Anchorage, AK – Alaska Federation of Natives (AFN) Co-Chair Tara Sweeney will testify before the US House of Representative, Subcommittee on Indian and Alaska Native Affairs on March 14, 2014, 11:00 a.m. (EST), on the Alaska Native Subsistence Co-Management Demonstration Act of 2014. Ms. Sweeney will testify alongside Ahtna, Inc. President and AFN Board member, Michelle Anderson.
The purpose of the hearing is to take testimony on the Ahtna region’s wildlife co-management program. This program seeks to share management power and authority between federal, tribal, and state officials, while specifically providing the Ahtna region with a meaningful role in the management of their own lands. The State of Alaska is invited to participate in co-management under the Act for greater state management on federal lands.
“Alaska Natives have a vested interest in managing a sustainable resource because of our dependence on game as a food source and to preserve our cultures,” said AFN Co-Chair Tara Sweeney.
AFN and the Alaska Native community are united behind this Act, as the current dual federal and state management system is both highly complex and highly confusing, and has led to an erosion of the protections for subsistence uses on Alaska lands.
“Co-management will strengthen our ability to incorporate traditional knowledge and modern science for a better management system,” said AFN President Julie Kitka.
Elders Nicholas Jackson, Chairman of Ahtna, Inc., Roy S. Ewan, former President of Ahtna, Inc., and Eleanor Dementi, Vice Chairwoman of Ahtna, Inc. will also be in attendance during the hearing.
The House Subcommittee on Indian and Alaska Native Affairs oversees all matters regarding Native Americans, including the approximately 566 federally-recognized Indian Tribes, of which 299 are Alaska Native Tribes, with nearly 1.9 million collective enrolled tribal members. The Subcommittee is chaired by Congressman Don Young (R-AK).
A live webcast of the hearing will be available at http://naturalresources.house.gov/live/.
You can watch AFN’s video overview at http://vimeo.com/89564169
Ahtna, Inc. has released a video as well. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dqEJwuhudao&feature=youtu.be