well, looks like we’re going to get a 1000 buck’s or there bouts, better than a stab in the eye with a sharp stick, yet is it really moving the Native People of Kodiak in the right direction?
Make no mistake, I like having extra dough, but There are still lots of work to be done. I have recording of my Grandmother Natalie Simeonoff (Fadaoff) and she talks about, How being Natives and when the “Americans” showed up with all their “land Savvy” and how they were able to get all the best Pieces of land for themselves. She tells how they shipped Filipino people to Kodiak to take jobs away from Natives, she talked about how Natives were given lower-level jobs, she also talked about being shuttled around. I do not see how that has changed, I have worked for lots of companies while in Alaska, I have never seen a Native Superintendent, Company Owner, much more than a Maverick firm, like my own. The odds are stacked against small Native firms. The paperwork, involved. When I first moved to Alaska in the early 80’s the only jobs available were service jobs, low level construction jobs, none, like the friends I had met that were shipped up from the lower 48 to do high paying Oil jobs.
The biggest thing they took, was the pride in being Native. there is one clip, that she talks about being in the Orphanage, and the teacher asked everyone who was Native to raise their hands, nobody raised their hands, except all her children, not until the 1972 Claims Act, did it become ok, to be “Native” she says how the darkest Natives did not raise their hands. This is so prevalent even today, the policy of kill the Native save the Man was more than just a policy, it has become ingrained in many of today’s Shareholder, it was a great success, but they still are not in charge of their own destiny. My own personal experience, is standing by while a cousin, let her “boyfriend” say derogatory remarks about Natives and it specifically hit home with me as, my grandmother used to make me black pinks fried up on the stove, in bacon grease, they were delicious, she was a wonderful cook, an expert. she also made some blueberry muffins, the best I have ever had. Now, let me say, I always have a problem with people who complain about things, and have not solution.
There can be no peace, until all Natives are brought out of the dark ages, of alcohol abuse, sex abuse, this sometimes their own parents, family, or the permanent fund people, who flock to Alaska for their piece of the Native pie.
I would have to say that Koniag, has moved forward many places in the years since the days of corruption, nepotism, and preferred treatments. I have mentioned how one salary is more than the total of money spent on all the scholarships combined. This is true, not sure if that meets the bar, when assessing if the people are benefiting, falling into the “Business Trap” it will not end well. Now in their defense, the salaries, seem to be tied to production totals, or more accurately to Salaries of other American Companies of the same size.
Does that mean, they just need to land th e position and they get the dough? I mean, had they already been running other companies of the same size? that seems ok, but it they just got out of school, and maybe were an accountant, and now, they pulling in 6 figures? it that for everyone on the payroll? How are they training these recipients? I believe, there are far more important data, I have said it before, give someone fish, they eat today, teach them to fish, they eat for a lifetime, that is the same, sure, we can all go fish, one of the hardest professions their is, it is a tough life, and not one you can build a future on. I am talking about the leaders of our communities. The judges, lawyers, Business Owners, Big business. This is the type of jobs, that Koniag needs to foster and create. I see not jobs on their website. I see all these business, that are created and they have no Native leadership. Koniag, should be involved in the Building of Kodiak, they should be Making Kodiak GREAT, not, outsiders. we are the outsiders, I wonder how much Native land has been lost back to the State, How much has been chopped down. they have an office, that is all I see, some land raping companies, no building for the people. for the elderly. a potluck here or there, a few sheckles here and there.
They should invest in the shareholders, the descendants, that could be instead of being buried in debt, be aligned with and push Koniags into the 22nd Century and beyond. where are the Native business schools, the Native Law schools, where are any Native schools that are not controlled by the Status Quo? Have the Alaskan Native, just decided to roll over? or are they so trained to be “like” the Kill the indian program had intended, can we be a Proud people?
I know it is not easy, to embrace our Native heritage, The scorn, is still prevalent, the greed still and entitlement, still thick. what good are you? if you do not fight for what is right. Yes, your doing a good job by, making more money, but to not bring your people, whom you are benefiting from is not optimal.
I would say to stay on this course of “all business” will eventually end up in losing the land, and therefore the Tribes, but hold the land, before it is bartered away. the future is the tribe, unless we sell as their intent.