Identity and belonging are some of the most deeply felt, emotional issues for Native people. Many of us – regardless of whether we grew up immersed in our culture and on our lands – have questioned whether we are “Native enough.” Maybe it’s because we don’t speak the language. Maybe it’s because our skin is light. Maybe it’s because we aspire to live a more traditional lifestyle than our modern circumstances can easily accommodate. Whatever the reason, too many of us know the pain and insecurity of questioning whether we belong.
Sometimes that pain and doubt can be exacerbated by gatekeeping within our own community. Proving who you are and where you come from, and collecting the paperwork to support that claim, can be an intimidating barrier.
The Sealaska proxy this year will provide the opportunity for shareholders to remove one of these barriers – the one-quarter Native blood quantum requirement associated with enrolling for Class D (Descendant) stock.
The following pages present background information on the issue of blood quantum and the perspectives of people in our community who have told us they are impacted by it.
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