Sitka Tribe of Alaska Opposes Sheldon Jackson College Claim to Redoubt Bay
Under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971, section 14(h)(1) sites are identified as existing cemetery and historical places. Alaska Native Regional Corporations are allowed to select 14(h)(1) sites as part of their land entitlement. Sealaska identified the Redoubt Lake Village in 1976. In the summer of 2011, the Bureau of Land Management began surveying the site to finalize a conveyance to Sealaska.
Nearly 35 years after Sealaska’s 14(h)(1) selection application, the Sheldon Jackson College (SJ) Board of Trustees filed a color-of-title claim for 160-acres at Redoubt Bay and Lake.
On Wednesday August 15, 2012, the Sitka Tribe of Alaska’s tribal council approved a resolution opposing SJ’s claim. In part, the resolution states that the Sitka Tribe of Alaska’s traditional territory reflects the lands and waters historically and presently under the stewardship responsibility of the Sheet’ka Kwaan, and as such are composed of the western side of Baranof Island, the greater reaches of Peril Strait, southwestern portions of Chichagof Island and the myriad of islands as well as the waters between these locations.
Sealaska Executive Vice President Rick Harris stated to Coast Alaska News that the trustees’ claims address long-gone buildings, not land. “It ignores the historic Tlingit use before Russian occupancy, during Russian occupancy and then even after Russian occupancy.”