The letter covers a lot of ground — outlining the need to develop a deep-draft port above the Arctic Circle and advocating sharing federal revenue from offshore oil drilling with local residents.
President Barack Obama met with leaders from the Alaska Native community while in Anchorage for the GLACIER conference.
Alaska has the third lowest graduation rate in the country for Alaska Native and American Indian students — about 51 percent in the 2010-11 school year.
Alaska and the future of Arctic policy are seeing increased international attention as the U.S. holds the chairmanship for the Arctic Council and foreign ministers prepare to meet in Anchorage later this month — joined by President Obama, who’s planning a visit to Kotzebue and Dillingham.
Walker has faced pressure from tribes to drop the lawsuit he inherited from the Parnell administration. He delayed action for seven months, but recently fly around the state to meet face to face with tribal leaders in the five communities involved in the suit.
Yupiit Nation tribal members at an event Friday made a last second push for advancing sovereignty in Alaska. A few dozen members signed on to a letter to Gov. Bill Walker asking him to stop the state’s fight against putting lands into trust.
British Columbia officials travel to Southeast Alaska Aug. 24-27 to discuss concerns about transboundary mines.
Governor Bill Walker faces an August deadline for determining the future of the state’s appeal against a court case that could clear a path for Alaska tribes to put land into trust.
Walker’s office tried to keep a low profile on his first post-election visit to Southwest Alaska amid high interest in a case that could reshape jurisdiction on Alaska Native lands.
State government will formally involve tribal groups in its transboundary mining work. Alaska Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott made that commitment Wednesday while meeting in Juneau with Southeast Native leaders.