Legislature(2023 - 2024)DAVIS 106

01/31/2024 03:30 PM House TRIBAL AFFAIRS

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03:31:47 PM Start
03:33:59 PM Presentation: Meaningful Alaska Native Representation on Boards and Commissions
04:59:40 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Teleconference <Listen Only> --
+ Presentation: Meaningful Alaska Native TELECONFERENCED
Representation on Boards and Commissions by
Richard Peterson, President, Tlingit & Haida;
Waahlaal Giidaag Barbara Blake, Senior Director
of the Alaska Native Policy Center, First
Alaskans Institute; Karen Linnell, Executive
Director, Ahtna Intertribal Resource Commission,
and Former Member, Alaska Board of Game;
Robin Samuelson, Former CEO, Bristol Bay Economic
Development Corporation, and Former Member,
Alaska Board of Fish; and Brian Ridley,
Chief/Chairman, Tanana Chiefs Conference
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
           HOUSE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON TRIBAL AFFAIRS                                                                          
                        January 31, 2024                                                                                        
                           3:31 p.m.                                                                                            
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Representative CJ McCormick, Chair                                                                                              
Representative Ben Carpenter                                                                                                    
Representative Sarah Vance                                                                                                      
Representative Thomas Baker                                                                                                     
Representative Jamie Allard                                                                                                     
Representative Maxine Dibert                                                                                                    
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
Representative Ashley Carrick                                                                                                   
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
PRESENTATION: MEANINGFUL ALASKA NATIVE REPRESENTATION ON BOARDS                                                                 
AND COMMISSIONS                                                                                                                 
     - HEARD                                                                                                                    
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
No previous action to record                                                                                                    
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
RICHARD PETERSON/Chalyee Éesh, President                                                                                        
Central Council                                                                                                                 
Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska                                                                                         
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Expressed his support for Tribal                                                                         
consultation and representation on boards and commissions.                                                                      
BARBARA BLAKE/ Wáahlaal Gíidaak, Senior Director                                                                                
Alaska Native Policy Center                                                                                                     
First Alaskans Institute                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Provided a PowerPoint presentation, titled                                                               
"Alaska Native Racial and Sovereign Status."                                                                                    
KAREN LINNELL, Executive Director                                                                                               
Ahtna Intertribal Resource Commission;                                                                                          
Former Member                                                                                                                   
Alaska Board of Game                                                                                                            
Glennallen, Alaska                                                                                                              
POSITION  STATEMENT:    Presented during  the  Meaningful  Alaska                                                             
Native Representation on Boards and Commissions presentation.                                                                   
ROBIN SAMUELSON, representing self                                                                                              
Dillingham, Alaska                                                                                                              
POSITION  STATEMENT:    Presented during  the  Meaningful  Alaska                                                             
Native Representation on Boards and Commissions presentation.                                                                   
BRIAN RIDLEY, Chief/Chairman                                                                                                    
Tanana Chiefs Conference;                                                                                                       
Alaska Vice President                                                                                                           
National Congress of American Indians                                                                                           
Eagle, Alaska                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT:   Provided a PowerPoint  presentation, titled                                                             
"Subsistence Story."                                                                                                            
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
3:31:47 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  MCCORMICK called  the House  Special  Committee on  Tribal                                                               
Affairs  meeting   to  order  at   3:31  p.m.     Representatives                                                               
Carpenter,  Vance,  Baker,  Allard,  Dibert  and  McCormick  were                                                               
present at the call to  order.  Representative Himschoot was also                                                               
present for the meeting.                                                                                                        
REPRESENATIVE  BAKER introduced  himself  to the  committee.   He                                                               
informed the committee  that he comes from the  Native Village of                                                               
Kotzebue.   He expressed his pride  to join and provide  a Tribal                                                               
voice to the committee.                                                                                                         
^PRESENTATION: MEANINGFUL ALASKA  NATIVE REPRESENTATION ON BOARDS                                                               
AND COMMISSIONS                                                                                                                 
PRESENTATION: MEANINGFUL ALASKA NATIVE REPRESENTATION ON BOARDS                                                             
                        AND COMMISSIONS                                                                                     
3:33:59 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR MCCORMICK announced  that the only order  of business would                                                               
