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  • Writer's pictureShirley Jimerson

Tetlin Village Council’s Secret Laws

Tetlin members, family, friends, corporation shareholders — whether you live in the village of Tetlin, Fairbanks, Tok, New Jersey, or wherever... the Native Village of Tetlin needs your HELP.


Call, send a letter, email, or ask face to face... Michael Sam, a Tetlin Council member, or Kristie Charlie, to provide you a copy of Tetlin's LATEST CODE OF WRITTEN ORDINANCES (around 2018).


Whatever their response is… send a message to

True Cover of Ordinances is Unknown

What is the story behind this secrecy? Why are Tetlin's laws being concealed from the tribe? What is it that Michael Sam and his cohorts do not want Tetlin tribal members to know?

Since 2018, when it is said that legal specialists with TCC worked with the Council to update Tetlin's laws, TNCorp personnel began asking for a copy. But up to now, TNCorp nor tribal members have been able to lay hands on Tetlin's updated laws... not even a peak. Even TCC’s Tribal Self-Governance office, that provided copies of of the tribe's original 1997 Ordinances now say that only Kristie Charlie or Michael Sam can have copies.  According to TCC staff, it is conceivable that Sam could have written in the new Ordinances that only he and the Tribal Administrator could have access to the laws and because Tetlin is a sovereign tribe governed by the Council, no one but the tribal membership can do anything about it - other than to call for new leadership.

Remember, all this was done before the recent election where Sam used the new laws to assure he and HIS Council were reelected.

2014 - Tetlin's Leadership Betrays the Tribe

Maybe Sam's secrecy is rooted in a supposed membership meeting held with the mining companies in October of 2014. The gathering was called by the new mining company because they learned about all the Tetlin laws Brad Juneau and Adams broke in creating the Mineral Lease in 2008. — They had to change those laws.

A previous Council member who attended the gathering said there were only a "handful of tribal members there". He also says that the gathering was arranged just a few days before and that it was not a Council meeting nor an announced membership meeting. The former Council member admits to signing some documents with Donald Adams but that there was no membership or Council voting involved. Unfortunately, these documents were new Agreements with the mining companies that would change Tetlin's Ordinances and Laws forever. The Agreements would secure the miners 2008 Mineral Lease that had been wrongfully created by Adams and Brad Juneau without Council or membership approval, give the mining companies a waiver of sovereign immunity over tribal laws and create new Tetlin laws saying that none of the mining companies had to obey Tetlin's Constitution, Bylaws, Ordinances, or any laws - EVER.

Details of this transaction with documents proving all this is TRUE is available in Kevin Gunter's blog at...

These Agreements and Ordinances are being kept hidden, concealed from the tribe by Michael Sam to protect his relationship with the mining companies... not to protect the Tetlin tribe


Tetlin's land is at risk to the mining companies.

Tetlin's land ownership is at risk to the mining companies. Brad Juneau and all the mining companies have stacked the deck against the tribe being able to protect our land. In the so-called Tetlin Agreements, if Tetlin tries to do anything to contest or to change anything with the mining companies... the miners will sue Tetlin for breach of contract.

Keep in mind, Tetlin has no money for the miner's to take... and the mining companies say they hold a waiver of sovereign immunity so allegedly, they can take the only thing that Tetlin owns, LAND. If the land is no longer under ANCSA, it has no protection from being taken by a legal judgement because it is private land... not tribal land.


What Can Be Done to Save Tetlin from Self-Serving Leaders?

Learn the TRUTH. Ask to hear FACTS. Be willing to speak-up for your rights! Don't let them scare or intimidate you.

No evidence has been found that shows Adams or Sam had full participation of Tetlin's membership in accordance to the original 1997 tribal laws that were in effect when they did all this. If there are enough tribal members to demand a recall of Sam and his Council... new leadership can start to repair the damage.

This is a numbers game. Which is also why Sam and the TA have been "unenrolling" so many tribal members and not letting anyone know how many tribal members there are. They literally are building a tribe of members who will blindly follow them. We do know that the last count printed in the 2020 Community Plan published by TCC, was close to 400 enrolled members — of which less than 70 voting adults are believed to live in the village of Tetlin. This is yet another reason why Sam and the TA tell tribal members who live outside the village "they cannot vote or sit on the Council". Keeping control of the village means they have less people to hide things from and less people needed to do what they are told.

  • Be willing to speak up, ask questions. Write letters. Send emails demanding answers and proof.

  • Tell the Council you want to know your laws, your rights.

  • Tell the Council you want to know where all the millions of dolla$ in federal grants has gone. Tell them you want to see Tetlin village repaired and improved and tribal elders treated with the dignity and respect they deserve..

Be willing to sign petitions demanding a RECALL of the current Council and a new FAIR reelection.


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