Young’s legislation, H.R. 3604, would amend the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act to allow approximately 2,800 Alaska Natives who served in Vietnam and missed the opportunity to apply for their Native allotment.
According to Young’s office, there are three major obstacles in ANCSA that prevents Alaska Native Vietnam veterans to choose lands.
In a release, Young’s office list the obstacles as:
• Alaska Native Vietnam veterans can only apply for land that was vacant, unappropriated, and unreserved when their use first began.
• Alaska Native Vietnam veterans can only apply if they served in active military duty from January 1, 1969 to December 31, 1971 (even though the Vietnam conflict began August 5, 1964 and ended May 7, 1975).
• Alaska Native Vietnam veterans must prove they used the land (applied for in their Native allotment application) in a substantially continuous and independent manner, at least potentially exclusive of others, for five or more years. This requirement was not in the original Native Allotment Act, nor has it been required of other Alaska Native applicants in applying for their native allotment.
“It’s a shame that decades later, these honorable men and women are still waiting to receive what’s been promised to them,” Rep. Young said.
“I look forward to working with my colleagues to pass this bill because I will not stop fighting for this until this bill is signed into law.”