercise of the powers by the President of the United States in issuing Executive Orders which Congress really accepts and may not be any clearcut authority for the President of the United States to issue a lot of those Executive Orders, which historically over the years, the Presidents of the United States have exercised. So, that's what Judge Holland said in that regard. And Judge Holland also said that the regulations for procedures to be followed by the Secretary of the Interior -- regulations adopted by the Secretary of the Interior need not provide the exclusive means for the regulation of -- or for the recognition of Native tribes, and found that the recognition of tribes issued by the Secretary of the Interior through Ada Deer, 1993 was valid and henceforth the groups which that proclamation recognized as tribes are, in fact, tribes recognized by the government of the United States. And Secretary - - I mean and Attorney General Botelho was correct in that it is within the power, and essentially the exclusive power of the United States to recognize or not to recognize tribes - states do not have that power. And of course, he's also correct in saying that the recognition of tribes by the United States may be done by legislative action, may be done by executive action as was done here, or it may be done by judicial action in which a court finds that the various tests established at common law for the recognition of tribes have been fulfilled. So, tribes may be recognized by the United States by those three means. And so here the recognition of tribes has been done by executive action and that action has been approved judicially by Judge Holland in two decisions which he has rendered within essentially the past year. MR. COLE: Let me just say a word about the motion for reconsideration which was the galvanizing point for, you might say, this hearing. Following issuance of Judge Holland's decision, the state moved for reconsideration; in other words that's a term which is used by lawyers in the judicial process, for asking the judge to take another look at what you've done, we think you've overlooked some controlling issue of law, or have misapplied it, or have overlooked some significant relevant facts. And so, the state did that in this case and it said in a motion for consideration filed before Judge Holland on October 20, look the court overlooked the material rule of law that federal agencies are required to comply with their own legislative regulations in the exercise of their delegated powers. You know, it says look, you know, you set up after an elaborate process, a procedure published in the federal register, validly adopted regulations for the recognition of tribes throughout the United States. And you have to follow those. You know, it sort of makes a little sense that if the legislature, for example, sets up legislative rules to conduct certain hearings, proceedings, one expects that they would be followed. Otherwise, I mean, you know, why go through this elaborate process of adopting regulations to be followed. And you know, it makes a lot of sense because the regulations are sound and they provide, you know, for a fact finding process, so that when the whole proceeding or process is followed, you come presumably to a rational -- rational result. But here that wasn't followed. There was apparently, so far as I can see but I haven't studied this issue fully, that the recognition of tribes largely came from ANILCA and by and large if you look at what's designated to be a tribe or found to be a tribe in the Secretary's 1993 proclamation or determination, there are these various groups which were recognized in ANILCA. That may or may not, depending on how one looks at it, sort of skirted some of the fundamental inquiries which are prescribed at common law for the determination of what is a tribe. But anyway, that's been done and it -- and it's been approved. Number 433 MR. COLE: Now getting back to the motion for reconsideration filed by the state in Venetie case, the Attorney General testified that the motion for reconsideration was withdrawn and the state is now saying well, we don't want the court to act on this motion for reconsideration; we accept Judge Holland's decision on the validity of the procedures followed by the Secretary of the Interior in finding these various entities or groups to be tribes. I think it's important for the legislative group here today to bear in mind that the Attorney General made it quite explicit that that decision was not a litigation-driven decision. He had his own views on one of the issues there which I will mention in just a moment, but what he really said is -- is that the fundamental impetus for the decision to accept the opinion of Judge Holland was, you might say in the broad sense, political - it isn't a legal decision. It's an effort to see if we can have a new dawning of relationships between the state of Alaska and various groups and divisions in rural Alaska - the Native groups - that's what he said, I think broadly. And that's a policy decision made by, as he said, the Administration. Because if one looked at this opinion of Judge Holland's strictly from a legal standpoint, one certainly could question it. And I think it would be accurate to say that Judge Holland himself, found no clear charted course that he was to follow. This is new ground in many ways and so was the legal proposition. If the decision were legally-driven, it would say, I imagine, that you would want Judge Holland to act on the motion for reconsideration, that you would probably rather summarily deny because I mean, he's considered that issue at length I'm certain, before he rendered his 50-page decision. But you would also want to take Judge Holland's decision to the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit or such further appellate court as you may be able to persuade to accept jurisdiction, and have them lay these issues to rest because these are fundamental issues - legal issues - to the extent they're litigation-driven to the state of Alaska and although Judge Holland is a careful judge, does a fine job on the bench, obviously one looks to the decisions of appellate courts to finally resolved issues of this nature. I mean, and the state, I think historically has demonstrated that as a litigation policy. I think one comment on the Attorney General's testimony is that Congress in 1994, so far as I can determine in somewhat cursory fashion, did not explicitly say we find that the action of the Secretary in designating these 224 perhaps at that time, entities as tribes is valid and affirmed that, I don't think Congress did that. I'm not certain of that, but I don't think so. I think that this Judge Holland found, I think, that (indisc.) perhaps one implication of what Congress did when it added two more entities as tribes to "the list" but I strongly suspect that few, if any, of those members of Congress who voted on that act viewed it as a validation of the earlier list. You may want to look into that a little bit. The Attorney General may be right on -- on that analysis, but certainly it is not explicit. Let me say a couple words for your guidance, should you see fit. This recognition of tribes in Alaska promulgated by the Department of the Interior has consequences which are more than simply saying well, these are tribes and these are tribes. But as the Preamble to -- to this act says, this is a recognition that these entities are -- are tribes for all purposes, not just tribes for the purpose of receiving health, monies, and services under various appropriations, or narrowly defined statutes, or terms, or purposes, but this is a recognition of these entities as tribes for all purposes and that - - that they should have the same rights and privileges and immunities as tribes in the Lower 48 - Outside - as we call it and that they become sovereigns -- sovereigns. As Judge Holland says in his opinion, an Indian tribe is a sovereign entity. It's the first sentence of his opinion, you know in the Venetie case, and so I think it's important for the legislature in understanding what has transpired, that we now have 226, according to the testimony of the Attorney General, sovereigns in the state of Alaska that the state of Alaska and all its governmental capacities are required to deal with; having the same privileges and immunities as sovereigns, to the extent that the tribes formally recognized by the United States and the Lower 48 have. And you will want to look into that. The Attorney General has offered to furnish you with -- with the other various statutes in which the recognition of tribes in Alaska has application. And there must be an immensity of federal statutes dealing with tribes. I -- I have recalled that under the Clean Water Act some of these most recent congressional statutes dealing with pollution, for example, Section 1377, Policy, says "nothing in this section shall be construed to affect the application of 1251(g) of this title and all provisions of this section shall be carried out in accordance with Section 1251(g) of this Title. Indian tribes shall be treated as states for the purposes of Section 1251(g) of this Title." And so, I'm not going to deal with 1251(g) here, but I'm -- I'm simply saying that -- I haven't read this whole statute so I'm not going to go into it in detail, other than to say that's an illustration of the existence of federal statutes which refer to Indian tribes here under this statute confers on them all the powers of states under the act, and I don't know how far that goes, but it's there. The state, of course, and I'm confident that Attorney General Botelho will look into that type of thing and advise you of that type of effect of -- of the existence of Indian tribes in Alaska. I think it's clear also that you should be aware of, that these sovereigns likely have sovereign immunity from suit and -- by the state, and (end of tape) TAPE 95-63, SIDE B Number 000 MR. COLE: ... and I'm sure be glad to provide it to you. The Department of Law's views on the extent of the privileges and immunities of Indian tribes. Let me say one other quick word. For example, and I'll -- the Attorney General has made it clear that the state will resist the