Akiak residents are heading to the polls next week, where they’ll decide whether their tribe should join the Nunavut Alaska Provisional Government. They will be the first village in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta to do so.
If implemented, Nunavut would create a constitutional government with the ability to mandate law, uniting all participating tribes into one regional authority.
Mike Williams Sr. is a tribal political activist who pushed to get the original Nunavut Alaska Provisional Government treaty signed last summer. "We’ve been taking a look at this for the last 40 years, and looking at options for regional governance," he said. "We’re not going to be passing resolutions; we’re going to be passing laws."
The polls will open on January 15 from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Akiak’s Community Center. Williams Sr. urges all eligible tribal voters to exercise their right to vote.
Nunavut’s provisional government will also hold a special meeting on January 23 and 24 at Bethel’s Cultural Center, where they plan to discuss the impact of legal alcohol sales in Bethel and the development of Donlin Gold’s mine near Crooked Creek, among other issues.