On the second day of this year’s annual AFN gathering in Anchorage, another significant announcement regarding the relationship between the state and tribes was put forward.

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Delegates were told of a major new decision by the state Attorney General’s office, which seeks to resolve decades of legal battles by concluding that Alaska’s 229 tribes are fully sovereign entities. The move is a win for tribal and indigenous advocates who have long-contended they have equal jurisdiction and standing with the State of Alaska. The news came just one day after the governor signed an unprecedented compact with tribal entities that gives them potential control over child welfare policies.