Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) 1971

ANCSA: A complete or incomplete story of sovereignty

Year

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.

The articles were referring to the new, unusual Indigenous legal landscape that ANCSA had established, and the ambiguity surrounding tribes’ jurisdiction going forward.

“Exactly what authority might tribes exercise? ” asked one Tundra Times op-ed. Many were confused about how this legislation would affect tribal sovereignty in Alaska.

Fifty years later, there are still parts of this question that remain unanswered.

Resource Type
Citation

Sullivan, Meghan. ANCSA: A complete or incomplete story of sovereignty. January 22, 2022. Indian Country Today. Retrieved from: https://indiancountrytoday.com/news/ancsa-a-complete-or-incomplete-story-of-sovereignty

ANCSA at 50: America’s Forgotten Indigenous Rights Movement

Year

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
Citation

Sullivan, Megan. “America’s Forgotten Indigenous Rights Movement.” Indian Country Today, 4 Jan. 2022. Retrieved from: https://indiancountrytoday.com/news/americas-forgotten-indigenous-right…

 

 

Tribal Sovereignty Special

Producer
KNBA 90.3 FM
Year

What does tribal sovereignty mean in Alaska? KNBA's Joaqlin Estus talks with two experts about the legal basis for tribal sovereignty, and tribal judicial systems at work in Alaska. Hear about a court ruling that Alaska tribes can put land into trust status, tax-free and safe from seizure...

Native Nations
Resource Type
Citation

"Tribal Sovereignty Special: The Our Alaska Show on KNBA 90.3 FM (Host: Joaqlin Estus)." Featured on KDLG 89.9 FM Public Radio for Alaska's Bristol Bay. Dillingham, AK. April 9, 2013. Radio Interview. (http://kdlg.org/post/tribal-sovereignty-special-kdlg, accessed August 19, 2013)

Mike Williams: Alaska Native governance and a healthy culture

Year

Mike Williams is a well known indigenous leaders from being a Chairman and Vice-Chair of the Alaska Inter-Tribal Council as well as Chief of the Yupiit Nation.  Mike offers his impressions about a variety of topics related indigenous governance including leadership, traditional governance, education, sovereignty, and culture.

People
Native Nations
Resource Type
Citation

Native Nations Institute. "Mike Williams: Alaska Native governance and a healthy culture."  Leading Native Nations, Native Nations Institute, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, November 15, 2016

For a complete transcript, please email us: nni@email.arizona.edu

Wilson Justin: Leadership with Cultural Knowledge and Perseverance

Year

Wilson Justin is a cultural ambassador for Cheesh’na Tribal council and serves as a Vice Chair Board of Directors for Mt. Sanford Tribal Consortium.  He relays his expertise and perspective on the intricacies of Indigenous governance in Alaska through adapting cultural traditions, creating a constitution, navigating citizenship, and asserting rights of Indigenous people. 

Native Nations
Resource Type
Citation

Native Nations Institute. "Wilson Justin: Leadership with cultural knowledge and perseverance."  Leading Native Nations, Native Nations Institute, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, November 15, 2016

For a complete transcript, please email us: nni@email.arizona.edu

Richard Peterson: Leading in the Traditional Way Alaska Tribal Government Symposium

Producer
Native Nations Institute
Year

President, Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska Richard (Chalyee Eesh) Peterson is Tlingit from Kaagwaantaan clan.  He gives his prespective on the ways tribal governement makes a presence in Alaska and the intergrating traditional knowledge and culture into tribal governance.

Native Nations
Resource Type
Topics
Citation

Native Nations Institute, "Richard Peterson Keynote Alaska Tribal Government Symposium," Alaska Tribal Government Symposium. Fairbanks, Alaska. November 16, 2016 

Governance and Wellness Roundtable - Alaska Tribal Government Symposium

Producer
Native Nations Institute
Year

This discussion at the Alaska Tribal Government Symposium emphasizes the connections between Indigenous self-government and wellness.  Western methodologies are eager to emphasize the gaps in wellness (social, economic, and medical and mental health outcomes) between natives and non-natives. These gaps have been a strong justification for the imposition of western health and wellness models on the delivery of services to Native populations. Yet a growing body of evidence suggest that shifting the responsibility for wellness to Native communities, foregrounding Indigenous ways of knowing and Native nation self-governance, gives rise to greater wellness than western approaches. Roundtable participants discuss their experience with these ideas from their own wide-ranging perspectives, and share indigenous measures of wellness.

Native Nations
Resource Type
Citation

Native Nations Institute. "Governance and Wellness Roundtable" Alaska Tribal Government Symposium. Fairbanks, Alaska. November 16, 2016. 

Transcript available upon request. Please email: nni@email.arizona.edu

Indigenous Leadership Panel

Producer
Native Nations Institute
Year

What is going on in Alaska that exemplifies the success of Indigenous leaders? What are some Alaska tribes’ successful efforts to strengthen their governments and governance? Panelists share stories of success at asserting self-determination, building native governing institutions, reflecting native culture and tradition in these governing approaches, and at working strategically toward tribal community goals and highlight best practices, challenges, and solutions to common governance problems in the region. In total, the stories also will demonstrate that reclaiming self-governance power requires leadership and “buy-in” at all levels.

Native Nations
Resource Type
Topics
Citation

Native Nations Institute. "Indigenous Leadership Panel" Alaska Tribal Government Symposium. Fairbanks, Alaska. November 15, 2016.

Transcript available upon request. Please email: nni@email.arizona.edu

Roundtable: Traditional and Modern Governance and Decision Making in Alaska

Producer
Native Nations Institute
Year

A panel discussion with Native leaders in Alaska about the significance of tradition and culture that has influenced their Indigenous governance.

Native Nations
Resource Type
Topics
Citation

Native Nations Institute. "Roundtable: Traditional and Modern Governance and Decision Making in Alaska." Alaska Tribal Government Symposium. Fairbanks, Alaska. November 15, 2016 

Transcript available upon request. Please email: nni@email.arizona.edu

Chilkoot Tlingit "Nation Building"

Year

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
Topics
Citation

"'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.

Permissions

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