Village of Barrow leaves AFN - Must Read Alaska
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Friday, October 15, 2021
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Village of Barrow leaves AFN

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The Native Village of Barrow is the latest major Native entity to withdraw from the Alaska Federation of Natives.

In an announcement on Friday, the village council said it took a vote on Dec. 16, and the outcome was unanimous.

“Native Village of Barrow will be focusing efforts on local issues of cultural, traditional, social, environmental and economic importance to NVB and its membership,” the council said.

The decision comes after Arctic Slope Regional Corp. said it would leave AFN at the end of this year.

[Read: ASRC leaves increasingly radicalized AFN]

Doyon, another Native Corporation, is said to have also chosen to sever its membership, and Calista and Koniag are is also leaning toward leaving, Must Read Alaska has learned.

The Native Village of Barrow is a separate entity from the City of Utqiaġvik, formerly known as the City of Barrow, which is the largest community on the North Slope.

The Native Village of Barrow is a federally recognized Alaska Native Inupiat “tribal entity.” Its president is Muriel Brower, and Arnold Brower Jr. is Vice President.

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • Wow! This certainly changes AFN. Even if some people thought it doubtful when ASRC left AFN that it changed AFN, these are just the dominoes falling. There will be more to fall and the changes are coming.

    • Thank God for independent thinking natives! God bless!

  • Must be nice to be a Brower in Barrow.

  • First – AFN became radicalized.
    Second – Then they alienated their base.
    Third – Now they’re becaming irrelevant.
    Fourth – Soon they will become history.
    Fifth – Who?

  • This is a sad day. Natives need to support the older more proud ways. Inviting the governor to speak, only to lay wait and throw eggs is dishonorable. I’m glad that some realize this is not the way to behave and set limits on tollerablity. Still, it weakens us as a group.

    • This is a good day for smart natives!

  • What is Lisa ever going to do? Well there is always Planned Parenthood, and the money hungry teachers union.

  • Nicely done, Julie. Keep it up and you’ll have to change the name of the AFN to AFFNWAWY (Alaskan Federation of a Few Natives Who Agree With You). Cheers –

  • Not true. Many natives agree with having integrity.

  • Nice to see these indigenous folks aren’t all looking for that left turn. Alaska wasn’t built on or by liberalism. The Alaskan people are starting to realize that the “road to perdition” taken by the left is not in their, or Alaska’s best interest. I am so proud of them. The rest of Alaskans need to follow their lead and all give a good showing in the election booths, coming up soon. It’s Alaska itself and our way of life at stake. You can be sure the left will turn out to vote. And there will probably be cheating (vote manipulation), which seems almost commonplace now. We can overwhelm that with conservative votes. We have the numbers. We just need to use them. If conservatives don’t save Alaska, who will?

    • Most native communities are not Conservatives, it’s actually Republicans who are killing our democracy Ben. Do you not remember when that nut Sarah Palin gave a hand out to the oil companies and then they bailed? SAD! #RightWingersAreKillingDemocracy

  • Years ago, I went to the AFN Board meeting to make a presentation on Alaska Native Health Policy priorities. I brought about 14 or so packets to hand out to board and executive staff.

    I had no idea that there were like 50 board members that included non-profit native entities – Tribal Government and/or Tribal Government Consortiums.

    Rex Rock’s explanation of consensus-based decision-making is incredibly important.

    The Alaska Tribal Health Caucus makes decisions through consensus for Compact Language Negotiation issues and when new funding was appropriated for distribution among individual Tribal Compactors up through large Tribal Consortiums – including ANTHC.

    I can be wrong, but I always thought that AFN was created loosely for became the Alaska Native Land Claims Settlement Act.

    I also thought that the purpose of AFN was to be the statewide voice on Alaska Native Corporation issues; as the ANC’s were created from ANCSA.

