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Bristol Bay Native Corporation

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Bristol Bay Native Corporation

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  1. Bristol Bay Native Corporation

  2. Bristol Bay Native Corporation or the BBNC is one of 14 Alaska native corporations formed under the passing of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act during the 1970s. This act was passed to ensure that land and natural resources in Alaska will be experienced, enriched and cultivate by people no other than Alaskans. What can we learn from the formulation of this act and the fact that these 14 regional corporations long exist up to this day? First, there is a lot of beauty in preservation. Now that we are in the age of globalization and industrialization, we are so used to seeing land reformations and transformations that we can barely identify what that particular land area used to be. While we are so used to ride the hype of urbanized development, we forget that land is best preserved in its natural state such that we can still get benefits from it. Transforming mountains and terrains into skyscrapers and tall buildings may be indicative that we are truly in the age of urbanization, but didn’t you notice that the mere presence of these infrastructures is what’s causing land’s general instability? Some may not even believe the phenomenon called global warming, but the effects of global warming is truly being heightened because we have transformed land is so many different ways. Second, commercial interest should be below the interest of the general public. The general good of the people should be served first and foremost before the interest of the few. Coming from the debate that sparked recently about the controversial plan of conducting an open mine pit in Bristol Bay to extract minerals such as gold, silver, calcium and molybdenum to name a few, it brought to the fore the different possibilities and effects of an open pit mining to the livelihood of the Bristol Bay Alaskan natives, which is fishing. The waters at Bristol Bay are known to be home to the world’s largest sockeye salmon. It is the center of sockeye salmon in Alaska and its neighboring states. Much of the livelihood of the natives of Bristol Bay is based on it, and should the proposed open pit mining project be pursued, it will greatly affect the lives, the sources of income, the livelihood of its people, who have done nothing but preserve Bristol Bay’s beauty and continued sustenance. It is an instance in the history of Bristol Bay where nations all over the world can learn from. And lastly, when we claim what is rightfully ours from the very beginning, we get to preserve a place that future generations will benefit from. Ultimately, what the Alaskan natives back in 1971 started and the fruits that it brought since then is being appreciated and enjoyed wholeheartedly by their predecessors and descendants. This teaches a kind of preservation and stewardship that helps the future generations build their lives in such a way that they can get started on the right track and not be in endless strife against people who try to get in the way of their development.