Lies and mischaracterization of Sen. Dan Sullivan by Alan Gross have prompted me to write this response.
I worked with Dan while he was Alaska’s Attorney General and while he was commissioner of the Department of Natural Resources.
I traveled to many villages with Dan while he chaired the Rural Alaska Sub-Cabinet, seeking solutions to the complex and challenging issues faced by many Alaskans residing in rural Alaska — issues like fuel costs, transportation, unemployment, public safety, domestic violence, sexual assault, and many other difficult problems.
What Dan experienced in these villages he took to heart and acted on. As an example, Dan was instrumental in spearheading the “Choose Respect” initiative, taking on a dark subject few had the courage or character to tackle.
I also worked with Dan on many projects. The most memorable was his determination to return Alaska Native allotments that once served as fish and hunting camps to Native families. Alaska Native allotment applications that were stuck in a bureaucratic limbo for decades were resolved under Dan’s watch.
In our travels together, Dan sat for hours listening to beloved elders like Walter Soboleff and Sidney Huntington, seeking their wisdom and learning from their stories.
Honesty and respect are core values of Alaska Native people, so for this Native Alaskan, Alan Gross’ lies are shameful and show his true character.
John Moller is a fisherman who lives in Juneau.