Judge dismisses Metlakatla Indian Community fishing rights lawsuit

A federal judge on Feb. 17 dismissed a lawsuit arguing that tribal members of Alaska’s sole Native reserve — on Annette Island, south of Ketchikan — should not need state permits to fish outside the reserve’s marine boundaries.

Public radio KRBD reported the story.

Metlakatla Indian Community sued Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s administration last year. Lawyers for the tribe said the 1891 federal law that established the Annette Islands Reserve was intended to create a self-sustaining community — and that the right to fish in waters within a day’s travel of the reserve was an essential part of that.

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