A Historic Moment for Alaska tribes; Craig Tribal Association is the First Fee-to-Trust Application in Alaska Approved

“On behalf of the board, Sealaska congratulates CTA and its leadership for the hard work and efforts with its land-into-trust application,” said Sealaska Chair Joe Nelson. “This is a historic moment for Alaska tribes.  More land-into-trust is not going to be a silver bullet for solving all of the challenges in our communities, but this action by the Obama Administration acknowledges the rightful place of our tribes as sovereign governments on the same footing as lower 48 tribes.”  

The first Land Into Trust application from Alaska was approved by the U.S. Department of Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs and is in southeast Alaska. The Craig Tribal Association (CTA) submitted the application in October 2016.

“On behalf of the board, Sealaska congratulates CTA and its leadership for the hard work and efforts with its land-into-trust application,” said Sealaska Chair Joe Nelson. “This is a historic moment for Alaska tribes.  More land-into-trust is not going to be a silver bullet for solving all of the challenges in our communities, but this action by the Obama Administration acknowledges the rightful place of our tribes as sovereign governments on the same footing as lower 48 tribes.”   

Tribes in the lower 48 have benefited from the federal law allowing tribal lands to be acquired into trust. In 2013, the fee-into-trust regulation was broadened to include Alaska tribes, who were initially excluded.

CTA applied for the land and adjacent parking lot where its tribal offices are located in Craig, Alaska and equals just over one acre. This action will increase CTA’s ability to self-govern, working as its own government for the benefit of its tribal members. Approximately 300 Sealaska shareholders call Craig home. “Sealaska supported CTA’s application,” said Sealaska CEO Anthony Mallott. “CTA leadership has the knowledge and ability to self-govern which will continue to have positive impacts for its members and community.  Sealaska looks forward to supporting their efforts and finding more ways to work together.”

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