The Road to ANCSA: History (b): Unit 2: Grade 8

Native leaders became effective lobbyists against some of the most powerful political and business leaders in the world. It all made for some interesting alliances. By the end of 1971 a compromise had been reached, and the land claims legislation had been passed by both bodies of Congress. In December, back in Anchorage, a special AFN convention was called to vote on the act as passed by Congress. On December 18th, the AFN delegates voted to accept the act, 511 to 56.

The Road to ANCSA: The Persistence of Native Culture: Unit 10: Grade 7

Although facing many pressures over the years, Native culture has persisted in Alaska. This was due to many dedicated people and groups who kept Native heritage alive. The Alaska Native Brotherhood originally promoted efforts to suppress Native language and traditions. However, the organization led the revival of aboriginal culture by adopting traditional rules, procedures, and protocol for their meetings. By the late 1980s, the Tlingit language was spoken only by people over the age of 50. Nora Dauenhauer and several respected traditional scholars offered Tlingit language classes and developed curriculum materials. Although children are no longer speaking Tlingit as their first language, they continue to sing Tlingit songs in dance groups, learn cultural traditions at culture camps, and experience firsthand the vibrancy of their Native culture in action at ku.éex’, totem pole raisings, and other celebrations.

The Road to ANCSA: Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act: Unit 9: Grade 7

In 1971, the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) was passed by Congress. The act extinguished aboriginal title for Alaska Natives. In return, Alaska Native people were compensated $1 billion and were allowed to retain ownership of 44 million acres of land. However, it is important to note that this means Alaska Natives had to give up the rest of the land (380.5 million acres), which was not granted to the corporations, for less than $3 an acre. The original legislation called for creation of twelve profit-making regional corporations and paved the way for approximately 239 village corporations to oversee the money and land. Although Haines, Petersburg, Ketchikan, Tenakee Springs, and Wrangell were historically Tlingit villages, they were not allowed to establish village corporations because their populations were mostly non-Tlingit or there were less than twenty-five Native residents living there at the time. A later ANCSA amendment allowed Ketchikan to form a corporation and receive land. Haines, Petersburg, Wrangell and Tenakee have not yet received lands.

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