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24th Alaska State Legislature
The 24th Alaska State Legislature
Alaska State Representative John Coghill
Sponsor Statement
House Majority Leader

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3340 Badger Rd., Suite 290
North Pole, AK 99705
Phone: (907) 488-5725
Fax: (907) 488-4271

Allotments for Native Vietnam Veterans
Sponsor Statement for House Joint Resolution 27
Alaska State Legislature
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Attachments Attachments

 
Released:
February 27, 2006
Updated:
February 19, 2012


"Urging the United States Congress to pass legislation amending the Alaska Native Vietnam Veterans Allotment Act to allow deserving veterans to obtain allotments of vacant land within the State of Alaska; and to reopen and legislatively approve allotments in the Tongass National Forest. "


"... a promise made to Natives from 1906 through 1998 that allotments were going to be offered under certain circumstances has not been fulfilled."
- Rep. Coghill

 

This Act urges Congress to reopen the legislatively approved allotments in the Tongass National Forest, which were closed under the court case, Shields v. United States.

This Act also urges Congress to amend the Alaska Native Vietnam Veterans Allotment Act to give a fair opportunity to obtain allotments.

My reason for introducing this resolution is twofold.

First, a promise made to Natives from 1906 through 1998 that allotments were going to be offered under certain circumstances has not been fulfilled. The slow, cumbersome, and unwilling behavior of the federal government to perform on legitimate claims filed properly by people who have watched family members die while the government would not act cannot go unchecked.

Secondly, land that should be in private hands has been kept for government purposes only. This is a matter of fairness that has too long been unresolved for the Natives of Alaska. Applications have been lost, denied, sat on for decades, and finally the repealing of the Act in 1971 was swift and confusing because of the last ditch efforts by the federal government to inform people of their opportunity. The reopening of the Act in 1998 did allow certain Vietnam Veterans to apply for allotments, giving some credibility to the argument that the last year was confusing. However, the restrictions on the reopening were unfair and very difficult for applicants. Some of the land that the federal government is holding is truly private land and belongs to people who have been treated unfairly.

# # #

"Some of the land that the federal government is holding is truly private land and belongs to people who have been treated unfairly."
- Rep. Coghill

 
Attachments:
 
·
Print Text Version
· Acrobat PDF Version [PDF - 1 page - 9 KB]
· Complete Bill Text for HJR 27


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