More work needs to be done to better serve Alaska Native Communities impacted by the Exxon Valdez tragedy.
The Exxon Valdez Oil Spill (EVOS) Trustees voted yesterday to utilize the remainder of the original $900 million in settlement funds allocated for the restoration of damaged ecosystems in spill-impacted communities. In the past 27 years, very little EVOS Trustee Council funding has gone to local, Native communities and organizations impacted by t
he spill. Now, nearly 30 years after the spill, a portion of the approximately $200 million in remaining funds will be used to benefit the spill-affected communities.
“The economic and cultural impacts of the spill are irreversible. While there’s still work to do to help communities impacted by the spill, we applaud the EVOS Trustee’s decision to fund museum revitalization projects that will preserve and protect invaluable cultural and archaeological resources impacted by the oil spill,” said Koniag President Shauna Hegna.
“The EVOS Trustee Council was intended to provide support for those affected by the spill,” said Chugach Alaska Corporation Executive Vice President of Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) and Community Affairs Josie Hickel. “We’re pleased with the Council’s recent decision to honor their mission to restore spill-affected areas, and to help support and grow local cultures, economies and communities.”
On March 24, 1989, the environment in Prince William Sound was forever changed when the Exxon Valdez spilled 11 million gallons of crude oil into the ocean, contaminating over 1,300 miles of coastline. Countless generations of Chugachmiut (Chugach Alaska Corporation) and Alutiiq (Koniag) people who have lived and learned to fish, hunt and celebrate their culture in the area have been impacted by the Exxon Valdez oil spill.
Koniag and Chugach Alaska Corporation shareholders comprise approximately 26% of the population within their region. In terms of land holdings, when combining surface and subsurface estate, Koniag holds titles to approximately 39% of their region’s land, while Chugach Alaska Corporation owns 9% of their region’s land.
The EVOS Trustee Council was established through a memorandum of agreement (MOA) and consent decree (Decree) between the State of Alaska and the United States. The Council includes representatives from Federal and State departments including the Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game, Alaska Dept. of Environmental Conservation, Alaska Dept. of Law, National Marine Fisheries Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of the Interior. The MOA and Decree resolved how to manage and spend the $900 million settlement fund.
About Koniag, Inc.
Koniag, Inc. is one of the 13 Alaska Native regional corporations established in 1971 by the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA). Koniag represents the Alutiiq people from Alaska’s Kodiak Island region. Koniag manages a diverse portfolio of operating companies and real estate holdings. For more information, visit www.Koniag.com.
About Chugach Alaska Corporation
Chugach Alaska Corporation is one of the 13 Alaska Native regional corporations established in 1971 by the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA). Chugach Alaska Corporation represents the Chugachmiut, Alutiiq (Sugpiaq), Eyak (Athabascan) and Tlingit people from the Kenai Peninsula and the coast of Prince William Sound region. Chugach Alaska Corporation has a portfolio of complementary businesses and investments across a range of industries. For more information, visit www.Chugach.com.