Josiah Patkotak family

iluqasi paglagivsi HD-40-miut uvana Aullaqsruaq Inuuniqtutilaaptun tamaaniinniaqtuNa. I have lived here all my life and plan to live here the rest of my life. With that upbringing I have learned to live by our Inupiaq values and certain principles. Among other things, I believe in honesty, accountability, and putting the interest of my region first and foremost.

With those values and principles guiding me here are some issues that I want to address.

-Defending our Regions rights to the resources. Energy or Subsistence.

Energy

I believe in Local Control and Self-determination within our region and also believe in responsible resource development. District 40 resources have helped sustain all Alaskans for nearly three generations whether you’re talking about the NWAB’s Red Dog Mine or the NSB’s Oil fields along with many others. Not only do these ventures help maintain our micro-economic engines within our villages, via our ANC’s; but taxing authority within our Borough’s help provide for many essential services for our residents. Our region needs more direct investments from these ventures; different infrastructure, public safety, broadband connectivity, and school resources.

Subsistence

We have a birthright to accessing our lands for subsistence hunting. When we took the step into the western world and became organized eskimos, we did so based on some of these things. Land use and occupancy, trade and commerce, and the fact that we had never lost jurisdictional authority over our land in any conflict. Our land claims were settled more than 50 years ago but still some of our villages in the region have trouble accessing state or federal lands to subsistence hunt. This is something that I would like to see ironed out whether we’re talking about AKP, KAK or any other village in our region. Here on the North Slope the regional IRA, ICAS, granted authority to AEWC to locally manage our Bowhead Whale hunt. I want to look into the opportunities for our communities to take more of an active role from the State in managing the rest of our subsistence hunts locally, similar to the role that AEWC has for the Agviq.

Protecting the Permanent Fund Dividend

The Permanent Fund belongs to all Alaskans – not just legislators or special interests. The PFD represents our ownership share of our common resources. We know the difference it makes in offsetting the high costs of living in our region and I will fight to protect our dividend in Juneau.

Our state is facing a serious budget deficit this upcoming year and tough choices will have to be made. Rural Alaskans should not be forced to pay a tax of reduced dividends in order for other special interests to be held harmless.

We must find long-term solutions to our budget challenges that don’t involve targeting those Alaskans who rely on their PFD. A truly sustainable plan must include the people and their share of Alaska’s resource wealth.