Interior Department Invites Public Comment on Proposed Rule to Take Land into Trust for Alaska Native Tribes

Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs Kevin Washburn today announced that the Interior Department is seeking public comment on a proposed rule that would allow the Secretary of the Interior to consider petitions from Alaska Native tribes to take land into trust.

“This is a first step in a critically important process,” said AFN President Julie Kitka.  “It is not only vital that Native people are heard in the public comment period, but also that Native people have a seat at the table as policy is developed.”

The Department will host a series of consultation sessions with tribal representatives on the proposal to amend Part 151, beginning at the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) Mid-Year Conference, June 8-11, 2014, in Anchorage.

Kitka said, “AFN will be fully engaged throughout the rule-making process.  We first must ensure our community understands this issue and has a chance to discuss it internally.  The proposed rule will be reviewed at AFN’s next quarterly board meeting in May.”