In 1983 Elders from the Bristol Bay Region affirmed eleven basic values of the Yup’ik people of this region. The very first value is “Have respect for our land and its resources.”
Have respect for the land you received and for the cultural values it represents. If at all possible, don’t sell your Native allotment. If you must sell, first contact the Nushagak-Mulchatna Wood-Tikchik Land Trust. This organization was formed in part by Alaska Natives from this region to provide alternatives to you. If your allotment is within the Togiak National Wildlife Refuge, the Wood-Tikchik State Park or along the Nushagak, Mulchatna or Nuyakuk Rivers, the Land Trust may be able to help you in the following ways:
The Land Trust may be able to purchase your allotment. If the Land Trust buys your allotment, the land will be preserved in its natural state forever.
The Land Trust may be able to purchase only certain rights to your allotment giving you the cash you need, but allowing you and your family the right to continue using the land for subsistence forever.
The Land Trust may be able to purchase your allotment and allow you to continue using the land for subsistence for the rest of your life, or the life of your spouse. The Land Trust may be able to help you sell your allotment, or a portion of your allotment to someone else, and preserve its natural state or guarantee your continued use of the remainder of the allotment forever. The Land Trust may be able to help you find a buyer for your allotment who will be willing for tax reasons to protect the land from the kind of development that will threaten the moose, caribou and fish upon which the people of the region depend.
Your Native Allotment is your land. No one can tell you what to do with it. The Nushagak-Mulchatna Wood-Tikchik Land Trust doesn’t want your Native Allotment if you don’t want to sell. The Land Trust merely asks that before you sell, you owe it to yourself and to your ancestors, to consider any option that will give you the money you need but still preserve the land. The Land Trust may be able to help.
Read the helpful brochure: Protecting Land for Traditional Use: Alaska’s Land Trusts and Conservation Options for Native Landowners