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Tribal leaders laud inclusion of Alaska in land-into-trust process

A view of the Akiachak Native Community, the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit that prompted the Obama administration to include Alaska tribes in the land-into-trust process. Photo from Calista Corporation

Tribal leaders in Alaska are welcoming the chance to participate in the land-into-trust process for the first time.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs has long excluded tribes from the process. But a proposed regulation that was published in the Federal Register last week changes that.

“It’s not a small victory,” Mike Williams Sr. of Akiak Native Community told The Tundra Drums. “It’s a huge victory when you put land one inch by one inch into the trust. That’s a huge victory here in Alaska.”

The BIA is accepting public comments until June 30.

Get the Story:
Alaska Natives hopeful about BIA move to allow tribal land trusts (The Tundra Times 5/8)

Federal Register Notice:
Land Acquisitions in the State of Alaska (May 1, 2014)

Relevant Documents:
Dear Tribal Leader Letter from Kevin Washburn (April 30, 2014)

District Court Decisions:
Akiachak Native Community v. Jewell (September 30, 2013)
Akiachak Native Community v. Salazar (March 31, 2013)

Related Stories:
NCAI praises inclusion of Alaska tribes in land-into-trust process (5/2)
BIA accepts public comments on land-into-trust rule for Alaska (5/1)
BIA proposes rule to include Alaska in land-into-trust process (4/30)
Judge deletes Alaska exception in land-into-trust regulations (10/02)
Sen. Begich supports land-into-trust decision for Alaska tribes (4/23)
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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