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Testimony

Submitted to the
Alaska Natives Commission
in connection with a hearing at

Nome, Alaska
September 21, 1992

ALASKA NATIVES COMMISSION
JOINT FEDERAL-STATE COMMISSION
ON
POLICIES AND PROGRAMS AFFECTING ALASKA NATIVES
4000 Old Seward Highway, Suite 100
Anchorage, Alaska 99503

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Witness List | Exhibit List | PDF Version

ALASKA NATIVES COMMISSION
HEARING
Nome, ALASKA
SEPTEMBER 21, 1992

Loretta Bullard

COMMISSIONER TOWARAK: Next to testify will be Loretta Bullard.

(TESTIMONY OF LORETTA BULLARD ATTACHED AS EXHIBIT #2)

(Tape changed to Tape #2 during testimony.)

COMMISSIONER TOWARAK: Thank you, Loretta. I was intrigued by the makeup of the federal subsistence part. If you would believe it, too, when the -- when this Commission was proposed, it was proposed to be made up of federal agencies put together to collaborate, to figure out now to go about solving problems. And they were about 40 percent close to being the members of the Commission.

And we're looking at the federal agencies with regard to the empowerment-thing, a very protective group of people. It'll be interesting to see how the empowerment idea is approached by this Commission. I know that it's on -- another task force is working on it. We have a task force called -- the governing task force?

COMMISSIONER ELLIOTT: It's Paul Boyko, --

COMMISSIONER TOWARAK: Governance, governance, the governance task force.

COMMISSIONER ELLIOTT: Paul Boyko, myself, and Frank Pagano.

COMMISSIONER TOWARAK: And one of the things that they' re really committed to is the responsibility and the empowerment at the grassroots level, even lower than state level, and even lower than some people are comfortable with; but I think the commitment is there. Thank you.

MS. BULLARD: Thank you.

COMMISSIONER ELLIOTT: Could I ask a question, Loretta, please?

MS. BULLARD: Sure.

COMMISSIONER ELLIOTT: You mentioned about tribes, and so on, and I know there's a difficulty even in the Alaska Native Lands Claims Settlement Act, it doesn't distinguish. It just says tribes, villages, communities, and so on. You see? How would you define for Alaska, because if we are different from the Lower 48, where they have reservations and so on, and we don't -- except Metlakatla -- how would you define a tribe? Would it co -- be -- constitute a village? Or a community who speak the same language? For example, the Gwich'in people of Fort Yukon, Chalkyitsik, Arctic Village all speak the same language, but Minto doesn't -- a different dialect. The Hahn (ph.) Indians of Eagle on the Yukon speak an entirely different dialect. So would the Gwich'in constitute a tribe per se, made up of several villages, and the Hahn (ph.) one village, because that's all there is? I mean, I'm just asking your -- what your thoughts are concerning the definition of a tribe for Alaska.

MS. BULLARD: I can't speak to what the Gwich'in definition should be. I think that's something they need to, you know, settle for themselves. I think, here in the Bering Straits Region, we have 17 federally-recognized tribes whose constitutions, either IRA or Traditional Tribal Councils, have been recognized by the federal government; and then we have three entities which are not federally recognized.

COMMISSIONER ELLIOTT: Oh, I see.

MS. BULLARD: But I think that tribes are a political unit, you know, and it's those individuals that -- generally, they're within a community; but it's a political relationship between themselves, as a distinct group of people, and the federal and state governments.

COMMISSIONER ELLIOTT: I see. All right. thank you.

COMMISSIONER TOWARAK: Thank you. Is Matthew Iya here? Matthew lya? No? Robbie Fagerstrom? (Pause.) Stanton isn't here, huh? Josie Weyionanna? (Pause.) Reginald Okitkon?

MR. OKITKON: Yeah, I'm here.

COMMISSIONER TOWARAK: Okay. You would be next.

MR. OKITKON: I'm not here to testify. I'm just here as (indiscernible - away from microphone) --

COMMISSIONER TOWARAK: Okay, thank you, Reginald.

MR. OKITKON: -- what's going on here.

COMMISSIONER TOWARAK: Gary Longley?

MR. OKITKON: (Indiscernible - away from microphone).


 

This document was ocr scanned. We have made every attempt to keep the online document the same as the original, including the recorder's original misspellings or typos.

 
 

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