Column: Stevens speech to AFN a political gambit
Monday, October 27, 2003

"Ted Stevens gave a hell of a speech Friday morning. Speaking by videotape to the Alaska Federation of Natives convention at the Egan Center, Stevens defended himself against charges of racism in his opposition to attempts by some Natives to assert tribal sovereignty in Alaska.

Few things in Alaska are as complex as the situation surrounding tribes. Much of the confusion lies in the definition of what a tribe is. When you use the word, you could mean anything from a sovereign nation -- that is, a nation that gets to make and enforce its own laws -- to a group of people who share a similar cultural history. Alaska has at least one of each of these, plus tribes that exist to deliver state or federal government services, tribes that are de facto local governments, and probably tribes with other functions as well.

Stevens has set himself against tribes of the sovereign-nation sort.


Get the Story:
Mike Doogan: Stevens, both the politician and person, talks to AFN convention (The Anchorage Daily News 10/26)

Today on Indianz.Com:
Stevens: 'Sovereignty is not the answer' (10/27)

Relevant Documents:
Transcript: Sen. Stevens to Alaska Federation of Natives (October 24, 2003)

Relevant Links:
Alaska Federation of Natives -
Sen. Ted Stevens -

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Stevens won't back away from Native funding issue (10/23)
Alaska Natives discuss village law enforcement (10/23)
Live coverage of AFN convention available (10/23)
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Editorial: Stevens should apologize for remarks (10/13)
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Stevens blames sovereignty push on lower 48 group (10/9)
Stevens remarks on Alaska Natives draw fire (10/7)
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