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Republicans Host Tribal Roundtable Marking Fifty Years of the Alaska Natives Claims Settlement Act


WASHINGTON, D.C., March 1, 2022 -

Washington - Today, Dean of the House and Ranking Member of the Subcommittee for Indigenous Peoples of the United States Don Young (R-Alaska) and House Committee on Natural Resources Ranking Member Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.) led a Republican roundtable titled, "The Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act at 50: Successes and Opportunities for the Next 50 Years."

"For over 50 years, the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act has empowered Alaska Natives and served as a model for promoting self-determination and upholding our federal trust relationship. My job as Congressman for All Alaska is to help educate my colleagues on uniquely Alaskan issues and to elevate Alaska Native voices to tell their own stories. I am grateful to the House Natural Resources Republicans for organizing today's roundtable, titled 'The Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act at 50: Successes and Opportunities for the Next 50 Years," Young said. "I have served with thousands of colleagues from the Lower 48 in Congress, and I truly believe that education about Alaska's unique system is crucially important to policymaking. This roundtable served as a vital resource for fellow Members of the Committee. I want to thank ANVCA Director Hallie Bissett, Alaska Federation of Natives Co-Chair Joe Nelson, Native Village of Napaskiak Chairman Stephen Maxie, Cook Inlet Tribal Council President and CEO Gloria O'Neil, and ANCSA Regional Association President Kim Reitmeier for joining me in D.C. to help inform Members of Congress. I also want to thank Ranking Member Bruce Westerman for helping to make today's briefing possible. Bruce is a long-time friend of Alaska, and I am proud to serve with him. As Ranking Member of the Subcommittee for Indigenous Peoples of the United States and Vice-Chair of the Native American Caucus, I will continue pushing hard to ensure Alaska Natives always have seats at the table."

"I commend Mr. Young's advocacy on behalf of Alaska Natives in Congress and am proud to join him today in learning more about ANCSA's unique system and its importance to Alaska Native communities," Westerman said. "The Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act is the backbone of Alaska's Tribal system as well as the state's economy. Alaska Native Corporations, Alaska Native Tribal governments and Native non-profits rely on this unique system to support their economies and wellbeing."

The panel of seven Republican members heard from five witnesses during the roundtable:

Hallie Bissett, executive director, Alaska Native Village Corporation Association

Joe Nelson, co-chair, Alaska Federation of Natives

Stephen Maxie, chairman, Native Village of Napaskiak

Gloria O'Neil, president and CEO, Cook Inlet Tribal Council

Kim Reitmeier, president, ANCSA Regional Association


Contact: Committee Press Office 202-226-9019

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