designation of lands within the borders of the state of Alaska's Indian country. But the type of things that become -- that you'll want to look into is for example, - and I don't know the answers to these things - but it's clear that -- that this in certain areas, as Judge Holland has held, that -- that the state is required to give full faith and credit to these determinations of Indian tribes in matters in which they have the power to act. Adoption is a clear example. I'm not certain about marriage - I'm not certain divorce -- you'll want to look into that. Is Judge Snowden here? Oh, there he is. Well, he would want to see if Section 93 of the Civil Rules are applicable to determining the amount of child support out there. UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: Thank you, please.... MR. COLE: Anyway, there. I've tried to give you a balanced summary of what's happened to this point and what some of the consequences are that the Attorney General will advise you of. If you had any broad questions of similar vein, I would be glad to try to respond to them. UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: Thank you very much, Charlie. CHAIRMAN GREEN: Any questions? Thank you very much, Mr. Cole. Senator Halford. SENATOR HALFORD: Since Art Snowden is here, he may be able to tell us what actually happens in the Indian Child Welfare Act in terms of concurrent jurisdiction, what the deference requirements of the state are with regard to tribal adoptions, et cetera, cause that's an area that, you know, in some cases it works very well. I had thought that the -- that the cases that the state referred to that were all handled successfully through that, were cases where there wasn't any real complaint or appeal to the state system. But I know the state has had an appeal and a Supreme Court decision in the last year or so on one of those cases. Tell us how it works. Number 035 ART SNOWDEN, Administrative Director, Alaska Court System: Mr. Chairman -- Madam Chairman, for the record, I'm Art Snowden, Administrative Director of the Court System. I can't give you a specific answer on a case by case. The Indian Child Welfare Act as you know, does involve the adoption of Native children and our courts are required to follow it by federal law - we do. There are best interest qualifications also that came up. They are ruled on by our courts and there are appeals, based on factual situations, not on applicable situations. So there's not a lot of brightness I can throw on -- on to the table with regard to that specific area. I would state however, that when we are talking about tribal courts, Native law, so on and so forth, our Constitution says there'll be a unified court system, and we recognize that. But I would recognize that if we are looking at tribal court, I think some of the things that the Attorney General seems to be saying is things that the court system's been doing for years. I don't want you to think that a lot of this is new. We have looked into tribal mediation for many years, Native dispute panels - but that's the same thing we do in the cities when we allow mediation and arbitration. So I see no difference there. The criminal side -- the criminal side's a whole different area. But I would note that you've heard about Youth Court and what Youth Court is, is not a court system program, it's a prosecutorial program - it's called prosecutorial deferral. They defer prosecution to allow people to go in to a court of their peers and try to get solutions. If they did that on the criminal side, that's a deferred prosecution. That has nothing to do with court systems. The only time we would get involved is if one of those people that went to one of these programs come in and said I've been denied equal protection. And then the questions, such as Senator Halford has been raising and others this morning, would arise. But I would point out that many of the things that are happening today are the same things happening in the cities under different tags. So, I'm not overly concerned. In fact, if we can remove some of the burden from the court system, I'd be delighted. But I think that the real issue in the long run is going to be the criminal law and I don't have an answer for you. And there will be rulings by federal courts and probably state courts and there have been as Senator Halford has noted in many areas that -- that touch upon these areas. That would be the only thing I could offer this panel. I'm trying to learn as much as you are. I've attended this hearing because I -- I would, as director of the court system, I'm trying to get a better feel for what the Attorney General's policy will do and how it will affect us and my conversations with the Attorney General thus far have been candid and frank, yet cordial. And everything I see that they're doing is within the purview of the Executive Branch and falls either under mediation, arbitration, or prosecutorial deferral. Number 064 CHAIRMAN GREEN: Rick. SENATOR HALFORD: I would just ask so -- because I can't remember the details I read something about it -- I would like a copy of the Supreme Court case that.... UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: Can you state the name of the person that's talking? CHAIRMAN GREEN: Senator Halford is speaking right now. UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: Thank you. SENATOR HALFORD: ...that went against the determination under the Indian Child Welfare Act. MR. SNOWDEN: Do you think it's the Palmer case you're talking about, Senator? SENATOR HALFORD: I'm not -- I think it was a Mat Valley case. MR. SNOWDEN: I think I remember the one. I will look for it.... SENATOR HALFORD: ....Supreme Court and the Supreme Court upheld the.... MR. SNOWDEN: Non-Native parent? SENATOR HALFORD: Right. Against the tribal determination. And wasn't -- that was the end of the case and I don't know.... MR. SNOWDEN: I will find the opinion and I will get it to this committee for distribution. REPRESENTATIVE EILEEN MACLEAN: I have a question to ask. CHAIRMAN GREEN: Yes, who's speaking? REPRESENTATIVE MACLEAN: And who is the chairman, or chair person? CHAIRMAN GREEN: Senator Green. REPRESENTATIVE MACLEAN: Lyda Green? CHAIRMAN GREEN: Yes. Number 078 REPRESENTATIVE MACLEAN: Senator Green, this is Representative MacLean. I've been listening to your conversation and listening to the testimony and I would like to say Merry Christmas to Charlie Cole, Art Snowden and Bruce Botelho, but I would not say Merry Christmas to any of you guys. But in the meantime, let's get to the discussion. I would like to know why you're having this meeting without any Native legislators involved. This is a Judiciary meeting concerning Native people of Alaska and you don't even have any Native people of Alaska in that committee. CHAIRMAN GREEN: Senator Adams is on... REPRESENTATIVE MACLEAN: Can you answer that question? CHAIRMAN GREEN: Senator Adams has been on-line from... REPRESENTATIVE MACLEAN: So am I -- so am I. CHAIRMAN GREEN: Thank you. I really don't know... UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: When will the villages be able to speak? It seems like you guys have your own agenda, your own session, you're not even asking villages to make a comment. CHAIRMAN GREEN: As I noted earlier, we won't be having any public testimony until about 3 o'clock and we're trying to get through our questioning of Attorney.... UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: Okay. CHAIRMAN GREEN: ...General Botelho and the number of participants here in the room, and the questions that have been raised here have taken the bulk of the time. We will be reconvening probably once we get to Juneau. There will be ample opportunity for every question to be asked at some point in time. REPRESENTATIVE MACLEAN: Senator Green, I have one other question. Why are you having this hearing right now, when we're not in session, about tribal government, when we're not even involved. CHAIRMAN GREEN: That's sort of the opinion we had too when we read the news article in the newspaper and we felt like we weren't involved either, and we wanted to ask the Attorney General some questions about why this Administration had made the action and done the action they had on dropping that case. We have some further questions for Bruce Botelho. Senator Halford. SENATOR HALFORD: Bruce, are you back on? MR. BOTELHO: Madam Chairman, I'm -- I'm available. SENATOR HALFORD: The question I had with regard to Indian Child Welfare, that specific act has a specific provision that applies it to Alaska. Now if we assume that tribal recognition includes all domestic relations, does that include marriage, divorce, property settlement, child support, et cetera. Does it -- I mean, Indian Child Welfare has primarily been dealing with custody. Do all those other things go with tribal recognition? MR. BOTELHO: For the most part they do, but not -- not necessarily without having to take specific steps. For example, child support enforcement issues require separate arrangements. A duty to assume responsibility and a demonstration of the ability to take responsibility for tribal members from the federal child support enforcement administration. SENATOR HALFORD: Would you explain to me how that works? When you have -- you have a tribal member and a non-tribal member who have all the issues of a divorce following a 15-year marriage, including children, a joint economic partnership, and so forth, how does that work? MR. BOTELHO: First of all, I think it will depend on forum. If they choose to file in the state court, then the state clearly has jurisdiction to rule. That's -- then it will follow the state -- state law. If there is a decision by the couple to have the disposition in a tribal court forum, the procedures that apply there, in addition to the Indian Civil Rights Act of 1968, would apply. If there's a dispute, it will be a matter that will be litigated. SENATOR HALFORD: It will be litigated in what court? MR. BOTELHO: In whatever forum that the person chooses to contest the jurisdiction (indisc.) Alaska -- it's a matter of a forum choice. SENATOR HALFORD: Assuming this is a conflict between two people who do not get along, which usually is the case at that point, and they choose the