Joe Biden’s U.S. Interior Department Secretary Deb Haaland, a former Democrat congresswoman from New Mexico, canceled the Alaskan Agdaagux Tribe of King Cove’s 2019 land agreement between the tribe and the Interior Department.
“The land exchange would have allowed a road through the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge that lies between the Bering Sea and the Gulf of Alaska,” reported Native News Online (NNO).
Haaland’s office claimed the 2019 land agreement, signed by President Donald Trump’s former Interior Secretary David Bernhardt, “contained several procedural flaws and was not consistent with Departmental policy” in defense of the cancellation of the tribe’s land deal.
“Tuesday’s announcement kills plans for a road to King Cove, Alaska, where almost 1,000 residents live, without access by a road. Currently, residents must travel by air or boat to get to more populated areas of Alaska,” NNO further reported.
Haaland said following the announcement, “The debate around approving the construction of a road to connect the people of King Cove to life-saving resources has created a false choice, seeded over many years, between valuing conservation and wildlife or upholding our commitments to Indigenous communities. I reject that binary choice. I am a lifelong conservationist, and I believe deeply in the need to protect our lands and waters and honor our obligations to Tribal Nations. Respecting Tribal sovereignty means ensuring that we are listening – really listening – to Tribal communities.”
Suzanne Downing of Must Read Alaska wrote after the announcement:
When Haaland was pressured to approve the ConocoPhillips Willow Project, a modest oil field in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, she did so against her will.
Haaland choked up while speaking with a room of Alaska Natives from the radical side of the spectrum who oppose the drilling permit, as she explained her agency had “difficult choices to make,” according to those present at the meeting.
Now, however, Haaland is in a dark mood. She lost face among Nuiqsut village leaders when she was forced to announce the Willow record of decision, and she was out for blood. She took her revenge on the people of King Cove, about half of which are Alaska Natives, by unilaterally taking back the land the department had already traded.
Haaland’s actions are inconsistent with her stated support for the Natives of Alaska. She denied a life-saving road for the purpose of face saving, virtue signaling and score settling in a corner of the world that the Biden Administration continues to treat as a colony.
Haaland has once again gone against tribal interests to instead side with radical left-wing “climate change” activists who would rather see these nations fail than give the Agdaagux Tribe autonomy.