"All records stemming from the redress process of the Indian residential school legacy should be public record and not subject to more legal wrangling," said Garnet Angeconeb, who attended Pelican Lake Indian Residential School, near Sioux Lookout and received the Order of Canada, in an email. "We often hear that the Indian residential schools legacy is our 'collective' or 'shared' history as a country. Why then is that one side is driving this contemporary history through the use of law? It looks like, smells like, feels like modern-day colonialism at its best."
A bill that would require state acknowledgement of federally-recognized tribes had its second hearing Tuesday and was approved and moved out of the Alaska House Special Committee on Tribal Affairs.
At the hearing questions were raised and addressed about the impact of the legislation on state jurisdiction and sovereignty.
Two witnesses gave legislators a look at what could be a national model for a state-tribal partnership, in 2017 the state of Alaska and a dozen tribes signed an Alaska Tribal Child Welfare Compact.
Nicole Borromeo, Athabascan, general counsel for the Alaska Federation of Natives, said a compact is like a modern-day treaty. "[This one] specifically defines the services and supports that are going to be carried out by our tribes and tribal organizations on behalf of the state as well as the funding streams required," she said.
“I want to call the committee’s attention to the fact that this is the first ever compact that has been negotiated at the state level. And that is something for all of us to be proud of,” Borromeo said. “We [Alaskans] tend to be at the top of the list of undesirables and at the bottom of the good list. In this case we are truly breaking ground and we're on the cutting edge of law and policy. It's just something that all Alaskans should know about and be able to celebrate.”
|Francine Eddy Jones, director of tribal family and youth services, Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska. (Photo courtesy of Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska)|
Francine Eddy Jones, Tlingit, is director of tribal family and youth services at the Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska.