I, Tony Knowles, Governor of the State of Alaska, under the authority granted by art. III of the Alaska Constitution, hereby establish by this Order the policy of the State of Alaska on Tribes and their Tribal governments (hereinafter referred to as “Tribes”).
The recognition of Tribes is a function of the federal government. The federal recognition of Tribes arises out of the special relationship between the United States and Tribes. Tribes can be federally recognized as having Tribal status by Congressional Act, executive action, or judicial determination.
Tribes existed in Alaska before the formation of the United States and the State of Alaska. The existence of Tribes in Alaska, and their inherent sovereignty, has been recognized by all three branches of the federal government.
The State of Alaska recognizes the important contribution Alaska’s Tribes make to the citizens of Alaska. The State of Alaska recognizes that funds generated by the Tribes represent a large positive economic and social impact on the entire state and its citizens. The State of Alaska recognizes and values the revenue and services that Alaska’s Tribes contribute to the state’s economic and social well-being by virtue of their direct Tribal authority and responsibility for the delivery of social, economic, cultural, and other programs and services.
It is of paramount importance to all residents of Alaska to foster a constructive and harmonious relationship between the Tribal and State governments. The State of Alaska must work together with Tribal governments to develop mutual respect for the rights, responsibilities, and interests of all parties. The relationship between our governmental structures can only be built through trust and mutual respect.
Tribes Exist in Alaska
This Order is intended to make clear for all State and federal agencies, the courts, the Tribes, and the public that the State of Alaska recognizes and respects the governmental status of the federally recognized Tribes within the boundaries of Alaska.
I hereby acknowledge the legal and political existence of the federally recognized Tribes within the boundaries of Alaska. I further acknowledge the legal authority of the federal government to recognize the existence and governmental status of Tribes in Alaska. It is also the policy of the State of Alaska to acknowledge any additional Tribes in Alaska that may be recognized by the federal government in the future.
The State of Alaska’s Relationship with Tribes
I declare that it is the commitment and policy of the State of Alaska, consistent with the Constitutions of the United States and the State of Alaska, to work on a government-to-government basis with Alaska’s sovereign Tribes, which deserve the recognition and respect accorded to other governments. The State of Alaska has a long-standing commitment to local self-government that is rooted in the belief that the best and most effective solutions to local problems are those that are conceived locally.
The State recognizes the value in establishing a comprehensive and mutually respectful State-Tribal relations policy in an effort to promote and enhance Tribal self-government, economic development, a clean and healthy environment, and social, cultural, spiritual, and racial diversity. The State is committed to working with Tribes to further strengthen Alaska’s ability to meet the needs of Alaska’s communities and families.
In December 1999, I invited the Tribes of Alaska to enter into a government-to-government dialogue with the State for the purpose of establishing a framework for ongoing State-Tribal relations. This dialogue shall be consistent with voluntary ongoing consultation and the principles of self-determination and self-governance of each Tribe.
The principles set out in this Order shall be the foundation upon which State government officials, at all levels, will work with Tribal representatives to build a framework for promoting mutually respectful State-Tribal relations, protocol, and policy.
This Order supersedes and revokes Administrative Order No. 125, dated August 16, 1991.
This Order takes effect immediately.
Dated at Anchorage, Alaska, this 29th day of September, 2000.
By: S/S Tony Knowles