Opinion: Alaska Natives must control their destiny
" We, as Alaskan Native People, have to take part of the blame for allowing the Caucasians to take from us in the first place. Let's face the facts, the Native leadership we have today is doing nothing. We have become cowards of our own destiny. We have our own I.R.A. Council governments, Alaska Native Brotherhood and Sisterhood Camps and Tlingit and Haida Central Councils - but what are they doing? Our leadership is doing nothing to protect our inherent right to subsist off the land and sea. Why? Is the Assimilation of Alaskan Natives almost complete? Have we forgotten who we are? Have we forgotten who really owns the land? Are we Tlingits cowards? The Caucasians will leave Alaska only when all our natural resources are gone. Do we as Alaskan Natives have to stand by and do nothing? No, let's fight for what really belongs to us. Racism and Discrimination towards Alaskan Natives is alive and well. Caucasian people don t care about us. They are greedy people and don't like to share.

For inspiration; let's look at Metlakatla, Alaska. They control their own destiny. They have their own fisheries, and have told the State of Alaska and Federal Government what they are going to do and have done it. What is the lesson? We, as real owners of Alaska, have to be aggressive to get what belongs to us, and take control of our natural resources. We will pick seaweed in April. We will dig up clams for fundraisers. We will shoot a seal and a deer for a Potlatch. Have our Native Leadership forgotten we have four villages in Southeast with no Land Claim Settlement in Ketchikan, Petersburg, Wrangell and Tenakee Springs? "

Get the Story:
Cowards of Our Destiny, part two. (The Sitka News 1/6)