A U.S. House Committee passed an amendment to the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act this morning that would force the government to recognize Alexander Creek as an Alaska Native village under ANCSA.
Alexander Creek, northwest of Anchorage in the Mat-Su Borough, is part of Cook Inlet Region Inc. If it passes, Alexander Creek would incorporate itself, and residents would receive smaller CIRI dividends, with the rest of the money going to the village corporation, which could decide how it would be distributed.
The bill would require the U.S. government to settle land claim issues with Alexander Creek leaders by the end of this year. But that depends on passage. Congress is slated to begin a five-week recess this weekend. When it returns in September, they’ll have to work on more pressing legislation to avoid across-the-board spending cuts and a plan to keep funding the government for six months.
All of that within two months of the election.
CIRI officials did not make themselves available for comment but in written testimony they were against the current proposal, citing concerns over land rights issues and other problems they felt would infringe on CIRI’s holdings.
- The PFD veto of $666 million covered a little more than a fifth of the budget gap.
- The CEO of the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority stepped down on Monday. Jeff Jessee served as CEO for 21 years. According to a press release from the organization, he is transitioning to a new role ahead of his planned retirement in three years.
- The Alaska State Commission for Human Rights is the state’s anti-discrimination agency. In 2011, a legislative audit found that the agency wasn’t doing its job. Five years later, the agency is still trying to move forward.