Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966

Pride of ownership isn't clear cut


May 9, 2019

In 2010 as a first-time homebuyer with a foreclosure house on Deishu, I wanted to work with the local insurance agent, but couldn’t for a very interesting reason.  He represented an insurance company owned by Alaska Natives.  I don’t remember the name or location of the company but I do remember exactly why they wouldn’t take me on: because my place did not reflect “Pride of Ownership,” a quality I’d never heard of.  They saw photos, they said no, ask again in a year.  It’s been easier to stay with my lender’s insurance but I’ve never forgotten this pride of ownership concept.  Since it’s unlikely that this mine being explored just north aways will end up being turned over to the Chilkat Indian Village of Klukwan or to the Chilkoot Indian Association or even to Roger Schnabel, we know pride of ownership cannot happen here. Measures like the ordinance restricting aqueous storage is about the closest we the people as a community, can get to creating an environment that shows our pride of ownership. Finding across-the-board agreement is challenging, I bet even the Chilkats and Chilkoots as owners would not have an easy time of it.  However with them we could be certain that they don’t want themselves, their children, their grandchildren, their great grandchildren, etc. to be the last of their lineage to live a healthy life in their ancient homeland.  Please think carefully about Pride of Ownership, the mine “owners” can’t think like we can.

Evelyna Vignola


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