Sealaska Land Legislation Moves out of House Committee to Full House
The Sealaska land legislation Haa Aani, H.R. 1408, passed another important milestone today and is being reported favorably out of the committee to the full House with bipartisan support. The U.S. House Natural Resources Committee held a markup on the bill formally titled “Southeast Alaska Native Land Entitlement Finalization and Jobs Protection Act”.”
“We are very pleased by today’s bipartisan House committee vote on the legislation to finalize the land entitlement of Alaska’s Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian people (H.R. 1408),” stated Chris E. McNeil, Jr., Sealaska presient and CEO. “We are grateful for Representative Don Young’s leadership around Native rights and honored by the support that we are receiving from him and the rest of the committee.”
“This vote marks a huge milestone for our 20,000 tribal member shareholders—we are now one step closer than we have ever been to receiving our remaining land entitlement in the manner in which ANCSA originally intended. We look forward to seeing a similar success in the Senate with Senators Mark Begich and Lisa Murkowski’s version of the legislation.”
Julie Kitka, president of the Alaska Federation of Natives also commented on the legislation moving forward stating, “Today’s vote on H.R. 1408 is a victory for all Alaska Natives. It brings the Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian people of the Sealaska Corporation much closer to gaining title to important cultural and historical sites that are vital to the preservation of Native history and culture, and continuation of the Native way of life.”
The U.S. Senate bill to finalize Sealaska’s entitlements, known as S.730, is sponsored by U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski and Mark Begich. Murkowski recently stated she hopes to hold a senate markup later this summer.