Sealaska Chair Calls for Apology by Alaska Representative Eastman

Sealaska Chair, Joe Nelson, is requesting Alaska Representative David Eastman issue an apology for unsubstantiated claims.

From the Letter by Sealaska Chair, Joe Nelson

Sealaska joins the growing chorus of Alaskans calling for an apology for Representative Eastman's unsubstantiated claim: “You have individuals who are in villages and are glad to be pregnant, so that they can have an abortion because there’s a free trip to Anchorage involved.”

As Native people, one of our most important values is “respect.”  Respect for ourselves and respect for each other including a veteran and elected leader such as yourself. 

However, your appalling comments demonstrate a significant level of disrespect toward Alaska’s first people because we are the majority in Alaska villages.  Your statements exploited negative stereotypes of village life and further perpetuated racist feelings to promote your own political and personal beliefs.  

Sealaska has more than 22,000 shareholders who either live in rural Alaska or trace their ancestry to Native villages.  We have great respect for our shareholders providing for the next generation in rural Alaska because our traditional villages are the basis of our collective identity and culture. 

We expect more from our elected officials from all 40 House Districts.  With this letter, we respectfully request the House of Representatives pursue censure and take all necessary and appropriate action to reassure Alaskans that this type of bigotry is not acceptable among our lawmakers.


Southeast Native Leadership Call for Apology

  1. Sealaska Chair, Joe Nelson Requests Apology
  2. SHI President Rosita Worl - Eastman reaches new low
  3. Tlingit & Haida Issues Support for Censuring Representative David Eastman



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