AHS ANCSA Committee
Guide to Sources for the Study of the 1971 Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act: Volume 3 Resources for Teaching ANCSA at 50Teaching about ANCSA upon its 50th anniversary presents numerous challenges, but also several significant opportunities for developing a deeper understanding of the complex issues facing Alaska Natives, neighboring non-Native peoples, and the State of Alaska. The history of the birth of ANCSA, its passage, and its impact over the first forty years is well known and the subject of numerous studies. Since the passage of ANCSA in 1971, the Alaska Native community, the University of Alaska, Alaskool, Alaska Native Corporations, Alaska Native organizations, the Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center, the Alaska Humanities Forum, and the Alaska State Department of Early Education have devoted considerable professional energies and expertise developing and offering the tools for examining and teaching about this extraordinary legislation up to 2020. Currently, in 2021, there are well developed syllabi for elementary students (3rd grade), early high school students (9th grade), and for college/university students in lower as well as upper division courses. The purpose of this guide to resources for teaching ANCSA at 50 is to add to and build upon the two principle syllabi that currently exist: (1) the Alaskool online course elementary and high-school students developed by Paul Ongtagook and Claudia Dybdahl; and (2) the 2011 online upper-division university level class developed originally by Professor Gordon Pullar (UAF Alaska Native Studies and Rural Development RD 493/693 — Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act: Pre-1971 to present] and taught subsequently by Professor Dixie Dayo and Professor Diane Benson. There are other teacher guides readily available, such as “A Moment in Time--ANCSA: Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act” (the Education Department of the Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center), and a new syllabus for public schools has been developed by Joel Isaac on behalf of the Anchorage School District (not yet published; due in 2022, but included in the addendum to this guide). Because the topic of ANCSA at its half-century anniversary is so complex and the resources so many and varied, it seems the most helpful initial tool for teachers and/or community leaders seeking to lead discussions is to organize a resource aid useful and accessible to teachers and/or community leaders to review the historical narrative and introduce the topics. Because there are many excellent histories and syllabi devoted to understanding and teaching about ANCSA from its inception to the present, the “Guide to the Teaching Resources” seeks to focus on several “enduring critical issues” as identified by scholars, teachers, and Alaska Native leaders to add to the basic architecture for teaching ANCSA at 50. This Resource Guide is envisioned also as an introduction for instructors to the several “enduring critical issues” facing the Alaska Native and non-Native communities in the context of ANCSA legislation after half-a-century of experience. The single most important and accessible collection of materials useful for teaching about ANCSA, its origins, the drama of the passage of the Act, and many of the commentaries about the meaning and impact of ANCSA may be found in: http://www.alaskool.org/java/teachers_tour/tour1.html. NOTE: Navigate to “Revisiting the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA)” – an important resource for many basic documents and discussions about the origins and development of ANCSA.
Guide to Sources for the Study of the 1971 Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act: Volume 2 BibliographyThe Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (43 USC 1601-1624) -- Public Law 92-203, approved December 18, 1971 (85 Stat. 688) has been the subject of a number of bibliographies compiled since the act was passed in 1971. They include stand-alone publications and ones that are in published books about the act. The bibliography that follows was initiated for commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the passage of the landmark legislation, especially to add sources published since the 40th anniversary and to be helpful for a researcher initiating a study. The first publications generally provided background historical context and summarized the law, although from the start critics of the legislation published works expressing their concerns. After the regional and village corporations organized and land selections started, sections of the act needed clarification, and Congress began to amend the law. Numerous articles appeared in legal journals as issues such as the extinguishment of aboriginal hunting and fishing rights, tax issues, the revenue sharing plans, and tribal sovereignty were debated and clarified. As the twenty-year implementation period neared 1991, writers assessed the law’s successes and failures. Several movement leaders wrote memoirs. Historians began to write books, with context as well as details of implementation of the act and to interpret the impact of the legislation on Alaska Native people, the State of Alaska, and federal Indian policy. In addition to printed works, radio and television programs, oral history projects, films, videoproductions, and recently, podcasts have been produced.
Guide to Sources for the Study of the 1971 Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act: Volume 1 History and Archival CollectionsDecember 18, 2021is the fiftieth anniversary of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA). The settlement of 44 million acres of land and close to a billion dollars is the largest settlement of Native land claims in American history. The Act created a new reality for Alaska Natives with greater political, social and economic power, and changed the way that the United States government settles Native land claims. The Act produced a corporate structure designed to provide economic incentives for twelve regional corporations to build equity for their shareholders. Since passage, ANCSA has transformed the economic landscape of Alaska with the Native owned regional corporations bringing wealth and providing major stimulus to the state’s economy. However, ANCSA extinguished Aboriginal title to the land and Aboriginal hunting and fishing rights, severely restricting the extent of Native control over the land ceded to them. ANCSA is often viewed as an historic movement that culminated in the 1971 settlement, but it is also a continually evolving significant part of Native life that has been amended over the years to address issues such as who owns shares, how earnings are distributed, and how provisions can be made for encouraging and facilitating Native hire. The Alaska Historical Society wanted to recognize the movement that led to ANCSA and its evolving significance. This “Guide to Resources for the Study of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA)” is the result of a year-long effort to locate primary archival, published and on-line sources useful to anyone interested in learning about ANCSA.