The Bering Sea Elders Group
ANCHORAGE, ALASKA - The Bering Sea Elders Group (BSEG) convened for its annual meeting in Anchorage, Alaska last week, September 19-20, and passed four resolutions, including a resolution opposing confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. In addition, the Group passed resolutions opposing House-passed bill H.R. 200, a bill that would revise and reauthorize the Magnuson–Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, reaffirmed its call for the North Pacific Fishery Management Council to make permanent the bottom trawl boundary or move it farther offshore, and reaffirmed its support for reinstatement of Executive Order 13754 that created the Northern Bering Sea Climate Resilience Area. BSEG’s resolution opposing Kavanaugh states:
“The Bering Sea Elders Group opposes the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh because he has demonstrated he does not understand the inherent status, rights, and roles of federally recognized Tribes and puts at risk the 229 federally recognized tribes in Alaska. Kavanaugh’s overly narrow and legally incorrect views of the relationship between federal and tribal governments will jeopardize the Indian Child Welfare Act, the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, the Violence Against Women Act, and other laws related to tribal self-determination.” BSEG’s resolution goes on to state:
“Violence against our Native women and children in Alaska is not part of our culture, but is unfortunately an epidemic in Alaska. A person’s actions, beliefs, and ways of being show you who they are, and it is our way to know a person, their actions, their beliefs, and their way of being before elevating them to an important position in the community. Kavanaugh has been accused of sexual assault and attempted rape and this should be fully investigated. In addition, all the hundreds of thousands of pages of information about his previous work that are currently missing from the public record should be vetted.”
BSEG’s resolution concerning the Magnuson–Stevens Act states:
“The Bering Sea Elders Group Opposes the House-passed bill H.R. 200 because it is missing key provisions of importance to the tribes of the northern Bering Sea region. These missing provisions should be included in the Senate reauthorization bill: 1) a requirement for the federal government to consult with tribes on fishery management decisions on a government-to-government basis, 2) a requirement that the federal government include indigenous knowledge in their decision-making, and 3) a requirement that the North Pacific Fishery Management Council designate one full voting membership seat for an elected tribal leader from Alaska.”
“The Bering Sea Elders Group reaffirms their position that the North Pacific Fishery Management Council not lift or move northward the current bottom trawl boundary unless to move it farther offshore. The Bering Sea Elders Group also reaffirms their call for the reinstatement of Executive Order 13754, which created the Northern Bering Sea Climate Resilience Area, or that legislation be passed that is identical to the Executive Order or is more protective.” Links to the resolutions can be found below.
In addition, BSEG also elected new Executive Committee members and these new officers:
Fred Phillip, ChairNorman Menadelook Sr., Vice-ChairMichael Hunt Sr., Treasurer
As part of its annual Summit, BSEG also honored its late Chair Harry J. Lincoln with a memorial banquet. BSEG was deeply honored to have Chairman Lincoln’s family in attendance.
The Bering Sea Elders Group is an association of elders appointed by 39 Tribes in the Yukon-Kuskokwim and Bering Strait regions of Alaska. Each participating Tribe designates an Elder Representative to serve on the Elders Board. For more on the Bering Sea Elders Group, please visit: http://www.beringseaelders.org/about-us/