be a  presentation on Meaningful Alaska  Native Representation on                                                               
Boards and Commissions.                                                                                                         
3:35:42 PM                                                                                                                    
RICHARD  PETERSON/Chalyee   Éesh,  President,   Central  Council,                                                               
Tlingit  & Haida  Indian  Tribes of  Alaska,  read from  prepared                                                               
remarks  and  explained that  he  has  witnessed the  significant                                                               
impact   that   inclusive   and  meaningful   collaboration   and                                                               
consultation can  have on  the well-being of  the community.   He                                                               
expressed his  support of Alaska  Native inclusion on  boards and                                                               
committees.   Tribal consultation  is a cornerstone  of effective                                                               
governance and policy  making and ensures that  decisions made at                                                               
the  legislature consider  the  unique  needs, perspectives,  and                                                               
traditions   of  Alaska   Native  communities.     By   fostering                                                               
government  to government  relationships,  the  state can  better                                                               
address  the   challenges  faced  by  Tribal   nations  and  work                                                               
collaboratively towards sustainable solutions.                                                                                  
MR.  PETERSON  urged  the committee  to  support  and  strengthen                                                               
Tribal  consultation  efforts.   He  stated  that doing  so  will                                                               
ensure  that   the  voices  of  Alaska   Native  communities  are                                                               
considered  in the  decision-making  process.   Policies will  be                                                               
more effective  and contribute  to the  well-being of  the state.                                                               
Meaningful  Tribal   engagement  goes  beyond   consultation  and                                                               
involves creating opportunities for  Tribes to participate in the                                                               
development and  implementation of policies.   By engaging Tribal                                                               
leaders,  the  state can  tap  into  a  wealth of  expertise  and                                                               
knowledge,   which  will   lead  to   more  informed   decisions.                                                               
Including  Alaska Native  voices on  boards and  commissions will                                                               
bring valuable perspectives and  contribute to the legitimacy and                                                               
fairness of the decision-making process.                                                                                        
MR.  PETERSON   requested  the  committee  promote   and  support                                                               
initiatives to  increase Alaska  Native representation  on boards                                                               
and  commissions.   He  emphasized  that this  step  is vital  in                                                               
creating  a more  inclusive  and  equitable government  structure                                                               
that reflects  the rich cultural and  ethnic diversity throughout                                                               
the state.  He shared a  quote that said, "Healthy Tribes do make                                                               
healthy communities."                                                                                                           
3:39:43 PM                                                                                                                    
BARBARA BLAKE/  Wáahlaal Gíidaak, Senior Director,  Alaska Native                                                               
Policy Center,  First Alaskans  Institute, provided  a PowerPoint                                                               
presentation, titled "Alaska Native  Racial and Sovereign Status"                                                               
[hard copy  included in  committee packet].   She said  that many                                                               
lawmakers think  of Native peoples  as a racial class,  which can                                                               
negate the  sovereign status of  Tribal citizens.  She  sought to                                                               
provide   clarity  regarding   sovereignty   and  delineate   the                                                               
difference  between  Tribes,  Native Corporations,  and  regional                                                               
3:40:56 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  BLAKE showed  slide 2,  titled  "What all  Alaskans need  to                                                               
know," and  explained that social  scientists have  proven Tribal                                                               
existence in  Alaska with 10,000-year-old remains,  which upholds                                                               
the oral histories  of many Tribes throughout  Alaska.  Geography                                                               
shaped  how  cultures  formed  throughout   Alaska  in  terms  of                                                               
landscape,  spirituality,  and  language.    She  explained  that                                                               
Native peoples  shaped themselves  around the  landscape, whereas                                                               
people today  seem to shape  the landscape  to suit the  needs of                                                               
3:42:39 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  BLAKE showed  a map  on slide  3 which  shows Alaska  Native                                                               
Languages throughout  the state including 20  distinct linguistic                                                               
groups,  which  make  up  about  22  percent  of  the  population                                                               
according to U.S. Census data.                                                                                                  
3:44:19 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  BLAKE moved  to slide  5 and  explained that  Native nations                                                               
have had government societies prior  to contact.  The government-                                                               
to-government relationship should be  based on the political, not                                                               
racial, status of American Indian and Alaska Native people.                                                                     
3:46:36 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  BLAKE moved  to slide  7, titled  "A Sovereignty  Snapshot,"                                                               
which read as follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                          
     Three Sovereigns operate in Alaska:                                                                                        
         Tribal Governments, Federal Government, State                                                                          
