During his first 100 mostly unaccomplished days in office, Joe Biden has issued a lot of executive orders to make America less safe, less free and less prosperous. But I’ll bet nobody who voted for Biden saw this one coming: He broke a treaty with the Native Americans and stole a bunch of land from them. That’ll teach them for voting for Donald Trump!
This story flew under the radar during the fake inauguration day back in January, but one of the first executive orders that Biden signed had a dramatic impact on Alaska. It was the order that froze all new oil and gas exploration on federal lands – combined with a reversal of an important Trump administration policy. This is a complex story involving Alaska Native lands, so I’ll try to explain it as simply as I can.
And before anyone starts bleating about reservations and my ignorance of tribal law, this is Alaska we’re talking about. None of that stuff applies. The Alaska Native tribes were never conquered by the US government and there’s no reservation system up there.
Teddy Roosevelt signed the Alaska Native Allotment Act in 1906. As part of that agreement, each Alaska Native could select 160 acres of land for their own personal allotment. It was similar to the various claims acts that the government offered to settle the western US states in the 19th century, only the beneficiaries were Alaska’s Native peoples. And there’s plenty of land to go around up there, which you know if you’ve ever flown into Anchorage or Fairbanks.
That agreement was in place for decades and many Alaska Natives benefitted from it – even ones who weren’t born when Roosevelt signed the deal. The Alaska Native Settlement Claims Act (ANSCA) was going to replace that original deal in 1971 when the tribes decided to incorporate. (Told you it was complex.)
But there was still time in the early 1970s for any Native who didn’t have their land allotment to choose one before the new agreement was to be signed by Richard Nixon. Unfortunately, a bunch of those Native Alaskans were doing something else at the time: Wearing American uniforms and fighting the communists in Vietnam.
They weren’t grandfathered in. When they got back from serving our country with the honor and bravery that their people are known for, they got screwed. They never got the land allotments that had been promised to them, because they were busy fighting for America at the time. I’m not exaggerating their war prowess – these guys are awesome. If you’re a history buff, check out the stories about Alaska’s Tlingit warriors who harassed the Japanese Imperial Navy during World War II… in their canoes.
Anyway, back on track: After ANSCA, the federal government gobbled up huge acreages of Alaska land to “protect” it – and roughly 50 years went by without those Vietnam veteran Alaska Natives ever getting their land allotments. Any guesses as to which American president finally looked at that injustice and decided it was time to give those patriotic Americans the land they were promised?
It never got much press at the time, but this story was one of the kindest, most patriotic acts that Donald Trump made during his time in office. He moved to cede control of a bunch of federal land back to the state of Alaska, and to ensure that those Vietnam vet Natives or their families finally got their land allotments. It’s a story that could just about bring tears to your eyes. Presidents Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush I, Clinton, Bush II and Obama had abandoned those veterans for 50 years – and Donald Trump finally took action to make it right.
Well, guess what. Joe Biden clawed those lands back from the state of Alaska with a stroke of his pen on January 20th and stole those promised land allotments from the Vietnam veterans who had already been cheated out of them once before. Paleface Biden spoke with a forked tongue and stole the Indians’ land. Such a travesty.
Nice going, diversity squad! Is this what you thought you were voting for back on election day? Stealing land from the Indians? Really? Oh, and enjoy those gas prices that Biden’s land-stealing executive order delivered for you.
2024 can’t come soon enough.