JUNEAU, Alaska - The Sealaska board of directors announced endorsement of Congressman Don Young, Alaska State Senator Dennis Egan and Alaska Representative Cathy Muñoz.
“The Sealaska board continues to advocate at the local, state and federal level for candidates that demonstrate their commitment to Alaska Natives and Southeast Alaska,” said Sealaska chair Joe Nelson. “The board is endorsing these individuals based on their record of support of Sealaska initiative's and Alaska Native Regional corporations. Sealaska shareholders and Alaska Natives need elected officials who will continue to support and advance the interest of our communities.”
“Congressman Don Young is a former teacher who is dedicated to ensuring proper funding of education at the federal level occurs,” said Sealaska lands committee chair Rosita Worl. “Congressman Young supported the passage of H.R. 5, The Student Success Act, with an amendment to protect Alaska Native Education Programs. His amendment helped restore $32 million in funding for the Alaska Native Education Equity program.
In addition to his education funding, Congressman Young has not wavered in his support to finalizing Sealaska's land entitlement under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act. Congressman Young introduced H.R. 740 to finalize this longstanding land entitlement. In addition, Congressman Young's efforts include work on the Tlingit Gull Egg Use Act which is now Public Law number 113-142, as well as seeking an amendment to the Migratory Bird Treaty Act for the benefit of Alaska Native artists using bird parts.”
Sealaska endorses State leaders who join our efforts and work tirelessly on Alaska Native issues. Both Senator Egan and Representative Muñoz continue to listen to the Native community and support projects that benefit the region. One example is the appropriation of $7 million in state funds that was directed to the construction of the Walter Soboleff building to house the Sealaska Heritage Institute. The new facility will be located in downtown Juneau, AK and will fill a need for more public education on Alaska Native history and culture.
“We believe the three candidates will work in the best interest of Alaska Natives across the state,” said board vice chair Jackie Pata. “Sealaska recently announced the endorsement of Mark Begich for U.S. Senate; Byron Mallott for Governor of the State of Alaska; and Sam Kito III as Representative for House District 32. The Sealaska board also made a recent $50,000 independent expenditure to the political action committee Mallott-One Alaska, which demonstrates our commitment to ensuring issues for the long-term success of Alaska are being addressed.”