opposite forums and proceed as far as they can go with as much diligence as they can in each of those opposite forums, what happens? MR. BOTELHO: The state of Alaska has -- the state Supreme Court has asserted that it has exclusive civil (indisc.) over those matters. SENATOR HALFORD: Is that consistent with the Indian Child Welfare Act? MR. BOTELHO: The Indian Child Welfare Act -- the answer is the Ninth Circuit has said the Alaska Supreme Court is wrong. SENATOR HALFORD: And what has happened in relation to that? MR. BOTELHO: Nothing at all. People continue to do their business. The Alaska Supreme Court had issued a couple of decisions asserting again that it had exclusive jurisdiction - holding that, I shouldn't say asserting it - that was the finding of the Alaska Supreme Court. The Ninth Circuit has ruled to the contrary. SENATOR HALFORD: Have those cases been appealed? MR. BOTELHO: They have not to my knowledge. SENATOR HALFORD: And what is the -- what is the outcome with regard to the particular situation, the particular individuals involved? MR. BOTELHO: Senator, perhaps on a break I will endeavor to find out the specific disposition of each case. I don't know the answer here. SENATOR HALFORD: But it would seem that that whole series of questions is going to get much broader when it now involves divorce, property settlement, marriage, as well as just child custody, is that not right? MR. BOTELHO: I don't think there's any doubt about that. SENATOR HALFORD: With regard to the state's position on tribal recognition, one of the issues that we went through in prior years and one of the forums that was used was the approval of IRA (Indian Reorganization Act) constitutions by the state and federal government. The IRA constitutions were proposed by local entities, they were objected to in some part, not objected to in other parts, is the state going to be involved in the -- the review of IRA constitutions in the future and are these going to be at least one vehicle that lays down some of the powers and duties of tribes. Number 170 MR. BOTELHO: I'm -- Madam Chairman, I'm unaware of any situation where the state specifically approved - reviewed IRA constitutions. That has been a federal function of the Department of Interior vis a vis Alaska Native entities under the IRA Alaska Act of 36. SENATOR HALFORD: The state has, under the Cowper Administration, objected to specific powers requested in IRA constitutions, I recall and I don't know what they had in other -- other times. I realize it's a federal determination, but the state has made formal requests to the federal government not to approve certain powers. UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: (Indisc.). Can I speak up? CHAIRMAN GREEN: We're in the midst of a question to Mr. Botelho, can you hold please. UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: Yes, ma'am. CHAIRMAN GREEN: Go ahead. Go ahead, Rick. UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: Thank you, thank you. SENATOR HALFORD: Are... CHAIRMAN GREEN: Go ahead, Senator Halford. SENATOR HALFORD: I think I was waiting for a response from Bruce. CHAIRMAN GREEN: Mr. Botelho, do you want to go ahead and answer that response -- that question, please. MR. BOTELHO: Madam Chairman, the answer is that I don't think the Administration -- this Administration has any present plans to review IRA constitutions on behalf of the federal government or on behalf of the state. SENATOR HALFORD: Is there any other method through which the state plans to learn what or interact and understand what the -- the constitutions or the statements of powers and purpose of these tribal entities are going to be? MR. BOTELHO: Madam Chairman, I do not expect the state to, in the normal course, attempt to receive copies of organizational documents or the approvals from the Secretary of the Interior. That's not to say that the state will not on a case-by-case basis be working on memoranda of understanding or other kinds of agreements that deal with the specific areas where the state would normally interact with a tribal entity; particularly, in the ICWA, the Indian Child Welfare Act kind of context. SENATOR HALFORD: Well, in the context of the Indian Child Welfare Act, there are agreements of concurrent jurisdiction negotiated, are there not? MR. BOTELHO: There are a variety of agreements. My understanding is that there may be as many as eight right now, where there is such concurrent jurisdiction, in writing at least, that pre-dates 1990. My understanding is, however, that most agreements that have been entered into have not dealt with the jurisdictional questions but have focused solely on how tribal ICWA workers will relate to state social workers. SENATOR HALFORD: Well, I'm just -- I'm just trying -- trying to figure out what forum there is to have some kind of coordination. I mean, if we are talking about government-to-government action, even if it's limited to dealing with members and we've set aside the question of the voluntary nature of membership or not, I mean there needs to be some coordination to understand and I mean, now you have it with regard to birth certificates, but when you apply it marriage certificates, when you apply it to the prohibition on multiple marriage at the same time, when you apply it to all the other recognitions as to whether an entity will recognize a marriage in another tribe, another state, or another jurisdiction - it just seems there's a huge number of things that there should be some coordination on. MR. BOTELHO: Madam Chairman, I can't disagree with that, but I think the question is probably properly posed to the Commissioner of Health and Social Services, who has entered into such agreements and who is responsible for the management of vital statistics. SENATOR HALFORD: Another topic. CHAIRMAN GREEN: Yes, Senator Halford. Number 228 SENATOR HALFORD: With regard to criminal law, are there not provisions under which a state can opt out of the provisions of Public Law 280 and in fact, seed jurisdiction back to or to a tribal entity within the state. MR. BOTELHO: I'm not aware of that provision. I don't say that it doesn't exist, I'm not aware of it. SENATOR HALFORD: I think that provision does exist and the question is, would there be any case in which the state would ever consider doing that. MR. BOTELHO: Madam Chairman, I am unaware of any plan for the state to seed it's authority with regard to criminal jurisdiction. Having said that and to pick up on the Administrative Director Snowden's comments, which I think do deserve elaboration, the Administration is discussing with various communities in both the Yukon-Kuskokwim-Delta region and in the Tanana Chiefs regions, pilot projects which would allow for alternative dispute resolution of conflicts to which right now law enforcement personnel normally would not intervene. Again, on the theory that if we have community-based intervention with early infractions, particularly (indisc.), that we can find a way to stem a number the people who ultimately have to enter our justice system for more serious offenses, meaning misdemeanors or felonies. So, in that respect, the state will be actively looking for models in a prosecutorial diversion approach, not unlike the Anchorage Youth Court. CHAIRMAN GREEN: Senator Halford. SENATOR HALFORD: Are there -- another topic -- are there any provisions that tie to tribal recognition that can help the now recognized tribe of Barrow reverse the recent alcohol vote? UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: I hope so. MR. BOTELHO: I don't believe its status one way or another would affect that, but my understanding is that a settlement has been reached in that matter which would lead to the scheduling (indisc.) of another vote by the city of Barrow as early as February of 1996. SENATOR HALFORD: Well, I just think that's -- you know, if there's anything positive in that area, that's certainly an area that I'd like to see them succeed at. MR. BOTELHO: Madam Chairman, we could not but agree. The dramatic drop in reported crime, domestic violence, alcohol abuse and the things that stem from it, were dramatic during the one year dry status. It has unfortunately been equally dramatic to see the post dry -- post election consequences of that community in both violent crime and other incidences that are again going to put a major strain on our state criminal justice system. SENATOR HALFORD: Well, there are specific provisions that allow tribal entities to deal with alcohol with special deference, are there not? MR. BOTELHO: My understanding, Madam Chairman, is that there -- there are several federal acts that confer authority on tribes to deal with alcohol. But as they apply to Alaska, I cannot answer that. SENATOR HALFORD: I would -- I would encourage you to research that one and make that information available to all the people that may want to use that to their benefit. MR. BOTELHO: Madam Chairman, we're taking note of that suggestion and we will follow through. CHAIRMAN GREEN: Representative Toohey. Number 293 REPRESENTATIVE CYNTHIA TOOHEY: Thank you. Bruce, then you will -- you will make an effort to follow through on the questions that were posed by Mr. Cole, will you - on the validity of the list and on the -- sovereign -- are all 226 sovereign entities and the Clean Water Act and the rest of the -- the rest of the questions -- if you would come back to us, I'd really appreciate it. MR. BOTELHO: Madam Chairman, I'll be glad to follow through on Representative Toohey's request. REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY: Thank you, Bruce. SENATOR HALFORD: Well, I would just -- CHAIRMAN GREEN: Senator Halford. SENATOR HALFORD: I would just to amplify -- the whole question of immunity from lawsuits is one that can't get less complicated, it just seems like it will get more complicated as we deal with welfare administration and everything else. So, I -- I have heard about three different conflicting opinions today on what the degree of immunity is and I would hope you'd really be able to give us an in-depth review of that at some future date. MR. BOTELHO: Madam Chairman, again, I would be delighted to do so. There -- there clearly -- there is U.S. Supreme Court law on the