    AFN’s integration of government-funded Tribal non-profit organizations seemed, to me, at odds with private for-profit ANCs in the early 2000’s when I made my rookie mistake of assuming there would be 13 regional corporation board members that made up the AFN Board.

    ANCSA in my opinion, created corporations in an effort not to duplicate the Tribal Reservation model that many viewed not ideal for us.

    Alaska Tribes in fact, were not even federally-recognized until the 1980’s. (I am not saying Alaska Tribes didn’t exist; Tribes just were not federally recognized).

    Economic and Infrastructure Development are necessary.

    Responsible resource development is necessary.

    Unfortunately, there is not a lot of economy in rural Alaska. Government funded jobs and government dependant programs have been the introduction and perpetuation of “economy” in rural areas.

    There is a paradigm shift taking place that is much needed.

    Community members at times advocate against resource development, infrastructure and economic development as they receive their government funded paycheck or supplements.

    I don’t believe there is a time for government to exist, nor do I advocate that. But ANC’s are the economic change agent that need our support so we can realize Self-Determination.

    However, I can see the conflict that has come to a head within AFN.

  • Today students go off to university to get a good education and instead they get their heads stuffed full of nonsense by hard left professors. It this country is going to survive we need a thorough cleansing of the universities.

    • So true. And, our K through 12 public schools have plenty of left leaning indoctrination going on too. Get your hands on a history book used by the public schools and you’ll find misrepresentations and some outright inaccuracies … and none of them will be “adjustments” to the right – they all adjust to the left. Amazing! What are the chances of 100% of all those “errors” leaning the same way.

      • Pretty judgmental in something that is not entirely accurate.

        • If you get a chance spend some time looking at the books in a grade school or high school library. They are filled with books pushing a certain agenda, a certain view of the world. Promoting the ideas of the hard left has become big business.

      • So true. And don’t forget trans hour for the kids at the library.

    • Amen! Like news outlets, it is not easy determine what Universities are left or right-leaning as a younger person.

      We are taught that journalism has a freedom of the press constitutional right,. So Americans have been led to believe journalism is fact-based, non-partisan statements that are verifiable.

      We expect too, that education is based on facts.

      Being an Alaska Native woman who grew up on a trapping cabin and family gold mine, there were not a lot of places I fit in.

      Certainly, I did not understand why I didn’t fit. I thought I was not ok and I that I was less than, because there was no way my core values conformed to what was expected for me at the Alaska State University level.

      But indocterning Self-Determination based-cultures by introducing the dollar through government dependency is wrong.

      Perpetuating those indocterning values of entitlement and dependancy on government through state funded University systems is wrong.

      ANCSA was enacted so we could determine our future utilizing the resources of our land – not making ANCSA land inaccessible and unusable like a national park.

      We are only two or three generations into this government dependant – we can still correct ourselves, right our shop, and stop socialism-based programs to determine our future generations.

      People say to look at foreign society’s and the negative impacts of socialism.

      I say, look no further than the Indian Health System of care.

      There is no accountability for the doctors that misdiagnose, fail to diagnose, or leave you bleeding out on a surgery table if they are Indian Health doctors – or Tribal Health doctors.

      They are covered by the FTCA (Federal Tort Claims Act) and therefore not required to have medical malpractice insurance.

      As such, they do not lose their license to practice medicine. You cannot find these doctors records like regular doctors in America.

      As Alaska Natives and American Indian people, we have no place to research the doctors performing medical surgery on us.

  • We love you Barrow. Smart.

  • Finally some common sense. Smart move.

  • Years ago Dr. Walter Sobeloff a Tlingit leader told me that he was concerned about his people becoming Dependent upon Government entitlements. I will never forget what he said next, ” My people survived the ice age, they are a strong people. We do not need a handout!” True words of wisdom for all people. Entitlements make a people weak and the administration of entitlements is a source of corruption.

  • Someone should dig into AFN’s connection to Jack Abramoff’s plan to take out corporate insurance policies on Alaskan Native Elders.

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