Legislation would impact federal property sales

New legislation before the U.S. House would effectively prevent any future effort to sell the National Archives and Records Administration facility in Seattle.

The Assuring Regular Consultation to Have Indigenous Voices Effectively Solicited Act, sponsored by Reps. Don Young, R-Alaska, and Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., would amend the Federal Assets Sale Transfer Act to add a requirement that properties cannot be sold or transferred if the sale would harm access to agency services, such as archives or records, by a federally recognized tribe.

“The loss of Anchorage’s National Archives facility in 2014 dealt a devastating blow to our Alaska Native communities,” Young said. “The Archive’s contents are vast, and include records from the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, and countless other works important to Alaska Native history and culture. Years later, the loss of Seattle’s Archives represented another catastrophic development for our Indigenous people, as this was the next closest and most accessible archives location for Alaskans. Thankfully, the sale was halted by the administration earlier this year, but we must take legislative action to prevent something like this from happening again.”