Local News

Sealaska files response to SJ Redoubt claim

Sealaska Corporation has formally responded to Sheldon Jackson College Trustees’ claim to a popular fishing area near Sitka.

The Southeast regional Native corporation says it should take over an 11-acre site including Redoubt Falls and parts of a nearby lake and bay.

Sheldon Jackson’s trustees have made claim to 160 acres in the area, including the land Sealaska seeks. The corporation’s answer to that claim was filed Tuesday with the federal Bureau of Land Management.

The claim says the land sought by Sealaska included the traditional Tlingit fishing village of Kunáa, historically owned by the Kiks.adi Clan.

Jaleen Araujo is Sealaska’s general counsel.

“We believe it’s pretty clear that Native ownership and use and occupancy was established first. And we understand there may have been some Russian use. But we still believe we have a very strong claim to Native historical use and will continue to pursue that claim,” she says.

Sealaska plans to turn site management over to the Sitka Tribe of Alaska, if it wins its claim.

Sheldon Jackson’s trustees say they can trace ownership from around the time Russia sold Alaska to the United States. Their filings also say Redoubt once housed a small Russian town.

The corporation says those claims are for long-gone buildings, not the land, which is now part of the Tongass National Forest. And it says Russian historians traced the Tlingit town to before colonial times.

Sealaska also says the Russians paid a form of rent to use the Redoubt area. In addition, it says Russian law strictly prohibited colonists from appropriating Tlingit-owned property.

Read and hear about Sheldon Jackson College’s claim of the Redoubt area.

 

Comments

Please read our comment guidelines.

Recent News

Sixbey strums a homemade guitar

IMG_7192
Mark Sixbey is a Tsimshian woodcarver who grew up in Metlakatla and now lives and teaches in Sitka. He brought a homemade guitar to the KCAW studios today (4-29-16). more

Ferry fares rise for third time in a year

Passengers board the ferry Malaspina while vehicles wait to load at the Auke Bay terminal in Juneau. Travelers will no longer be able to take advantage of some discounts, due to budget cuts. (Photo by Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska News)
It’s costing 10 percent more to take the ferry to and from the Lower-48. The higher fare is part of another round of tariff increases aimed at boosting income and equalizing rates across all routes. more