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As you may be aware, through the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA), the Federal government conveyed to Alaska Native Corporations land and money to settle the aboriginal land claims of Alaska Native people. Congress directed the Department of the Interior to oversee the transfer of Federal lands to Alaska Native Corporations. During the 1990s, the Alaska Native community raised concerns that the Department was conveying contaminated land to Alaska Native Corporations. In 1995, Congress directed the Secretary of the Interior to prepare a report on the extent of contamination on lands conveyed pursuant to ANCSA. In December of 1998, the Department submitted a report to Congress entitled Hazardous Substance Contamination of Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act Lands in Alaska. In that report, the Department acknowledged conveying approximately 650 contaminated sites to Alaska Native Corporations. The report identified numerous types of hazardous wastes, including known carcinogens, on conveyed lands. Recognizing the unjustness of conveying contaminated lands to Alaska Native Corporations in settlement of aboriginal rights to land, the Department recommended an approach to fully identify contaminated sites and cleanup needs on ANCSA lands, including six recommendations. The Department stated it would coordinate the implementation of these recommendations. Extensive research indicates the Department has made no efforts to implement any of the six recommendations it proposed to Congress in 1998. The Alaska Native Village Corporation Association (ANVCA), has taken a leadership role in trying to resolve this issue by taking this issue to Washington, DC this September 17th and 18th. We will be bringing about 25 Village CEOs to lobby on this effort.
ANVCA would like to thank Senator Donny Olsen and Representative Charrise Millett on sponsoring a resolution with the State of Alaska requesting the Federal Government to clean up the lands. ANVCA would also like to thank Brennan Cain, Eyak Corporation, Sarah Lukin, Afognak Corporation, Gerad Godfrey, Afognak Corporation and Kim Reitmeier with the ANCSA Regional Association for being instrumental in getting the issue in the forefront.
We would also like to thank Curtis McQueen, Eklutna Corporation for touring Channel 11 and Channel 2 yesterday discussing their contaminated sites. If you haven’t seen the news clip, it is provide below.
We look forward to working with ANVCA members on helping get our lands clean.
Watch the interview with KTVA Channel 11 News! Click here
View the story on our local KTUU Channel 2 News! Click here
View the State of Alaska Senate Joint Resolution No. 12
View the State of Alaska House Joint Resolution No. 15
View AFN's 2012 Annual Convention Resolution No. 12-42
Representative Charisse Millett wrote an editorial in Anchorage Daily News on Land Contamination. View Here
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