       • Alaska Natives make up 22% of the population of                                                                        
        • Alaska Natives have two separate and distinct                                                                         
     1) Political, as noted above, and                                                                                          
      2) Racial, as a protected class of citizens under US                                                                      
MS.  BLAKE  explained  that  there  are  229  Tribal  governments                                                               
recognized in Alaska.  There are  three levels of care for Tribal                                                               
citizens, including Tribal government,  state government, and the                                                               
federal  government.   Most, but  not all,  Alaska Native  people                                                               
belong  to  a   Tribe  and/or  a  Native   corporation.    Tribal                                                               
governments hold legal  and political status.   She described the                                                               
Martial  Trilogy from  1823, which  affirmed Tribal  sovereignty.                                                               
Throughout the  United States, there are  574 Tribal governments.                                                               
Each has its own self-governance rights.                                                                                        
3:48:50 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. BLAKE  defined the word  "Tribe" in  legal terms on  slide 8,                                                               
titled  "Tribal Governments,"  which  read  as follows  [original                                                               
punctuation provided]:                                                                                                          
     Term "Tribe" used two ways:                                                                                                
     • Ethnologically:  a social, political  organization of                                                                    
     a group  of people  who share race,  customs, language,                                                                    
     culture, etc.                                                                                                              
     •  Legally-politically (Montoya  v. United  States, 180                                                                    
     U.S. 261 (1901)):  "a body of Indians of the  same or a                                                                    
     similar  race,   united  in   a  community   under  one                                                                    
     leadership or  government, and inhabiting  a particular                                                                    
     though sometimes ill-defined territory"                                                                                    
MS. BLAKE  moved to slide  9, titled "Tribal  Governments," which                                                               
read as follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                
     • 574 federally recognized Tribes (229 are in Alaska)                                                                      
        Each  Tribe  possesses   inherent  rights  of  self-                                                                    
     government (i.e., Tribal  sovereignty) and are entitled                                                                    
     to  receive  certain  federal benefits,  services,  and                                                                    
     protections because of  their special relationship with                                                                    
     the U.S.                                                                                                                   
3:50:26 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  BLAKE  provided a  map  on  slide  10  that showed  the  229                                                               
federally recognized  Tribes in Alaska  and makes up  almost half                                                               
of all Tribes  in the United States.  She  noted that most Tribes                                                               
are  not  connected   by  road  systems,  and   though  some  are                                                               
geographically  close,  like  Sitka  and  Hoonah,  there  may  be                                                               
separate Tribal governments.                                                                                                    
3:52:00 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  BLAKE moved  to slide  11 and  explained that  Alaska Native                                                               
corporations  were  formalized  under the  Alaska  Native  Claims                                                               
Settlement  Act (ANCSA).   Per  state charter,  the objective  of                                                               
Alaska Native corporations  is to turn a profit  and caretake for                                                               
retained  land.   Regional nonprofits  are entities  that receive                                                               
delegation  from  Tribes  to pool  together  resources  within  a                                                               
region.   She gave  an example  of pooling  Tribal transportation                                                               
dollars,   which  involved   Tribal  governments   delegating  to                                                               
regional  nonprofits.   There are  other  Alaska Native  entities                                                               
including the Alaska Federation  of Natives, Alaska Native Tribal                                                               
Health Consortium, Southcentral  Foundation, and Southeast Alaska                                                               
Regional  Health Consortium.    These are  entities that  receive                                                               
delegation  from Tribes  to pool  Tribal health  dollars and  use                                                               
them as efficiently as possible.   She explained that some Tribes                                                               
have decided not to be a  part of pooled resources and have their                                                               
own organizations.                                                                                                              
3:55:32 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. BLAKE moved  to slide 12, titled  "Understanding the Layers,"                                                               
which read as follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                          
     • Concurrent Community Care                                                                                                
     • Outward Connections                                                                                                      
        Tribal Governments and Municipal Governments are                                                                        
          o Tribes are sovereign unto themselves                                                                                
          o Municipal governments are subsets of the State                                                                      
MS. BLAKE explained  that she is a citizen of  Tlingit & Haida, a                                                               
resident of  the State  of Alaska,  and a  citizen of  the United                                                               
States of  America.  She  is also  a shareholder of  Sealaska and                                                               
Ahtna,  Inc.   She  receives  her  health services  at  Southeast                                                               
