Lawmakers endorse tribal push to rename Saginaw Bay

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JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - State lawmakers have endorsed an Alaska Native tribe's effort to change the name of Saginaw Bay to Skanax Bay.

CoastAlaska reported Monday that tribal leaders are pushing the change because the body of water off Kuiui Island was named for a U.S. warship that laid waste in 1869 to three Tlingit villages near present-day Kake.

The Alaska House passed a resolution 37-0 endorsing the name change to Skanax, the Tlingit word for security.

The executive director of the Organized Village of Kake told a House committee considering the resolution that the tribe "never relinquished to the rights to this bay."

Democratic state Rep. Jonathan Kreiss-Tompkins says the name is "an affront" to the Tlingit community and discomforting to many residents of the community east of Sitka.

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