Supporting our Native Culture, History, and People
I have been a staunch advocate of the Native community, working to support Sm’algyx, Haida, and Tlingit language and culture revitalization efforts.
I am a member of the House Tribal Affairs Committee. In that committee, I had the opportunity to hear and vote for many critical bills over the years: HB38 (2022) mandating that the Department of Public Safety shall employ two people to serve as liaisons between the department and federally recognized tribes and to investigate cases of missing and murdered indigenous women; HB123 (2022) the formal State recognition of federally recognized tribes; and HB142 (2020), which clarifies eligible Native organizations to administer family assistance programs.
In 2018, I sponsored and passed HCR19, which recognizes a linguistic emergency and loss of culture. More importantly, the legislation helps to protect and preserve our Alaska Native languages. Thank you to the Alaska Native Language Preservation and Advisory Council for their guidance, knowledge, and support on this issue.
I have also worked hard to support ALL areas in my district - including our smaller communities - through capital project funding. In Hydaburg, I was able to secure increased funding for a small boat harbor repair project and a new boiler system. I have been able to advocate successfully for Wrangell and Metlakatla during capital budget discussions.
Lastly, I have also worked with individuals and tribes to learn of the importance of protecting our transboundary waters. I have written letters and worked co-cooperatively with the Walker and Dunleavy Administrations and our congressional delegation, especially Senator Murkowski, on protecting our waters from potentially disastrous Canadian mines. I will continue fighting for financial assurances, water quality testing, and proper management of Canadian mines so that downstream waters remain pure and our way of life remains in tact.