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Begich Holds Sullivan Accountable In AFN Forum

Sullivan Record Of Fighting Against Alaska Native Rights On Display


ANCHORAGE — U.S. Senate candidate Dan Sullivan dodged questions about his lawsuit against Katie John over her subsistence rights, his lack of support for the Voting Rights Act and refusal to support an Alaska Native preference for subsistence.

Sullivan’s failed record of suing Alaska Native tribes, communities and Katie John continue to be topics of conversation among AFN attendees after Mark Begich made clear he supports subsistence rights and empowering rural Alaska communities.

“Dan Sullivan is out of touch with Alaskans and today it was clear he’s trying to buy Alaska’s Senate seat for himself. Sullivan’s failed record as Alaska’s attorney general and Department of Natural Resources Commissioner isn’t going away. Sullivan tried to re-write history and twist the truth about his record of suing and attacking the rights of Alaska Native people and rural communities. Attendees still want Sullivan to answer questions about his Katie John lawsuit, proposals to strengthen tribal authority and his opposition to Alaska Native subsistence rights,” said Max Croes, Communications Director for Alaskans for Begich.

Overview of Dan Sullivan’s record of attacking the rights of Alaska Native people:

Katie John

Alaskans remember and celebrate the life of Athabascan elder Katie John whose heroic story of fighting nearly thirty years for her subsistence rights has been passed down for decades. Alaskans also remember that U.S. Senate candidate Dan Sullivan, then attorney general for Alaska, used his position to continue the state’s litigation against Katie John.

HB77, the Silencing Alaskans Act

Dan Sullivan continues to avoid his role in the “Silencing Alaskans Act,” legislation that would have restricted Alaskans’ access to public lands. Sullivan aggressively pushed the bill which would have cut Alaska Natives, sport fishermen and local voices out of decisions about land usage.

The controversial legislation would have allowed the State to issue development permits without requiring any public input, cutting Alaskans out of the process entirely. The bill ran into a “buzzsaw” of opposition which made clear Alaskans oppose the bill.

Kaltag Tribal Council and Native Village of Tanana

Dan Sullivan continues to run from his record of undermining the rights of Alaska Natives and tribal sovereignty by suing tribes as attorney general.

Sullivan tried to restrict the rights and tribal authority of Alaska Natives and tribes by pursuing suits against the Kaltag tribe and Native Village of Tanana, who sought to protect young children from dangerous situations through adoption. Sullivan fought against the tribal authority to care for and take custody of at risk children without state approval.

Sullivan’s failed lawsuits cost the state hundreds of thousands of dollars and damaged Sullivan and the state’s relationship with tribes, with Alaska Native leaders calling Sullivan’s actions “extreme.”

Bristol Bay Area Plan

As Commissioner of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Dan Sullivan pushed the Pebble Mine by advocating land use designations that benefitted the development.

At DNR, Sullivan “led the charge” to reclassify state land in the Bristol Bay Area Plan (BBAP) to clear the way for the Pebble Mine, cutting subsistence users and fishermen out of the permitting process over objections from tribal leaders and subsistence users.

Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)

Alaska’s attorney general where he not only sued to prevent tribes from protecting at risk children, but also refused to give his position on the “Alaska Exception.”

Voting Rights Act

Despite serving as Alaska’s top law enforcement officer and claiming to defend the rights of Alaska Natives, Dan Sullivan has consistently refused to share his thoughts on the Voting Rights Act. Sullivan will not say whether he supports a fix to protect Alaska Native voting rights or Senator Begich’s legislation, the Native Voting Rights Act of 2014.

U.S. Senator Mark Begich is proud to have the support and reelection endorsement of over 30 Alaska Native tribes and communities.