subject and I think we can probably discuss it in several different contexts. CHAIRMAN GREEN: Thank you. Representative Porter, do you have any more questions for Mr. Botelho? Representative Phillips. SPEAKER PHILLIPS: Thank you, Madam Chairman, no I don't. CHAIRMAN GREEN: Okay, thank you. We have some people here in the room who have signed up to testify. We have some time for testimony. We are somewhat limited. I think we have Betsy -- Matthew Nicolai (indisc.). Please state your name for the record please and who you represent. Number 322 MATTHEW NICOLAI, PRESIDENT, CALISTA CORPORATION: Thank you. My name is Matthew Nicolai. I'm the president for Calista Corporation. We're one of the 13 regional corporations established under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act. Thank you for allowing us to speak before the committee and I think it's -- it's time that the state and the Native organizations start working together and placing on record of issues that do affect our futures. I'm here to speak in favor of Governor Knowles' position of recognizing Indian tribes in Alaska and for the reason of the ability to try to work with the problems that we have in our villages. Our region -- and I want to speak on the experiences of our region, not the other regions of Alaska Natives that are living within their own districts. As an example, in social services, when I'm talking of social services, I'm talking about Indian health, I'm talking about village IRA governments, we received $57,200,000 that do go to our organizations such as the Yukon- Kuskokwim Health Corporation, Association of Village Council Presidents, and 48 IRA tribal governments. These are positive influences that do reach into urban areas. Much of the funding formulas that we receive from the federal government do come in to urban areas. Anchorage is the largest receiver of the funds that you see in front of you that we do receive out of the federal bureaucracy. One positive factor I think that's got to be addressed in the future is the ability for Alaska Natives to govern themselves is coming out of the work out of the villages that they've been working toward sovereignty. And I think that is many times misunderstood in the urban settings of how that sovereignty is going to affect issues such as subsistence, issues such as governing politics in the villages. I think a lot of the negative issues that have come out of that have not been truly represented in the public. We, Alaska Natives, have the ability and that ability to work is spelled out in the U.S. Constitution irregardless of history. History has shown and our forefathers who weren't Natives that wrote the Constitution, were fortunate to write a clause. In the Commerce clause of the Constitution that spells out the Indian clause. And our ability today that we've been working forward as Alaska Native - as Native Americans - in trying to work out our solutions to our problems in our villages. And you've heard today from the testimony from a former Attorney General that talked about his experiences in the judicial system. Our ability to work with the federal government is through the Constitution that we have the ability to go to the Executive Branch and out of those three branches of government, our ability to legislate issues that affect our lives and the lives that the funding that we receive are in large amounts of money to the state. I think there's a way for this committee here to start looking forward. How can we work together in resolving issues that affect our people, not just Alaska Native people, but Alaskan people. We will always and regardless of - I'm not here today for the future - Alaska Native will always have a special privilege of legislating our issues through the Executive Branch of the federal government because it's spelled out in the Constitution Indian Clause. And I want to point out as an issue to the (indisc.) Indians that went through a termination process in the 1940s where the (indisc.) Indians voted to terminate and most recently, five or six years ago, the (indisc.) Indians got recognition again and that's the ability of Native Americans having that special privilege and it's spelled out in the Constitution and many times it's not read that our ability to talk about issues of our lives. And I'm here to basically spell out that issue that we've been trying to resolve our problems in our villages by ourselves and many times it's just a matter of how sovereignty's spelled out. It's a misunderstanding that many times that our urban people try to stretch the meaning of sovereignty. All our villages want to do is the ability to govern themselves of every day issues just like the municipality of Anchorage does, or any other urban government. And that's why we want to work at our own solutions as we hear them every where. I want to thank you today for allowing me to speak to you and our organization that we belong to, the Alaska Federation of Natives, of the issues that you're raising today, we've been working at those issues for many years. So, we will be going through a process of -- of testimony when this committee does reaffirm down in Juneau sometime next year in 1996. I thank you very much. CHAIRMAN GREEN: Thank you, Matthew. Okay, Kari Bazzy Garber. KARI BAZZY GARBER, Garber & Bazzy: My name is Kari Bazzy Garber and I represent Garber & Bazzy, PC, a Native-owned law firm in the state of Alaska and also myself individually, as a mixed blood Native and White person. UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: Speak up. CHAIRMAN GREEN: If you could just speak up a little louder so the mikes can catch you and so the people in the back can hear you. MS. GARBER: I'm sorry. I'll try my best. Thank you, Madam Chair. I came to this hearing today not planning to testify at all, but coming just to listen and to see what the discussion involved. And after sitting through this morning, I -- I couldn't help myself, but to come forward and to say a few things. I noticed there's a lot of questions being asked - the same questions that were asked some five years ago when I began practicing law in the state of Alaska. I came to Alaska by way of California, where I was a licensed attorney practicing as a tribal attorney, representing Southern California Indian tribes. I'm also a mother. My children happen to be Native. My husband is Native and my children are also tribal members of the Native Village of Tyonek, where I own a home. My elders instructed me that words are very sacred, so if sometimes I tend to think slowly, it's not for lack of anything to say, but it's because I choose my words very carefully. CHAIRMAN GREEN: Just as a reminder, there is a five minute time limit. MS. GARBER: I understand that and I'll try to make the most of my time. Some of the questions that have come up over and over again involve the Indian Child Welfare Act and that is the particular area of law that I specialize in in representing tribes and Native individuals. Some of the issues that I face on a daily basis have to do specifically with full faith and credit and jurisdiction of tribes involving Indian children. One thing that you should all keep in mind is the fact that the Indian Child Welfare Act is remedial legislation. It's legislation designed to correct wrongs of the past and the thing that we must keep in mind is that it's federal law that sets forth minimum standards for state court compliance. Okay, just base minimum. And the bottom line with the Indian Child Welfare Act is it's a federal law codification of a Native person's inherent birth right to be raised as a Native person. And when a person gets old enough to make that decision for themself whether they would like to be a tribal member or not, then they can make that decision. And I've heard it said by opposing counsel and one of my cases that they find a tribal membership provision in the Constitution that says any descendant of a tribal member shall become a tribal member. Well, he said that's coercive - it's against all laws of equal protection - the federal Constitution -- I said sir, it's no more or less coercive than the United States Constitution or the laws of the United States that say that if I am born in this country and my parents are here and my parents are citizens of this country, then I'm a United States citizen. Is that not coercive? I don't think so. Each tribe's memberships vary from constitution to constitution -- their layout, whether it's an IRA or a traditional constitution. One can't buy their way to membership. I have not seen a tribal constitution yet that says you can be a member of this tribe if you pay x amount of dollars. Several tribes also have provisions that deal with dual enrollment. This is another question that was raised - Mr. Halford, you stated, what if I have children who are involved with three, four, possibly five tribes in an Indian Child Welfare Act matter. Well, there's two things: 1) Tribes have constitutions that deal with dual enrollment that say you gotta pick or that say that if you're living in this village, then this will govern or you will lose your membership of another tribe if you enroll in this tribe. That's how it works. The second part to that is the Indian Child Welfare Act says specifically dealing dual enrollment issues, if you have two tribes or more involved, the tribe with which the child has the most significant ties is the tribe that governs in Indian Child Welfare Act cases. I've never seen a problem yet that could not be resolved between the tribes. That's not where the conflict usually arises. The conflict usually arises between the state court system and the tribe. The tribe also has the power to establish priorities for placement preferences by tribal resolution. No other party in a court case has such authority to do so. Once the tribe reorders the placement preferences, it's a done deal. That is a tribal action that is an exercise of tribal power and there's nothing scary about tribes wanting to take care of their own children. The biggest problem that we face is trying to raise Native children with that inherent birthright to be who they are. Once a child is -- is kept within the tribe, that person's a tribal member and none of these subsistence