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Citing lack of Tribal consultation, Biden administration cancels National Archives building sale

In a win for Alaska Tribes, the Biden Administration will cancel the sale of a National Archives building in Seattle, citing a lack of Tribal consultation.

Alaska Native and Pacific Northwest Tribes opposed the sale when it was revealed during the Trump administration. They said it would displace documents and artifacts important to their heritage. The plan was to rehome them in other Archives facilities in Missouri and California.

The acting director of the Office of Management and Budget wrote a letter Thursday, April 8, 2021, saying that she’s withdrawing approval for the sale of the Archives facility on Sand Point Way. She said the process that led to the decision to sell the building did not comply with the Biden administration’s commitment to consult with Tribes on issues important to them.

The Alaska collection had already been displaced once. In 2014, the National Archives closed its Anchorage branch and moved almost everything to Seattle.

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