External Affairs
Alaska Region


Alaska Native Affairs

Federally Recognized Tribes in Alaska


State of Alaska joins Service in Formal Apology for Harmful Impacts of Past Bird Harvest Prohibitions

Alaska Migratory Bird Co-Management Council with Commissioner Sam Cotten and Regional Director Greg Siekaniec after the ceremony.  Photo by USFWSThe U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game formally apologized to Alaska Native peoples Thursday, September 13, 2018. The apology recognizes hardships Alaska Native families experienced from implementation of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act in the 1960s and 70s. "This moment ... can bring healing, and healing is what needs to happen for Natives throughout the State," said Gayla Hoseth, AMBCC Native Caucus Co-Chair and Bristol Bay Regional Advisory Committee Representative. Council members honored many Alaska Native leaders who worked to change the Act during the ceremony. The apology was presented to the Alaska Migratory Bird Co-Management Council at their fall meeting by USFWS Regional Director Greg Siekaniec and Alaska Department of Fish and Game Commissioner Sam Cotten. 


Writing an Alaska Native Relations Policy

Cleaning fish on the river.  Photo Credit: USFWSAlaska Native peoples have lived from, with and as a part of the environment since time immemorial, and as such, have a direct connection to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Mission.  We are in the process of developing a new chapter of the Native American Policy which will be tailored to the specific uniqueness of the Alaska Region.  Tribal consultation and ANCSA Corporation consultation is available through September 2016.  An open public comment period will occur in early 2017.  Here is adraft Alaska Native Relations Policy for your review and comment.  Contact Crystal Leonetti to set up consultation for your Tribal Government or ANCSA Corporation.

Refuge Law Enforcement Cross Cultural Communication

Refuge Law Enforcement Cross Cultural Communication.  Photo Credit: USFWSFederal Wildlife Officers in Alaska engage in a range of public outreach and education activities. They annually host and participate in Youth Wildlife Officer Camps at various locations across the state, speak in schools, participate in the Ride for Life suicide prevention program, and lead hunter education, snow machine safety, and wilderness survival courses. Officers in Alaska approach their work with a heart-felt compassion for community and personally take the initiative to deliver moose, sheep, caribou, duck, goose and fish to elders. They invest in cross-cultural training and education, including recently developing a 13-minute video to help raise awareness among Federal Wildlife Officers, Special Agents, and other employees of the Service about Alaska Native communication and how to avoid misunderstanding and rush to judgment, especially during law enforcement contacts and interviews. View the video on our YouTube Channel!

Contact Information

Crystal Leonetti
Alaska Native Affairs Specialist
1011 E. Tudor Road
Anchorage, AK 99503
Joanne Bryant
Tribal Communication and Outreach Specialist
101 12th Avenue, Room 236
Fairbanks, AK 99701
Kyle James
Tribal Wildlife Grant Coordinator
1011 E. Tudor Road
Anchorage, AK 99503

Last updated: November 2018

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