cases or ANILCA or any of this means a hill of beans unless we have people left to exercise those rights. And to me there's nothing more important than Native children and their right to be raised as Native children. One of the areas that I understand people have issue with or have a fear about is the fact that well, what do we do if we have all these conflicting things or how do we know what to do. Many states have a state tribal liaison officer or a state tribal liaison office. Hopefully, that's the way of the future for the state of Alaska as well, so that we won't have a Rudy James situation, so that state judges won't be put in a position of being embarrassed. We'll have somebody in an office here that will have copies of all the tribal codes throughout the state, knows what the tribal clerk's seal looks like, it has a number, it has a name, so the judge tells his clerk or her clerk, I need to know is this a valid tribal court order, verify this for me or if somebody's doing legal research they go to the law library, they can look up the tribal code - they can look up the constitution. It becomes a known, the fear element is removed and we can begin to work cooperatively and positively. That's what I see for the future. I don't see this fear of Oh my God, sovereign immunity - people are gonna do bad things. The big question that's unanswered and unspoken here is what are we all so afraid of. What is it. Are we afraid that all hell is going to break lose that Native people are going to run wild and you know, havoc is going to ensue. I don't think so. I think that people are going to continue to do what they've always done - what we've always tried to do - take care of our children, take care of our families. You -- you know take (indisc.) stray dog out of your yard or call the dog catcher or tell somebody who's sleeping in your back yard, you can't sleep here. This is my home. And it's no different for tribes or tribal people. And I keep hearing people refer to we're getting sovereign immunity or these -- when constitutions says this or that - this is nothing new. I keep thinking of when President Nixon finally made the decision to recognize China. That didn't mean that billions of people in China ceased to exist for a period of years and then all of a sudden when President Nixon said the United States recognizes China -- bing, all these people magically appeared. This is not the case with tribes also. There are tribal constitutions out there - we're not getting sovereign immunity. There is conflict between the Alaska Supreme Court case law and federal case law. We pointed that out several times. Most recently in the Totemoff (sp) case, the Alaska Supreme Court said basically, hey we don't care about your stinking federal decisions, we don't have to follow them. This is the law that we have decided. It's right there in black and white. Now of course I'm paraphrasing, but that's basically what the decision says. We don't have to listen to the federal court's decision. This sets up for a serious conflict of laws. Sometimes it makes business for me but unfortunately a lot of my cases are pro bono so it doesn't matter. I'd rather not have the business. A lot of these questions that have been brought up are most basic federal Indian law questions and I would suggest that, you know, maybe sometime you'd like to sit down and take a copy of Felix Cohen (sp) and read a few of the chapters. It's very simple, it's very easy to understand and if you understand the history, it will bring you to today and to understand and I think that's what we're really, hopefully, all here for is to start understanding each other a little bit more. We have the report of the Alaska Native's Commission to back a lot of this up. Ask people - make up your own mind, but ask people. Please, let's try to get rid of this fear element. I would really love to work together with a lot of you. The marriage and divorce issue - this is all jurisdictional. The Indian Child Welfare Act does not apply to child custody in divorce cases, it's specifically excluded from the application of the act. There are several issues in child-in-need-of-aid cases where the state is having to expend a lot of money that could be resolved through cooperative actions with tribal court systems. I have a lot more ideas on it. I'll conclude with President Clinton, this - - I think it was this last year, signed into law an act regarding child support enforcement. It's federal law which requires that tribes enforce child support awards of other states. The federal government sees what's going to happen. Why can't we do the same? We should be able to, under federal law of the Indian Child Welfare Act, take tribal court orders into the state court and say look, nobody's bothered to deal with the welfare of this child. We have a child that's being neglected or abused. Help us. We want to work together. If you have any questions, I'd be happy to answer them. And hopefully, I look forward to working cooperatively together to build a future for all Alaskan people. Thank you. CHAIRMAN GREEN: Thank you, Kari. Senator Halford's going to ask you.... SENATOR HALFORD: Well, before you go, I want to say thank you for your testimony and some of your answers are the answers that I wanted to hear from the Attorney General. Because that's exactly the way -- the way the system should work. I think one of the concerns is that the legislature gets this thing after the fact - after we're requested to appropriate money to argue a case. So we appropriate the money, they get halfway through the case, they spend the money, they change their mind. We'd like to know why. I mean we realize that lawyers have a way of changing their mind and not making it look like they changed their mind, but that's -- if he'd answered a lot of the things that you answered there would have been a lot less follow up questions. I mean, I think the Indian Child Welfare Act generally is a positive in Alaska. It does get some real serious conflicts. I think when it finally gets to the state Supreme Court and you get equal protection arguments, you've got some problems. But what my concern was expanding that to other things. If you can tell us what the real list is, what the things are, that's the kind of questions we need to know. And that's the questions I would have liked to have the Attorney General run down the list. These are the powers of association, these are the powers of membership, these are the basic guidelines of what tribal recognition without Indian country means. We didn't get that. That's the problem. UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: Is there such a thing? SENATOR HALFORD: We'd like to know. MS. GARBER: Well, I think there are some hard and fast answers, very black and white answers, but then like anything else, laws may look finite and like you said, lawyers can sometime change their minds and so can legislators and everybody else. And especially when you have laws that are open to interpretation. How far can that go. Maybe one court decision will open the door to a whole other interpretation of this law. The area that I specialize in is the Indian Child Welfare Act. There are things that maybe three years ago I thought were acts, are not acts anymore. Based upon all these other court decisions have opened up a whole new way of thinking. I think the Indian Child Welfare Act is a perfect area to focus on cooperative ventures between states and tribes. I really am very seriously looking forward to doing something. UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: And the state has been trying to do that. TAPE 95-64, SIDE A Number 000 SENATOR GEORGIANNA LINCOLN: I can say to the -- let me back up a minute -- so the council determined how the membership was going to look, they put that then out to a vote and a hearing was held here in Rampart as whether to adopt us or not. Once that was adopted into the bylaws - the constitution of our community - then all of those members were enrolled. Now I could opt out of it. I could say I'm sorry Rampart, but I don't like what you're doing so therefore I don't want to be (indisc.) the tribe (indisc.). So -- and my children as well, so I wanted to answer that question, that it is up to each council, which I think has been stated several times, to determine how you can get on the rolls - your tribal rolls. I also want to point out when you were discussing this and in the future, please look at all of the other very positive things that the villages are doing in assuming their tribal status and one of those is the Village Public Safety Officer program, which you are all familiar with. Many, many disputes, other than criminal disputes that are -- have to go through the courts, many of those are resolved at the local level and resolved by council or an IRA and there's a whole list of those areas that is within the purview of the village public safety officer. (Indisc.) is contracted out here by the community themselves directly or through the regional nonprofit corporation. But there's many examples of those that I think we could look at as very positive and so we need to as -- ask your committee to review all of those things and see if it has been positive to the state or if it's been negative. Because I think we can come to agreements here on -- so that everybody is comfortable with what tribal status means and that it's not taking over the state or one having more power than the other, but to having a healthy state of Alaska. And I appreciate, Madam Chairman, you allowing me the time to say a few things to this committee. CHAIRMAN GREEN: Thank you very much. REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY: Just a quick notice -- Georgianna, we were -- we're just here hearing testimony from the Attorney General as to why they dropped the case. We're not here to make any other determination. We are being educated today. This is the first I've heard of the case and the dropping of the case. So I think this is an education for a lot of people not only in this room, but for the whole state. Thank you. SENATOR LINCOLN: And I've been on-line since it began this morning and I've been listening to all the testimony and I think there's a lot of misunderstanding