Our people have fought for our ways of life for millennia.

Through advocacy and work to advance public policy, Sealaska continues to strengthen this tradition of defending traditional ways of living and being. Collaborative work and partnerships to this end help provide economic, educational, cultural and social benefits to shareholders, preserving and enhancing Native rights.

At Sealaska, we believe it is part of our responsibility as representatives of the Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian people we serve to ensure generations yet to come will continue to have access to the same precious resources that nourish us today and have fed our ancestors for many decades before us. By working together, we raise our voices in pursuit of equity and positive change, ensuring our shareholder’s priorities are reflected in all spaces where Sealaska holds influence.

Hágwsdaa Policy Committee

As part of these efforts, Sealaska’s Policy Committee works to support policy initiatives and advocacy efforts aligned with shareholder priorities. The committee is currently known as the Hágwsdaa committee reflecting committee chair ‘Wáahlaal Gidaag Barbara Blake’s Haida heritage. The committee’s name is dependent on the roots of the chair: Naxtoo.aat and Wayi Wah are alternatives in Lingít and Xaad Kíl, respectively – phrases that in all three languages translate to “Let’s Go!”

The policy committee was formed to help facilitate change and ensure shareholder priorities are realized on all levels, on issues local to global. This committee is dedicated to advancing advocacy efforts that benefit shareholders and communities. Key initiatives Include:

  • Subsistence Amendments and Legislation
  • Landless Legislation
  • ANCSA Technical Amendments
  • Alaska Native Veterans
  • Access to Monumental Art Logs
  • Rural Infrastructure
  • Workforce Development
  • Access to Traditional Harvesting
  • Economic Development
  • Village and Tribal Priorities

Shareholders, too, can get involved. “But how?” you might ask. By supporting these causes, encouraging family members to do the same and contacting their elected officials (both state and federal) to champion these and other efforts, letting your voices be heard.

Supporting traditional communities like the Organized Village of Kake and their continued access to resources like herring eggs is just one area of focus for Sealaska’s policy and advocacy efforts.

Alaska Natives Without Land

Through financial contributions and lobbying efforts, Sealaska supports the landless Alaska Native communities of Southeast and their continued efforts to establish village corporations in their communities. Those communities include the five Southeast communities of Ketchikan, Wrangell, Petersburg, Haines and Tenakee Springs.

Alaska Natives Without Land is an advocacy group dedicated to uniting the five Southeast communities left out of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA), for the purpose of restoring a minute fraction of Alaska Native land ownership rights to the Alaska Native communities. Learn more at withoutland.org.

Asking you to give me equal rights implies that they are yours to give. Instead, I must demand that you stop trying to deny me the rights all people deserve.
Kaaxgal Elizabeth Peratrovich, Tlingit civil rights activist

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