Highlights Many Efforts in Congress to Empower Alaskan People and Address Challenges Facing Rural Alaska
Fairbanks, AK – Congressman for All Alaska Don Young yesterday participated in the Alaska Federation of Natives’ congressional candidate forum, where he received an overwhelming response and reception for the work he’s doing to empower Alaskan communities, promote economic opportunities and defend Alaska’s many interests.
“I have always fought to defend the rights of the Alaska Native people; it’s a responsibility and honor I have taken very seriously,” said Congressman Don Young. “Throughout my time in Congress, I have always worked across the aisle to address the many unique barriers and challenges we face when it comes to growing and developing our Native communities, including efforts to address rural healthcare, education, infrastructure development and new economic opportunities. As the Chairman of the Indian, Insular and Alaska Native Affairs Subcommittee, I am in a powerful position to fight for the rights of our Native communities and for the future of all Alaskans. My door is always open and I look forward to working with AFN and other important groups and organizations to ensure Alaskan voices are heard in the halls of Congress.”
Congressman Young is the Chairman of the Indian, Insular and Alaska Native Affairs (IIANA) Subcommittee, which directly overseas all matters in the House regarding Native Americans — including 566 federally recognized tribes, Alaska Native Corporations, and nearly 1.9 million American Indians.
Some recent legislative efforts by Congressman Young of Alaska Native Interest:
- H.R. 538, the Native American Energy Act, which works to streamline permitting, deter frivolous lawsuits and prevent exorbitant federal permitting costs on tribal lands. By resolving these longstanding resource and economic development issues, Young hopes to increase opportunity for tribes to govern more aspects of energy development on their lands.
- H.R. 2387, the Alaska Native Veterans Land Allotment Equity Act, which would provide Alaska Native Vietnam veterans an opportunity to select their native allotment if they missed the opportunity to do so during their service.
- H.R. 521, the Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation Land Transfer Act, which would provide a 23-acre land transfer of federal lands in Bethel, Alaska to YKHC for the expansion and improvement of existing health and social programs.
- H.R. 5303, the Water Resource Development Act (WRDA) of 2016, which reforms the way the federal government evaluates small, remote, and subsistence port and harbor projects, by recognizing the regional benefits for justification of the project. Additionally, this bill includes authorizations for harbor projects in Little Diomede and Craig, AK.
- H.R. 2284, the Point Spencer Land Conveyance Act, which works to streamline future infrastructure development and potential uses of Point Spencer, Alaska by calling for the conveyance of approximately 2,500 acres of federal lands to local, state and federal stakeholders. This legislation was signed into law as part of a larger Coast Guard package.
- H.R. 22, the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, which secured over $2.9 billion in transportation funding for Alaska over the next five years. The bill included a $175 million increase to the Tribal Transportation Program (TTP) over previously authorized levels and $35 million annually for the Tribal Transit Program.
Young is the recipient of the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) Congressional Leadership Award, where he was recognized for his steadfast commitment and leadership on tribal priorities, including Native economic development, energy programs, healthcare and self-determination.
For additional information, please see the AFN 2016 Voting Guide.