Some programs at Sitka National Historical Park may be under tribal management, as early as this summer.
The National Park Service and Sitka Tribe of Alaska have confirmed they are in ongoing negotiations to collaborate on some services in the park in 2018.
Although neither park officials nor tribal representatives have spelled out the details of the collaboration, it may involve historical interpretation.
The park is home to the Tlingit fort site Shís’gi Noow and battleground, where the Kiks.adi Tlingit clashed with the Russian American Company in 1804.
The tribal council voted to authorize the Tribal Chair KathyHope Erikson to sign the 2018 funding agreement at a Wednesday meeting.
The Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act Amendments of 1994 allows tribal involvement in the management of federal lands.
If a tribe has a special historic or cultural relationship with a national park, they can pursue an Annual Funding Agreement to provide projects and programs in that park.
In 2016, the National Congress of American Indians released a resolution declaring that many national parks fit the bill.
Sitka National Historical Park was on that list, along with Glacier Bay National Park, Denali National Park and Preserve, and many other large national parks across the Lower 48.
Conversation between the tribe and the park service began in 2016, when Sitka Tribe of Alaska communicated its interest in a funding agreement.
It submitted a formal request for negotiations in April of 2017, and have since been meeting regularly to further that process.
A date for signature has not been announced.
- Corri Feige is not new to the agency she will now lead — she was previously the head of DNR's Division of Oil and Gas under Gov. Bill Walker.
- British Columbia is taking steps to fully clean up the abandoned Tulsequah Chief Mine. The defunct Canadian mine upstream from the Taku River has been leaching acid for more than 60 years.
- An Anchorage Superior Court judge issued a final order on the lawsuit, which was filed in August by the ACLU of Alaska, the group Dunleavy for Alaska and Palmer resident Eric Siebels.
- The Urban Indian Health Institute conducted the report over the past year amid concern that Native American and Alaska Native women are vanishing in high numbers, despite a lack of government data to identify the full scope of the problem.