Katie John Case: 1990

Alaska Federation of Natives: Katie John, Doris Charles, and the Mentasta Village Council, represented by the Native American Rights Fund, sued the U.S. in Federal Court claiming that the federal government had unlawfully excluded navigable waters and subsistence fishing from the protections of ANILCA. In 1994, Judge Holland issued his ruling that the federal government did not have the authority to take over subsistence management from the State; and the federal government had acted unlawfully in excluding navigable waters from ANILCA's protection. There were subsequent appeals in the Ninth Circuit District of Appeals that questioned whether or not ALL waters are under the federal government's authority to control. As of January 6 of 2000, the ruling was that ANILCA's subsistence priority applies to federal reserved navigable waters- and also made the final ruling taht the navigational servitude of the U.S. does not qualify all navigable waters as public lands.

Alaska Federation of Natives' Subsistence Chronology: In 1999 was the implementation of Katie John ruling has been blocked by Congressional moratoria for the past 4 years. In each such year, enforcement of a valid act of Congress was postponed to give the AK Leg more time to comply with ANILCA. State legislative majorities have refused to submit to the voters a constitutional amendment that would permit such a statute. (The only way the AK Constitution may be amended is to get a 2/3 majority of each legislative house to submit the proposed amendment to the voters at the next general election. Then a simple majority of voters can reject or accept it.)

Sealaska Native Corporation: The Katie John case challenged the federal agencies' refusal to extend the priority to navigable waters in Alaska, and eventually resulted in the priority being extended to navigable waters that are found within the boundaries of federally owned lands in Alaska.

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