"Alaska Natives Fight for Possessory Rights: Aboriginal Battle Is to
ANB Convention at Hydaburg Ends Today Anti-Reservation Plea Made"
Daily Alaska Empire, November 15, 1947, p.1
Ketchikan, Alaska, Nov. 15 (AP) Leaders of the Alaska Native Brotherhood, which ends its convention at Hydaburg today, announced plans for a last ditch fight for aboriginal or possessory rights to a large portion of the 16,075,864-acre Tongass National Forest.
The ANB reversed a resolution adopted three years ago against establishment of reservations in the Territory, despite an anti-reservation address by Lew Williams, Secretary of Alaska, and now Acting Governor.
In New York yesterday an attorney for the timber development corporation said it planned to go ahead with its contract to purchase $20,000,000 worth of timber from two Alaska Indian villages.
Discussing the Kake-Kasaan timber sale, Attorney James Curry of Washington, D.C., told the Ketchikan Chronicle "The Forest Service didn't find any buyers, and we have."
Meantime, a Washington correspondent of the Chronicle reported that results of an Arizona Indian land claims case are expected to have a bearing on claims filed recently by Alaska Indians. The Arizona Hualapai Indians, the dispatch said, finally won in the supreme court their claim to lands ceded to the Santa Fe Railway more than 80 years ago by an Act of Congress, with the court upholding the Indian rights of occupancy.
The ANB at Hydaburg severed its connections with the Alaska Marine Workers Union (AFL). Spokesmen for the Brotherhood said its functions and bylaws might be considered violations of the Taft-Hartley labor law if they engaged in direct union activities.
Ellary Gromoff, first delegate from the Pribilof Islands to attend an ANB convention, told delegates working conditions in the fur seal operations were "substandard."
Lewis Peters of the Alaska Native Service reported that the Territorys reindeer herds, decimated by wolves and neglected during the war, may be brought back to normal numbers. The total count now, he said, is about 50,000, of which 30,000 are on Nunivak Island.
Dr. Howard C. Rufus, medical director of the Service, said Anchorage is expected to get a new 600 or 700 bed combined Alaska Railroad and Alaska Native Service hospital.