Bill to require State of Alaska to recognize 229 Alaskan tribes gaining momentum
More than 200 federally recognized tribes in Alaska would also be officially recognized in the state under a bill that is gaining momentum with bipartisan support.
Lawmakers say the bill is largely symbolic and would not change how tribal governments already operate, since each of the 229 Native Alaska tribes are already federally recognized.
The Juneau Empire reports that the bill introduced by Republican Rep. Chuck Kopp has gained 17 Democratic, Republican and Independent co-sponsors and was heard by the House committee.
Lawmakers say the legislation would enshrine in state law what has been the status of these tribes for years and formally recognize tribal sovereignty.