Alaska  Regional  Health Consortium  (SEARHC).    She noted  that                                                               
understanding  the   many  layers  and  complexities   of  Native                                                               
communities is important when engaging with Native people.                                                                      
3:57:03 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.   BLAKE  moved   to  slide   13,  titled   "Opportunities  to                                                               
Strengthen."    She noted  that  compacting  and contracting  are                                                               
different.  Compacting  emphasizes recognizing sovereign entities                                                               
where negotiations  occur to  reach a  common goal.   Contracting                                                               
involves detailing and dictating how an agreement will be met.                                                                  
3:59:08 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  MCCORMICK  thanked Ms.  Blake  and  opened the  floor  for                                                               
3:59:20 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE VANCE  asked about political versus  racial status                                                               
and how it relates to legislature.                                                                                              
4:01:30 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. BLAKE, in  reference to assigning board seats,  said the term                                                               
"Alaska  Native"  is  a racial  designation  whereas  a  Tribally                                                               
designated seat has to do with a person's sovereign status.                                                                     
4:02:47 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  VANCE  asked   for  clarification  about  filling                                                               
Tribal seats on boards.                                                                                                         
4:03:44 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. BLAKE said  that because there are a limited  number of seats                                                               
on various  boards, not all 229  Tribes can be represented.   She                                                               
referred to a  Tribal unity group that could  encourage Tribes to                                                               
come together  to determine fair  representation of Tribes  for a                                                               
limited number of board seats.                                                                                                  
4:04:49 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  VANCE  asked about  Tribal  courts  and if  every                                                               
Tribe has  a court.  She  noted a pilot project  from the federal                                                               
4:05:37 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. BLAKE  said not every  Tribe has a  court due to  funding and                                                               
capacity.  She  said that U.S. Senator Lisa  Murkowski is seeking                                                               
funding  for  Tribal  courts.   Tribal  courts  exist  under  the                                                               
executive branch of Tribal governments.                                                                                         
4:06:22 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. PETERSON responded to Representative  Vance and said that the                                                               
term  "enrolled  Tribal citizen"  should  be  used when  defining                                                               
Alaska  Native seats  on boards.   He  mentioned that  all Tribes                                                               
have governance  but there isn't  necessarily capacity  for every                                                               
Tribe  to run  a Tribal  court.   A  court can  be anything  from                                                               
peacemaking to a  more formal court which  deals with misdemeanor                                                               
cases.     Tribal   courts  can   create  holistic   options  for                                                               
perpetrators  to  work  to make  reparations  for  their  crimes,                                                               
instead  of having  a state  record  that may  prevent them  from                                                               
getting a job  in the future.  Tribal courts  also participate in                                                               
usual court  activities including marriages, divorces,  and child                                                               
custody.  He offered to host  legislators on a tour of the Tribal                                                               
court in Juneau.                                                                                                                
4:10:04 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE VANCE thanked the presenters.                                                                                    
4:10:13 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. PETERSON  offered up Tlingit  & Haida's programs to  help the                                                               
4:10:57 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR MCCORMICK thanked the presenters.                                                                                         
4:11:30 PM                                                                                                                    
The committee took an at-ease from 4:11 p.m. to 4:13 p.m.                                                                       
4:12:50 PM                                                                                                                    
KAREN  LINNELL, Executive  Director,  Ahtna Intertribal  Resource                                                               
Commission;  Former  Member,  Alaska  Board  of  Game,  addressed                                                               
Representative Vance's question about  Tribal court.  She thanked                                                               
the  previous presenters  for their  inclusive  statements.   She                                                               
emphasized the  responsibility as  a Tribal  citizen to  care for                                                               
community.  She remarked that  the level of community involvement                                                               
is more so  as a Tribal citizen.  She  addressed creating balance                                                               
in boards and commissions.   She described her experience serving                                                               
on the  Board of Game  and how  some boards have  lacked balance.                                                               
She gave  an example that  there is a disproportionate  number of                                                               
commercial fishermen on the Board of Fish.                                                                                      
4:17:47 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. LINNELL  opined that appointments  to boards should  be based                                                               
on  a balance  of interests  and experience.   She  mentioned the                                                               
Yukon River  fishing regulations and  noted her preference  of an                                                               
eco-centric approach with a focus  on longevity of the system for                                                               
