Viewpoint: U.S. Alaska purchase didn't happen 112013 SPEAKINGOUT 1 Capital City Weekly Editor,
Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Story last updated at 11/20/2013 - 5:15 pm

Viewpoint: U.S. Alaska purchase didn't happen


In the Oct. 30-Nov. 5 edition, a picture depicts a man with a shovel and others holding foam hammers that say "Build the Statue." There is no pun intended. In retrospect honoring Seward for something that never happened makes as much sense as building a statue for someone who was not born yet.

• James Patrick Bailey, Juris Doctor, Land and Title Specialist, did in-depth research for the descendents of James Suckinaw whose name means, "Always been there who had dominion over all the Lands, Waters, and Resources of Kuiu Kwaan country and never ceded his dominion to anyone. Dr. Bailey did research at the Smithsonian Institute, Congressional Records and National Archives where all records are stored for all the states in the Union. His findings were that there is nothing on record to show Russia owned Alaska and nothing to show the United States purchased Alaska from Russia. There is no bill of sale. If there was a pauper's receipt, Dr. Bailey would have found it.

• Our Great-Grandfather GwashNaw would not allow foreign traders to set foot on Kuiu Island. Foreigners could only trade from their boats, which is why Kuiu has its Native name today. On Oct. 18, 1867, a Sitka ceremony featured the raising of the U.S. flag over the fort. The raising of the flag had no bearing on Kuiu Kwaan country. In 1934, U.S. Marshals made our parents leave Kuiu Island and ShaKan. Under a threat, the marshals said the children had to be in a school by fall; otherwise, the parents would be jailed and children sent to orphanages. Dr. Bailey told us "You Kuiu Kwaan are absentee landlords."

Dr. James P. Bailey's"Smoking Gun" research found:

• A treaty, statute, or ordinance that violates the Constitution of the U.S. is not valid nor can it be enforced. The U.S. violated its own Constitution because it did not obtain the consent of the governed, and it cannot unilaterally incorporate Alaska. In that light, the 1867 Treaty of Cession between Tsarist Russia and the U.S. is an unlawful treaty since the US already denied that the Northwest Territories (Alaska at that time) was not part of the Russian Empire. The U.S. Supreme Court supported this position when it determined in 1975 in United States vs. the State of Alaska (422 U.S. 184) that the 1867 Treaty of Cession between the Tsar of Russia and the U.S. effectively was a quitclaim. A quitclaim cannot transfer title, especially since the U.S. itself asserted that Russia had not acquired it.

• U.S. claims title to Alaska through a quitclaim from the Tsar of Russia by the Treaty of Cession of 1867. In 1821 the Tsar attempted to restrict other nations from the waters that washed the shores of the northwest coast of North America; i.e. to all territory lying north of the 51st. degree of latitude by virtue of discovery.

• Under the Law of Nations, Russia did not have title by discovery to any lands not occupied by Russia. The documents are clear - Russia could not successfully claim title to the northwest coast of North America and the adjacent islands.

Secretary of State John Quincy Adams, on behalf of President Monroe, declared in diplomatic communications that since this territory (Alaska) was not part of the Russian Empire and asserted that the "Natives were independent tribes inhabiting an independent territory." These diplomatic communications gave full citations under the law of Nations as to why Tsarist Russia did not acquire the region of Alaska. The U.S. asserted that the Native Nations essentially possess the "Title" and dominion with full sovereignty and independence as any European nation under the law of Nations. This placed the sovereignty of the Alaska Nations on equal footing as any European Nation. Quitclaim cannot transfer title.

In 1988, Secretary of Interior Donald Hodel's letter to Honorable James C. Miller, III, strongly urged the President to veto ANCSA because flaws were numerous and far-reaching. Under "Just Compensation clause of 5th. Amendment of Constitution, H.R. 278 bill would effect a compensable "taking" of property rights because of its multiple deprivations of the rights of individual shareholders of Alaska Native corporations.

Alaska Natives still have Dominion.

George Suckinaw James, Jr.

2nd Chairman of Kuiu