FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 19, 2021
ARA and ANVCA Fight for Alaska Native People at the Nation’s Highest Court
The ANCSA Regional Association (ARA) and the Alaska Native Village Corporation Association (ANVCA) issued this statement following oral arguments at the Supreme Court of the United States regarding the Yellen v. Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis Reservation case:
Today, the ANCSA Regional Association and the Alaska Native Village Corporation Association were proud to appear before the Supreme Court to make our case for the federal government to keep its promise to Alaska Native people.
Our position is simple and clear. Language in the CARES Act should be executed to include Alaska Native corporations (ANCs), which serve Alaska Native people, including tens of thousands who are not members of a federally recognized tribe. Doing so would be consistent with the actions of many federal programs from federal agencies in previous administrations – from both political parties – and as Congress intended when Alaska’s unique service model of distinct Alaska Native organizations was established through the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act.
For decades now, Alaska Native people have relied on ANCs to provide access to education, health, housing, and economic support. This misguided case puts these critical services at risk. If ANCs are no longer eligible to provide these services, there is no other organization or entity that can fill this need.
We hold strong our belief that Alaska Native people should not be punished for this unique system that Congress established for us 50 years ago. We thank the Supreme Court for taking up this case and we look forward to receiving the Court’s decision.
For background on ANCs and the CARES Act, please go to https://ancsaregional.com/cares-act/.