subsistence.   Governance is  based on  population and  maps, and                                                               
rural voices can  become diluted.  Commissions  and boards should                                                               
be balanced  based on charter and  what is best for  Alaska.  She                                                               
mentioned racial comments  she dealt with.  She  said, "Nobody is                                                               
more invested in  doing what is right for Alaska  than the Tribal                                                               
citizens of Alaska."                                                                                                            
MS. LINELL  emphasized the  importance of  balance for  board and                                                               
commission roles.  She thanked  the committee for taking the time                                                               
to  recognize the  role of  Tribes.   Tribal consultation  should                                                               
start  at the  beginning  of  an idea,  not  halfway through  the                                                               
planning process.   She told a story about  a fisheries biologist                                                               
who consulted  with local  Tribes about  spawning timing  for his                                                               
research.  Tribal input is important in many aspects.                                                                           
4:25:25 PM                                                                                                                    
ROBIN  SAMUELSON,  representing   self,  introduced  himself  and                                                               
mentioned he  was a Tribal Chief  for 35 years and  is the former                                                               
Chief Executive  Officer of the Bristol  Bay Economic Development                                                               
corporation.  He also was a  former member of the Alaska Board of                                                               
Fisheries  and the  North Pacific  Fisheries Management  Council.                                                               
He  expressed his  disappointment in  the current  composition of                                                               
the Board of Fisheries.  The  Kuskokwim and Yukon Rivers have not                                                               
been fished  for several years.   He said, "Our culture  is being                                                               
destroyed because there's no salmon  .... How would you guys feel                                                               
if I  took away Safeway,  Carrs, and Costco  from you?"   He said                                                               
that  villages  are unrepresented  on  the  Board  of Fish.    He                                                               
discussed a  subsistence priority in statute.   He said he  was a                                                               
commercial  fisherman in  Bristol Bay  for  56 years.   He  said,                                                               
"There is  no more important fish  than a subsistence fish  for a                                                               
family to eat."                                                                                                                 
4:29:44 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. SAMUELSON  opined that  nepotism and  racism are  involved on                                                               
boards.   He noted inaction from  the Board of Fish  in reference                                                               
to  subsistence  regulations.    He   spoke  in  support  of  the                                                               
inclusion  of  Native  people  on boards  and  commissions.    He                                                               
pointed out that perspectives of  people from rural Alaska differ                                                               
from other  people's perspectives.  He  emphasized the importance                                                               
of  fish  to Native  Alaskans  who  have  subsisted on  fish  for                                                               
thousands of years.                                                                                                             
4:34:51 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. SAMUELSON  stated that the resource  comes first, subsistence                                                               
comes  second, and  commercial  and sport  fishing  are the  last                                                               
priority.   He noted  the difference  in values  among commercial                                                               
fishermen.   He opined that  most commercial fishermen  only care                                                               
about  money,   whereas  subsistence   fishers  see   wealth  and                                                               
happiness  in  full freezers  and  smokehouses.   He  offered  to                                                               
continue to  participate to help  the House Special  Committee on                                                               
Tribal Affairs.                                                                                                                 
4:36:46 PM                                                                                                                    
BRIAN  RIDLEY, Chief/Chairman,  Tanana Chiefs  Conference; Alaska                                                               
Vice President,  National Congress of American  Indians, provided                                                               
a PowerPoint presentation, titled  "Subsistence Story" [hard copy                                                               
included in the  committee packet].  Slide 2  showed a pie-chart.                                                               
He explained  that commercial fishing accounted  for 98.6 percent                                                               
of  the  total harvest,  while  subsistence  fishing and  hunting                                                               
accounted for less than 1 percent  of the total harvest.  Slide 3                                                               
showed another pie-chart that demonstrated  that of the less than                                                               
1 percent  of wild food  harvested, 74.6 percent  was distributed                                                               
among rural  households, and 25.3  percent was  distributed among                                                               
urban  households.   He described  that the  same study  from the                                                               
Alaska Department of Fish and  Game (ADF&G) said that, except for                                                               
areas classified  as rural that  are adjacent to  Anchorage, wild                                                               
harvest  is 100  percent of  the daily  protein intake  for rural                                                               
Alaska, which  is made up of  Alaska Native people.   He said the                                                               
amount necessary  for subsistence has  not been met for  13 years                                                               
for the Kuskokwim River Chinook  salmon; subsistence has not been                                                               
met for 15 out  of the last 16 years for  the Yukon River Chinook                                                               
4:40:59 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. RIDLEY described  the makeup of the Board of  Fish, which has                                                               
