On this day, July 28, 2022, Governor Mike Dunleavy signs into law HB 123. The bill signing ceremony was held at the Alaska Native Heritage Center (ANHC) and hosted by Alaska Federation of Natives ( AFN) President Julie Kitka and ANHC Executive Director Emily Edenshaw. Julie Kitka described that this long awaited document is a step forward to a successful relationship with the State. “We have strengthened our tribal governments and have initiated multiple efforts to continue our path to self-determination and self-governance. The formal recognition through this legislation is an historic step for us to have a successful relationship with the state.”
The signing of the bill may signify, that after 50 plus years of Statehood and 100 years of US territorial occupation, that the State may be ready to acknowledge and engage with Alaska Natives, Tribal Governments, and Tribal organizations in a meaningful way that respects the values, practice’s, traditions, and freedoms that have been practiced and maintained by a diverse culture for time immemorial.