In 2013, Congress authorized the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian to establish a national veterans memorial for Natives. The Alaska community consultations of that national effort wrapped last week.
It is hoped that raising the Raven totem pole will pay respect to the grievances of the past, restore the T’aak̲u K̲wáan’s ancestral connection to the land, and signal their desire to heal and move forward, culture intact.
Leaders within the organization, which represents more than 30,000 Tlingit and Haida people, had piles of unflattering adjectives to characterize Eastman’s comments, including “venomous,” “indefensible” and “demonizing.”
The Alaska Federation of Natives is keeping a close eye on the new administration of President Donald Trump. The Native organization’s board is developing ways to negotiate with the current government in Washington, participate in decision making, and advance Alaska Native priorities.