six  members who  represent commercial,  sport, and  personal use                                                               
and only  one member  who represents subsistence.   The  Board of                                                               
Game  has  seven members  who  represent  commercial, sport,  and                                                               
personal use, and zero members who represent subsistence.                                                                       
MR. RIDLEY  moved to slide  3, titled "Dollars and  Nonsense: SOA                                                               
Fish  Budget Data  FY 2023,"  which  shows that  the Division  of                                                               
Commercial Fisheries  has $82 million budgeted,  and the Division                                                               
of Sport Fish  has $43.6 budgeted, while  the Subsistence section                                                               
has just  $6 million in its  budget.  Based on  these numbers, he                                                               
observed that  subsistence appears to  be less of a  priority for                                                               
the State  of Alaska.  He  said, "What's good for  Alaska Natives                                                               
is  good for  Alaska."    "We're taking  our  battles inside  the                                                               
courthouses to ensure  that all of our children  will have access                                                               
to salmon, crab, halibut, moose, and  caribou."  He said the only                                                               
way to ensure  the adequate inclusion of  Indigenous knowledge in                                                               
the Board of Game and  Board of Fisheries decision-making process                                                               
is   to  have   Alaska  Native   representation  on   boards  and                                                               
4:43:51 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  MCCORMICK thanked  Mr.  Ridley and  opened  the floor  for                                                               
4:44:18 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE CARPENTER asked how  the committee can ensure more                                                               
Indigenous people serve on boards.                                                                                              
4:45:00 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. RIDLEY  responded that assigning a  seat for a race  would be                                                               
contentious   and  suggested   that  a   Tribal  seat   would  be                                                               
sufficient.  He said he was seeking fairness and equality.                                                                      
4:46:09 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  CARPENTER  sought  to define  subsistence  status                                                               
through hunting  areas.  He  said that  he took exception  to Mr.                                                               
Samuelson's earlier  comments.   Though members of  the committee                                                               
may not reside in Western Alaska,  it doesn't mean members of the                                                               
committee  don't  understand  the  value   of  fish  or  a  rural                                                               
lifestyle.   He  mentioned  that he  chose to  live  on the  road                                                               
system  and have  a farm  lifestyle and  be self-sufficient.   He                                                               
said that  he can relate  to people  living off the  road network                                                               
and is  supportive of  seeing an increase  in subsistence  use of                                                               
resources.  He  stated that the constitution is clear,  and it is                                                               
not being adhered to.                                                                                                           
4:48:30 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. LINNELL  spoke to  her experience living  on the  road system                                                               
and discussed competition for  resources, personal use fisheries,                                                               
and hunting  for moose and caribou.   People who live  there find                                                               
it   more  difficult   to  be   successful   in  their   harvest.                                                               
Subsistence is in  statute and is currently not a  priority.  She                                                               
said  that  people are  often  told  that  Alaska has  the  "best                                                               
resource  management in  the country"  and yet  resources are  in                                                               
4:53:11 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. RIDLEY shared  a story from an elder who  wasn't aware of the                                                               
Great Depression  at the time  because there was an  abundance of                                                               
natural resources for  subsistence.  If the  Alaska Department of                                                               
Fish  and  Game  was   managing  resources  appropriately,  these                                                               
wouldn't be  problems.  He  referenced fish hatcheries  and bison                                                               
introduction  as faulty  solutions  to  problems with  inadequate                                                               
management of existing resources.                                                                                               
4:55:25 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  BAKER noted  the representation  from around  the                                                               
state in the  room today advocating for  Tribal representation on                                                               
boards.   He encouraged Native  and rural Alaskans to  tell their                                                               
friends and  neighbors to get  involved and spread the  word when                                                               
there are openings for boards, committees, and councils.                                                                        
4:57:09 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  CARPENTER  said  that Alaskans  have  lost  self-                                                               
sufficiency and  subsistence.  He  noted the governor's  push for                                                               
food self-sufficiency and security.                                                                                             
4:58:57 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR MCCORMICK provided closing remarks.                                                                                       
4:59:40 PM                                                                                                                    
There being no  further business before the  committee, the House                                                               
Special  Committee on  Tribal Affairs  meeting  was adjourned  at                                                               
5:00 p.m.                                                                                                                       

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HTRB Presentation 1.31.23.pptx HTRB 1/31/2024 3:30:00 PM
Food Security and Wild Resource Harvests in Alaska 2018 1.31.23.pdf HTRB 1/31/2024 3:30:00 PM
HTRB Racial vs Tribal Status 1.31.24.pdf HTRB 1/31/2024 3:30:00 PM