Law | Politics | Trust

Sen. Begich supports land-into-trust decision for Alaska tribes

Alaska tribes should be treated equally in the land-into-trust process, Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska) said in a press release.

In a March 31 decision, Judge Rudolph Contreras said Alaska tribes can follow the land-into-trust process. He rejected arguments that the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971 requires Alaska's first inhabitants to be treated differently.

"I have long believed that Alaska tribes are no different from tribes in the Lower 48 and should be able to take part in the land-into-trust application process." Begich said. "This ruling affirms that the Secretary of the Interior does not have the authority to discriminate against Alaska tribes."

Begich is the only member of Alaska's Congressional delegation to speak publicly about the landmark decision. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), who was re-elected with the help of Native voters, hasn't said anything, while Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska) has made it clear that he opposes land-into-trust for Alaska.

Get the Story:
Press Release: Begich Supports Ruling for Equal Treatment of Alaska Tribes (April 12, 2013)

District Court Decision:
Akiachak Native Community v. Salazar (March 31, 2013)

Related Stories:
APRN: NARF attorney discusses decision in land-into-trust case (04/09)
Decision in Alaska case could reopen land-into-trust regulation (4/5)
NARF calls land-into-trust case 'victory' for all Alaska tribes (4/3)
Judge rules tribes in Alaska can follow land-into-trust process (4/1)
Rep. Young won't support Alaska tribes for land-into-trust fix (03/20)

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