as to what's going on in the villages. But again, I think we all have to educate one another and it's been a very learning experience for me to listen to some of the questions that have arose in this meeting. So, thank you very much and I wish each and every one of you a Merry Christmas, if I don't see you before. CHAIRMAN GREEN: In Barrow, Dorcas Stein. Dorcas? DORCAS STEIN: Yes. CHAIRMAN GREEN: Would you like to testify? If you'd give your name and who you represent. There is a five minute time limit, please. Number 044 DORCAS STEIN, Executive Director, Native Village of Barrow: Yes, Madam Chairman. My name is Dorcas E. Stein. I'm the executive director of the Native Village of Barrow and I am reading this statement on behalf of the Native Village of Barrow Tribal Council. I'd like permission -- I think my statement here must be about seven minutes -- can I read it in its entirety. CHAIRMAN GREEN: Well, we're on a kind of a time limitation, but if you will submit that, you can highlight it and then submit it and we will see that it is part of the record. MRS. STEIN: Okay fine. I'll just try to read it as fast as I can here. `The most fundamental and far reaching issues confronting Alaska Natives over the past two decades have in one way or another centered on the capacity of our villages to assume responsibility for their own problems and move towards self-determination. The central legal issue has been whether our villages possess the same federally recognized tribal status and powers as tribes in the lower 48 states. Most past state administrations have insisted that they possess neither, but rather are merely racially based social entities with no governing powers whatsoever. While the federal government has at times waffled on these issues, the Secretary of the Interior has now finally published a comprehensive list of federally recognized tribes that expressly and unequivocally recognizes the tribal status of 226 Alaskan Native villages and regional tribes. And the Congress has ratified such recognition in the federally recognized Indian Tribal List Act of 1994. The Secretary's affirmation of tribal status is final and binding upon both state and federal courts and the state of Alaska. It was recently confirmed when the federal district court for Alaska recently upheld the federally recognized status of Fort Yukon based upon the Department of Interior's federal register list. Finally, the Knowles Administration apparently recognizing the inevitable, agreed not to appeal the court's decision and thereby implicitly recognized the tribal status of Fort Yukon. The Governor has not, however, recognized the tribal status of the other 226 villages on the Secretary's list, nor has he revoked Administrative Order 125 issued by Governor Hickel on August 16, 1991, which expressly denies the villages tribal status. The newly published federal list (indisc.) Governor Knowles apparent willingness to change his position presents the state with a (indisc.) opportunity to embark upon a new era of cooperation and partnership with Alaska's tribes. While questions remain as to the existence of the Indian country and the scope of tribal territorial powers, those questions should not prevent the state from expressly acknowledging the political status of Alaska's tribes and dealing with them on a government-to-government basis. The benefits of doing so will directly and beneficially affect (indisc.) lives in the villages. State recognition of the villages tribal status would reverse the racially discriminatory policy of past Administrations and affirm the state's constitutional right and duty to treat tribes as political bodies and not as racial groups. Unless the Governor and the Attorney General take action, there is every reason to believe the legislature will be unwilling to appropriate funds towards local tribal governments and (indisc.) a critical village services. Tribal governments, just as municipal corporations, require a financial base; yet, the state currently appropriates more funds to state municipal corporations than he does to villages of similar size governed by traditional councils. Persons living in unincorporated federally recognized tribal communities end up receiving less state funding and services simply because of their form of local government. (Indisc.) easily correct this inequity by funding communities of an equal per capita basis regardless of the community's chosen form of government. Since the state of Alaska is currently involved in a number of lawsuits which challenge the tribal status of Alaska Natives tribes, state recognition of tribal status would necessarily require the Attorney General to immediately reveal and reconsider the state's position in those cases. This should also be part and parcel of this Administration's efforts to strength its government- to-government relationships with Alaska's Native tribes and to launch a new partnership of tribal-state relations. To implement a new policy on tribal-state relations, we make the following recommendations: 1) That Governor Knowles revoke Administrative Order 125 issued by Governor Hickel; 2) that the Governor issue a new Administrative Order expressly recognizing the political status of those Alaska villages included on the October 21, 1993, Secretary of the Interior's list of federally recognized tribes and direct all state departments and agencies to deal with and to respect tribes as political bodies and not as racial groups and that they do so both generally and in the context of specific statutes as the Indian Child Welfare Act, the Indian Self- Determination and Education Assistance Act, the Clean Water Act, and other similar legislation; and 3) that the Attorney General, consistent with the Governor's new policy on tribal-state relations issue a comprehensive Attorney General's Opinion acknowledging the tribal status of Alaska Native villages and the state's constitutional right and duty to treat such tribes as political bodies rather than racial groups; and 4) .... REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY: Dorcas? MRS. STEIN: Could I just finish, I just have one more paragraph. REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY: Yes, go ahead. MRS. STEIN: Okay, 4) that the Attorney General immediately review all pending litigation involving tribal rights issues for consistency with the Governor's new policy on tribal-state relations. In conclusion, these are issues of over-riding importance to both the state and Native community and for that reason, should be given highest priority by Governor Knowles Administration as well as the legislature.' Thank you very much. REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY: Thank you, Dorcas. If you would please send that in, I'd appreciate that. We next go Ketchikan. Gerald Hope, are you on? GERALD HOPE: Ya, I'm here. REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY: Gerald, if you would for the record, state your name and then keep -- please keep your testimony to five minutes. Number 127 GERALD HOPE, President, Tribal Council, Ketchikan Indian Corporation (KIC): Okay. Thank you, Madam Chairman. My name is Gerald Hope and I'm president of the Tribal Council at the Ketchikan Indian Corporation and the Ketchikan Indian Corporation, although it has corporation in its name, has never been a corporation; it's a federally recognized tribe based on the 1934 Indian Reorganization Act passed by Congress, amended in 1936 to include Alaska and KIC was first organized in 1940. Currently, we have over 1,500 tribal members that is recognized by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), based on the 1990 federal census; although, we have over 3,000 tribal members enrolled. Our enrollment list is certified both by the BIA and the Indian Health Service. Primarily, in our tribe we have three different tribal groups. We have the Tlingits, we have the Haidas, and we have the (indisc.); although, we have those three main groups in our tribal enrollment, we also have in our constitution no minimum blood quantum, nor do we have a specific Indian or Alaska Native type that you have to be. So as a consequence, we do have some Inupiats, some Yupiks, some Athabascans, and then we also have any number of Lower 48 members on our enrollment list. (Indisc.) basically, what I wanted to go on the record as stating is two things, while I'll expand on a couple of other items based on the discussions this morning and the questions of some of the testimony. We, at KIC, firmly believe that there -- we support the Governor's decision and we hope that through a learning process the legislature comes to understand and appreciate the wisdom of the Governor's decision on recognizing tribal status in Alaska. We exist - we're here - we've been here for 10,000 years - we're not going to go anywhere regardless of what a state, legislature, or Governor, or federal court or state court decides. This is our country, this is our home; it always has been and always will be. And just the fact that the Governor however, has decided to recognize the tribal status of the tribes, makes us feel that there is the acknowledgement that we do exist. I guess we (indisc.). However, we feel that it's not gone far enough because Indian country does exist in Alaska. If you look at the federal Constitution, which we all are sworn to abide by, there's a constitutional requirement to take care of Indian tribes and based on the Act of 1936, as amended, we exist. So I think -- I think we need to look at those kinds of documents - we've got to look at the historical treatment of the state of Alaska and the federal government to those of us who are Alaska Natives and American Indians descent. It seems like we've gotten less and less from (indisc.) been taken away from us from (indisc.) what was taken away originally and the treatment has been harsh and so we need to extend to each other how can we work through this together. So, me as president of the tribal government in Ketchikan look forward to working with the state legislature in giving a warm, amiable, and amicable understanding of how we can coexist. Thank you, Madam Chairman. REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY: Thank you, Gerald for your