• The Aborigine in Comparative Law: Subnational Report on Alaska Natives

      Conn, Stephen (Justice Center, University of Alaska Anchorage, 1986-08)
      This paper describes the current state of aboriginal rights in Alaska and the impact of federal and state laws and policies on Alaska Native political and legal rights, tribal status, self-determination, and access to tribal lands. Topics covered include the legal determination of Alaska Native identity, the legal status of Alaska Native groups, Alaska Native land rights, sovereignty and self-government, subsistence, recognition of family and kinship structures, the criminal justice system in rural Alaska, customary versus formal legal process, and human rights and equality before the law.
    • The Interrelationship between Alaska State Law and the Social Systems of Modern Eskimo Villages in Alaska: History, Present and Future Considerations

      Conn, Stephen (Justice Center, University of Alaska Anchorage, 1985-08)
      Yup'ik and Inupiat villages in Alaska (the territory and the state) experienced a process of legal socialization that was strongly influenced by serious constraints in the allocation of resources. These constraints resulted in legal socialization into what was in essence a second legal state system and provided an opportunity for cultural autonomy by Eskimo villages, even though this de facto situation did not recognize these groups as sovereign tribes. The actual implementation of a single full-blown legal system in village Alaska in the mid-1970s has resulted in a loss of control and serious efforts by Alaska villages to reinstitute village law ways as tribal legal process.
    • Punishment in Pre-Colonial Indigenous Societies in North America [original paper]

      Conn, Stephen (Justice Center, University of Alaska Anchorage, 1987-05-25)
      Using northern Athabascan villages as examples, the author discusses how punishment in indigenous societies was traditionally interwoven with other societal functions. The influence of alcohol and the western legal process changed post-colonial societies and their methods of punishment because punishment decisions in indigenous societies were traditionally arrived at through group deliberation, whereas the western legal system works in a hierarchical fashion. The author concludes that imposition of western-style decision-making disrupted tradtional law ways in post-colonial society.
    • Retribalization as a Strategy for Achievement of Group and Individual Social Security in Alaska Native Villages — with a Special Focus on Subsistence [paper]

      Conn, Stephen; Langdon, Steve J. (Justice Center, University of Alaska Anchorage, 1986-06-02)
      Alaska Native groups have adopted a strategy of seeking general welfare, including social security, through retribalization — a term of dual meaning discussed in this paper. The paper aims to describe the historical developments leading to the adoption of this strategy, explain its nature and the various forms which it takes, and assess its potential for the achievement of the general welfare of Alaska Natives.
    • Telling Them What They Want to Hear: Involvement with the Indigenous Populations as a Lawyer-Legal Anthropologist in Alaska and Canada

      Conn, Stephen (Justice Center, University of Alaska Anchorage, 1989-04)
      For some purposes — most notably when the legal question of tribal sovereignty is pursued — Alaska has held firm to the principle that all Alaskans are subject to a single law and that village tribes lack legal authority. Yet in practice the history of Alaska bush justice has been to employ informal, extralegal approaches until formal law could muster sufficient resources to intervene and displace informal law.This paper describes the tension between official and unofficial approaches to solving problems such as alcohol, gasoline sniffing, and substance abuse and the attendant social disorder in rural Alaska villages where the structures of formal law and law enforcement are largely absent, and explores the role lawyers can play to improve the legal system within villages.