Letters to the Editor
Sea Otter Crafts
To the Editor:
Under the Marine Mammal Protection of 1972 Alaska Natives are exempt and allowed to harvest marine mammals for subsistence and to make and sell crafts made from the animal parts. This exemption was included to protect and insure that our traditions, culture and art can continue. The Fish and Wildlife Service is implementing the Marine Mammal Protection Act by using gray area regulations that we can't understand with severe legal penalties that is causing many to not participate in sea otter hunting and skin sewing. It is causing those who do participate to live in fear of legal persecution. The US Fish and Wildlife Service has produced a draft regulation telling Alaska Natives what a Native handicraft is and what is consider a legal Native Handicraft to sell to a non Native. The draft regulation is open to public comment until March 31, 2012. The draft letter from the US Fish and Wildlife Service along with more information including where to send public comment is available at seaottercraft.com Please take a few minutes to go over the draft regulation and provide your public comment to the US Fish and Wildlife Service.
(sea otter hunter, tanner and skin sewer)
“Choose Respect” rally
To the Editor:
As an organization which believes that domestic violence and sexual assault are unacceptable behaviors, and that everyone has a right to be free from violence in their lives, we support the Governor’s office in its effort to promote awareness through the CHOOSE RESPECT campaign. Across the state, communities will have rallies on Thursday, March 29. Mike Barnhill, Deputy Commissioner of Administration, will be here in Petersburg to participate in our march on that day at 4 pm from PFI hill to Wells Fargo bank. Everyone is invited and encouraged to join in this event. It is our understanding that $200,000 was cut from the Governor’s budget that had been earmarked for smaller community domestic violence programs, such as WAVE. Please help us show the Governor’s office that Petersburg does “Choose Respect”, but we need our legislators to “Fund Respect” as well in order to provide adequate services to victims in our community. Hope to see you at the rally.
WAVE Program Coordinator
To the Editor:
This letter is in response to last week’s article concerning Congressman Don Young. I did not say I was in favor of selling sea otter pelts overseas. What I did was ask Congressman Don Young about his bill allowing the sale of whole pelts overseas without being “significantly altered”.
I expressed the concerns of many Native artists who feel such an act would bring back artifacts made at a cheaper cost and sold for less than what it costs to make here thus undercutting our local artists. As far as teddy bears go, the regulations say items must be “traditional Native artifacts” which does not allow for the sale of such things as teddy bears or other items. Some artists would like to do such things but are afraid of being arrested for these actions.
Ross Nannauck III