testimony. I appreciate that. We have three more people signed up and then Senator Taylor would like to make a statement and then we will close to -- unless there's really great objection from the -- from the teleconference, we will close the testimony. SPEAKER PHILLIPS: Madam Chairman, after Senator Taylor has had his say, I'd like to just make a closing comment also. REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY: That's fine. Is the Attorney General -- are you still on Attorney General Botelho? MR. BOTELHO: Madam Chairman, I am. REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY: Oh, you're sticking to it. Thank you, I appreciate it. We would like to hear from George Edwardson. Number 189 GEORGE EDWARDSON, Vice President, Inupiat Community of the Arctic Slope: Hello, my name is George Edwardson. I'm the vice president for Inupiat Community of the Arctic Slope. We're a regional tribal government, federally recognized. The eight villages we consist of are Barrow, Atqasuk, Wainwright, Point Lay, Point Hope, Anaktuvuk Pass, Nuiqsut and Kaktovik. And I had a couple of questions before I started -- before I get started. REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY: Go ahead if you want, George. MR. EDWARDSON: Okay. The first question I have is do we have to follow -- do you have to follow federal regulation, like I do? REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY: I'm not exactly.... MR. EDWARDSON: ...it is over, you know recognition. The federal government has no trouble recognizing tribes and don't get involved with saying who exists and who don't exist. And under the state of Alaska's Constitution, under Section 4, you know you're not even supposed to have any say so on who you recognize or not pertaining to tribes, under your Constitution -- the Statehood Act, I mean, excuse me. REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY: Attorney General, can you answer that question. MR. BOTELHO: Madam Chairman, I'll quickly grab the Constitution and the Statehood Act -- the state is obligated to follow federal regulations to the extent that those regulations apply. MR. EDWARDSON: Right. Under the Statehood Act, Section 4, you have a disclaimer.... MR. BOTELHO: And we're -- we're about to grab it. Madam Chairman, perhaps if we could wait one moment and I could perhaps have the answer for you at the conclusion of the testimony. REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY: Alright, that'll be fine. If you did -- did you have another question, George? If not, we'll move on to your statement. MR. EDWARDSON: (Indisc.) then I'll just keep right on. REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY: Thank you and if you... MR. EDWARDSON: Under the U.S. -- under the U.S. Codes -- U.S. Federal Codes, Title 25, subsection 112, Jurisdiction on (c), could I read that? REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY: If you would. If you'll keep it under five minutes, I'd appreciate it because it's almost at the close of our day. MR. EDWARDSON: Okay, great. I won't even take three minutes. REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY: Oh wonderful. MR. EDWARDSON: For the purpose of the enforcement of the federal regulations in this part an Indian shall be deemed to be any person of Indian descendant who is a member of any recognized Indian tribe now under federal jurisdiction and a reservation shall be taken to include all territory within reservation boundaries, including fee patented lands, roads, waters, bridges, and lands used for agency purposes. That means under that section -- that means my Native townsites can be classified as Indian country, my Native allotments can be classified as Indian country, plus any fee patented lands can be classified. And the other question I had was did you get in contact with the Bureau of Indian Affairs or the U.S. Attorney General (indisc.) for, you know what are -- who are the tribes. REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY: If that question is addressed to me, I think I can answer no on that. But I think the Attorney General, if he doesn't have that information, he will have it shortly. MR. EDWARDSON: Okay. The reason I ask that is because that is their responsibility to notify, you know, all parties interested or all states interested in Indians and Indian country. And in my constitution, my boundaries lie 68 degrees north and that has been federally approved and that is if you want classification, Indian country even though we are not Indian. REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY: Thank you, George. Is that the end of your testimony? MR. EDWARDSON: I have more, but I'll leave it at that. REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY: I appreciate it, thank you very much. If you'd like to submit that to the -- to the committee, I'd appreciate it. MR. EDWARDSON: Okay, I'll write to you. REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY: Okay. Mr. Botelho, if you have the answer, I'll let you squeeze in here. Otherwise, I would like to hear from the Bishops from Fairbanks, who are the last two on our teleconference list. MR. BOTELHO: Madam Chairman, Section 4 of the Alaska Statehood Act is simply a reservation in terms of federal lands that the state of Alaska will not attempt to impair future opportunities for Alaska Natives who seek compensation for the lands. A matter ultimately resolved by the Alaska Native Lands Claim Settlement Act. And that is, in essence, also the effect of Article 12, Section 12 of the Alaska Constitution that was referred to earlier today. REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY: Thank you very much. Thank you, George for your testimony. If we could go to Fairbanks, please -- the Bishops, Dick and Mary, if you'd like to go ahead. Number 264 DICK BISHOP, Executive Director, Alaska Outdoor Council: Thank you, Madam Chair. This is Dick Bishop, Executive Director of the Alaska Outdoor Council. I'm testifying on behalf of the Alaska Outdoor Council, a statewide umbrella organization of over 10,000 members. The council's purposes are to advocate sound, scientific management of fish, wildlife and their habitat; to advocate public access to public lands and waters; and to advocate fair allocation of fish, game and other common use resources consistent with the Alaska State Constitution. Federal tribal recognition, by itself, is not an issue that directly affects the interests of the Outdoor Council members. However, tribal recognition in combination with other federal laws is of concern. For example, with tribal recognition plus Indian country recognition tribal members in Indian country are exempt from state law relating to fish and game management. Indian country may include lands and waters owned by the federal government, or even state and private lands, in addition to tribally owned lands. Or, in the case of Alaska, perhaps Native corporation owned lands. Tribal recognition in combination with the federal subsistence law, Title VIII of ANILCA, and the Indian Child Welfare Act was, in part, the basis for the federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in 1992 to declare that Tyonek is a dependent Indian community or Indian country. That decision was withdrawn and a lower court told to re-examine the facts supporting the dependent Indian community determination. However, the process illustrates the potential that still exists -- and will until the U.S. Supreme Court finally rules on the case. Recognition of tribal status thus can contribute to loss of state fish and game management authority if and when Indian country is recognized. Annette Island Reservation, the only reservation in Alaska, provides a good example of how fish and game management is affected in Indian country. The reservation includes the entire island, some adjacent small islands and nearshore waters. Commercial and other fishing is not subject to state laws, federal laws, or international treaties such as the Pacific Salmon Treaty regulating use of king salmon. Yet the Annette Island commercial fisheries exploits the same fish stocks used by fishermen operating elsewhere under state and federal law and international treaty. The Alaska Outdoor Council is deeply concerned about the fate of sound fish and game management, about general public access to fish and game resources, and about fair allocation resulting from erosion of state management authority. Finally, we understand that there is a federal public process for deciding upon tribal status. We also understand that the federal government did not follow that process when it designated over 200 villages as tribes in 1993. The state of Alaska should insist that the federal agencies follow their own law instead of making new law by political proclamation - - as Ada Deer did. Thank you. REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY: Thank you, Dick. Mary, did you have a comment? Number 305 MARY BISHOP: Yes. My name is Mary Bishop. Thank you for the opportunity to testify and I'm testifying for myself. I wish to make two points. First, as has been obvious today, to all of us I'm sure, a lot of education about this issue is necessary. The public, businesses, tribal and non-tribal members should understand its impact. Second, I personally have no problem with tribal recognition if that's all the further it goes. However, I do have a severe problem with using tribal recognition as a stepping stone to federal recognition of Indian country. I would like to urge the state legislature to pass legislation making limited waiver of sovereign immunity mandatory whenever the state provides any type of grant or loan or other business transaction with a tribal or village entity. Several villages have dissolved their municipal governments in favor of tribal governments. I presume they still receive state revenues through -- state revenue sharing and grants. The state has absolutely no legal control over how those dollars are spent and how they are distributed by the tribal governments unless there is waiver. The village government can discriminate in whatever manner it chooses in allocating funds and benefits. Tribal actions are not (indisc.) by either the state or the federal Constitution. Without a