ANCSA at 50: America’s Forgotten Indigenous Rights Movement


Fifty years ago, the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act passed into law. In one historic piece of legislation, Indigenous Alaskans’ claims to the land were extinguished and a new Indigenous legal landscape was formed. In exchange, Alaska Native communities received title to 44 million acres of land and roughly $1 billion dollars. These assets were to be overseen by 12 regional corporations and more than 200 village corporations. Only Alaska Natives could become the shareholders of these corporations, which were instructed to simultaneously make a profit, oversee traditional lands, and provide social services to their shareholders.

There are no other corporations like the Alaska Native corporations, and there is no other place in Indian Country with this legal setup. Today, the complex act impacts almost every aspect of Alaska Native life, and yet there has been little reporting on its long-term impacts. Indian Country Today’s ANCSA at 50 series aims to change that.

This is the first article in this series by Indian Country Today , "ANCSA at 50".

Resource Type

Sullivan, Megan. “America’s Forgotten Indigenous Rights Movement.” Indian Country Today, 4 Jan. 2022. Retrieved from:…



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