Chilkoot Tlingit "Nation Building"


Excluded by the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, the Chilkoot Tlingit are engaged in a process of nation-building. The process began in 1990 with the revival of their dormant tribal government, the Chilkoot Indian Association (CIA). From this institutional foundation, the 480-member CIA successfully negotiated the acquisition of a land base and began developing self-determined programs and initiatives. Today, the CIA administers almost $1 million of programs and contracts in the areas of education, health, housing, and economic development and participates in government-to-government relationships with local, state, federal, and international governmental entities.

Resource Type

"'Nation Building' Among the Chilkoot Tlingit". Honoring Nations: 2002 Honoree. The Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. Cambridge, Massachusetts. 2003. Report.


This Honoring Nations report is featured on the Indigenous Governance Database with the permission of the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development. 

Related Resources

ANCSA A complete or incomplete story of sovereignty

Shortly after the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act passed into law in 1971, headlines started appearing in local newspapers that hinted at a growing confusion among Alaska Native communities: “Indian Country hard to define,” stated one Tundra Times edition. “ANCSA and tribalism?” asked another.…

Teslin Tlingit: Governmental Structure Excerpt

5. GOVERNMENT 5.1 The government of the Teslin Tlingit Council shall be based upon the traditional Clan system of government. 5.2 The citizenship and organization of each Clan shall be determined by the customs inherited and observed by the Clan and acknowledged by the other Clans. 5.3 Each Clan…

Thumbnail or cover image
Seizing the Future: Why Some Native Nations Do and Others Don't

Both research and the experience among Native nations daily drive home the conclusion that the so-called "nation-building" approach holds the keys to self-determined social, political, and economic development for indigenous communities. This approach emphasizes the critical role of asserting…