waiver, the state would have no power to intervene. You might want to be aware of the fact that in 1978, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Indian Civil Rights Act cannot be applied by a state or federal court. So, any claims that that is useful (indisc.). The state of Nome -- the city of Nome was unable to foreclose on tribally owned property for which no tax had been paid over several years. This is another consideration we should have. Will tribal recognition encourage transfer of property to tribal entities in order to avoid municipal taxation. Tribal members should be aware that the dictate of a tribal government do not have to be valid under the U.S. Constitution. A tribal member loses civil rights. Just one example, Indian tribes are not subject to the federal civil rights laws prohibiting employment discrimination -- whether that discrimination is based on sex, race, religion, or anything else. Again, I urge you and I believe the state has a duty to inform its citizen - both tribal and non-tribal - of the consequences of this federal tribal recognition. It's really no skin of my nose if a group of people vote to lose their constitutional protections by organizing under a tribal government. I wouldn't do it; but each to his own. REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY: Mary, is that -- is that concluding your testimony? MS. BISHOP: I would like to mention that.... REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY: Mary, Mary. MS. BISHOP: Yes, I just want to reiterate the necessity of education. REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY: I appreciate that, Mary. We're running -- really running late. If you'll conclude -- have you concluded? Note: There was no response from Ms. Bishop. REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY: Thank you very much. I understand there was one more gentleman from Kaktovik. John Schaefer, are you there to testify? Then we will close it to public testimony. John, are you there? Number 362 JACK SCHAEFER: (Indisc.) Jack Schaefer. REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY: Well, that'll be fine. Jack Schaefer, go ahead. MR. SCHAEFER: I found that the -- the hearing today was very interesting. I kind of had a misunderstanding as to exactly what this hearing was about. I thought it had to deal with housing. There were a lot of interesting points that have been brought forth. Incidentally, I'm the President of the Native Village of Point Hope, which is a federally recognized tribe. I also find it interesting as to the definition of Indian country, as indicated by George and also the AG - the Attorney General. Our land status is somewhat different. The land has been transferred from the village corporation which is under the laws of the state of Alaska, you know, its Constitution -- its bylaws are formed under that. And so now it belongs to the Native Village of Point Hope, which is a, you know, a federally recognized tribe. So, I think sometimes that needs to be looked at. Also, the recovery of property. There's been overlapping of our claims that have taken place. There still is the need for title recovery which are otherwise known as valid, existing rights. Some of the experiences that the Native Village of Point Hope has felt and the types of (indisc.) in dealing with ICWA for example and the state court system, is that there are times where we have elders lose their grandchildren and have been denied the ability to take care of their kids because they have been accused of being too old. There has been an occasion where the state judge had said, well, we're not going to get anywhere on this so, we're gonna go ahead -- and I'm gonna go ahead and state that we agree to disagree -- end of conversation. And you're gonna have to lose out, Grandma as she sits there crying. And so there's a real need for -- for respect by the state and also the state judicial system. That particular case had dealt with more or less egotistical type of tendencies and attitudes that really directly affected a particular family. And the Native Village of Point Hope had lost out even though it had its constitution and its responsibility for the well-being of its members. To this day, we still haven't recovered those kids. However, it has been appealed to the federal court system and so it's now under the federal court jurisdiction as to what had happened. These kids were taken out of the state of Alaska - they were living with someone else - the only type of cultural recognition that they were able to receive was a pair of mukluks and a bunch of photographs - and that's it. And it's really sad to see something like that happen. I really hope that the state could come out with more respect than it has been practicing in the past. We cannot really stand for hostility and we don't have the resources to defend ourselves. And that's one of the reasons why we lost. We had to pay out of our own pockets for the telephone bills dealing with that seven-day trial. It was very hurtful. To this day, I still cannot look at Grandma straight in the eyes. And so, I strongly urge that you put this egotistical stuff aside and respect who we are, what we are and deal with us. We've been willing to deal with you. And so, that's all I have to say for now. But you got to have that respect. REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY: Jack, thank you for your testimony. I appreciate it. Mr. Botelho, will you also put on your list that last request from the Outdoor Council on the overlapping of the effects of tribal sovereignty on the management of fish and game? I'd appreciate that. MR. BOTELHO: Yes, Madam Chairman. REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY: Thank you. Senator Taylor, I'm going to be closing to public testimony. If you have testimony you'd like to submit, if you'd please submit to the LIOs or send it to Senator Lyda Green's office. And Senator Taylor, if you'd like to make a closing statement, we will then call it a day. SENATOR ROBIN TAYLOR: Thank you very much, Representative Toohey. I really appreciate the wonderful assistance you've given this afternoon, and I wanted to thank everyone who had testified because this is a very controversial matter. It's a matter of -- I think people have properly characterized it as a historic change in Alaska that has occurred, and I think many people were unaware of the -- of the ramifications. I think many of us are still unaware of -- of where this -- this will now lead us to as we move along together. I -- I felt and I know that my -- my good colleague and co-chair of this committee, Brian Porter, shared with me the concerns that we had about the -- the Alaskan people and that all of Alaska's people deserve and needed to know what rationale was being followed by this Administration in the decision that it made to unilaterally withdraw the appeal. I think that we still have some confusion as to what generated that decision, but at least we've now had some explanation that did not exist before. So as a consequence, I think that part was very good. I think it was very good that people had an opportunity to question the Attorney General and I appreciate very much his participation before the committees today. And I would also, again, emphasize that we all need to be better educated about what this process will mean in the future and where it is going. There are many people who have advocated here today that this process should turn in to 226 separate entities, regulating themselves, having their own laws, and their own territorial regimes. I hear that -- I heard that frequently today in the discussion. I think that that might be a very difficult concept to work with and certainly a concept that would radically change any Democratic concerns or beliefs that people may have -- at least those Democratic philosophies would be ultimately changed in this process, and I think it's one that we all need to be aware of as we move forward. So again, I wanted to thank Senator Green and the other members of the Senate that have participated; in particular those members of the House that have worked so hard and long today. I know this will not be the last hearing on this subject and hopefully, we have all learned something from it. And thank you again for allowing me to close - I appreciate that very much. Sorry I couldn't be here for all of the hearing today, but I had to attend a funeral. With that, I would close and thank you again, Representative. REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY: Thank you, Senator Taylor. I appreciate your comments. Representative Phillips, did you have a closing statement? SPEAKER PHILLIPS: Yes, I did. Thank you, Representative Toohey and thank you very much for taking over and running the meeting at that end. I also wanted to express my appreciation to Attorney General Botelho and to Charlie Cole for their comments and their input today. This was something that had caused a great deal of concern to members of the legislature that a decision of this magnitude was made in the state, for the state, without explaining ahead of time to the legislature, even notifying the legislature, that this was being done. And I appreciate the Attorney General being here today and answering the questions that -- the concerns that the legislature had. I also wanted to express my appreciation to everybody that did come on-line and put their input in and as Senator Taylor has very eloquently stated, this was the first step we'll be taking and -- and I know that there will be more follow- up. But in the meantime, I just -- I wanted to express my appreciation to everybody for being on-line. And thank you again, Representation Toohey, for taking over. REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY: My pleasure and I'd just like to make a (indisc.) note to the staff of the Attorney General, you now have your work cut out for you, even twofold. So, have a good time while you research all those questions, which I know you'll come up with brilliant answers. SPEAKER PHILLIPS: And happy holidays to everybody. REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY: And Merry Christmas to everybody. Happy holidays. Thank you very much. This teleconference is adjourned.