Chronology of Dates Relevant to Alaska Native Response to Alaska Statehood
For Tlingit Readers Inc. Alaska Statehood Experience
Grant from Alaska Humanities Forum/Rasmuson
The Sword and the Shield
Excerpt: "The successful defense of aboriginal claims by the
ANB and its allies deflected, delayed, and in some cases, defeated
adverse legislation, holding the line until the national political
climate became more favorable to Native Americans. As a result,
Congress accepted a disclaimer section to the Alaska Statehood
Act of 1958 that served to maintain rather than circumscribe
- 11,000 to 6,000 years ago-Humans inhabit southeastern,
Aleutian, Interior and northwest Arctic Alaska. Sealevels formerly
lowered by maximum glaciation rise with the melting of the glaciers.
years ago-Most recent migration from Siberia across
the Bering Land Bridge, as evidenced by microblades and cores found
at campsites along migration routes. (Earlier migrations believed
to have taken place up to 20,000 or more years ago.)
5,000 to 3,000-Humans
inhabit the Bering Sea coast. The development of new technology
is shown by polished stone and bone tools.
camps marked by fish weirs and large deposits of shell refuse.
1725 Peter the Great sends Vitus Bering to explore the North Pacific
1728 Vitus Bering sails through Bering Strait
1733 Berings’s second expedition, with naturalist George
Wilhelm Stellar aboard
1741 Bering and accompanying vessel captained by Alexei Chirikof,
leave Petropavlovsk Harbor (Avacha Bay) in Kamchatka Peninsula;
Bering lands on Kayak Island near Yakutat; Cherikov approaches
land near Surge Bay on Outer Yakobi, loses two boatloads of men,
returns to Avacha Bay. Bering dies on Commodorski Island; his men
return to Avacha Bay the following year.
1743 Russian begin concentrated hunting of sea otter
1772 A permanent Russian settlement is established at Unalaska
1776 Captain James Cook expedition to search for “Northwest
1787 The Northwest Ordinance states: “The utmost good faith
shall always be observed toward the Indians: their land and property
shall never be taken from them without their consent; and, in
their property, rights, and liberty, they shall never be invaded
unless in just and lawful wars authorized by Congress; but laws
founded in justice and humanity shall from time to time be made
for preventing wrongs being done to them, and for preserving
peace and friendship with them.”
1789 United States Constitution grants Congress
the authority to regulate commerce with the Indian tribes.
- 1790 Aleksandr Baranov becomes director of the Russian settlement
1791 1791 George Vancouver leaves England to explore the North Pacific; Alejandro
Malaspina explores Northwest coast for Spain.
1792 Catherine II of Russia grants monopoly of fur in Alaska to Grigorii Shelikov
- 1796 U.S. fur traders in Southeast Alaska trade arms to Tlingit
and Haida, supporting Tlingit and Haida opposition to Russian settlement
1799 Czar Paul claims Alaska as a Russian possession. Baranov named first Russian
Governor of Alaska.
--- Alexander Baranov sails to Sitka and establishes Russian post known today
as Old Sitka; trade charter grants exclusive trading rights to the Russian
1802 Baranov moves his headquarters to Sitka. Tlingits destroy
Russian fort at Old Sitka
- 1804 Russians return to Sitka, and with support from Lisianski,
on his circumnavigation, attack Kiksadi fort on Indian River. Kiksadi
1805 Lisianski sails to Canton with first Russian cargo of furs sent directly
1806 Russian Navy announces it will assume authority in Alaska.
---(?)Russian Navy announces it will block all foreign ships from Alaskan waters.
- 1819 Congress passes first appropriation for American Indians--
$10,000 to “civilize” them
1821 Russian Trading Charter is renewed, extending Russian jurisdiction to
the 51st parallel. During this period, the Hudson's Bay Company, chartered
by Britain, contracted with the Russians to lease the mainland south of Cape
Spencer for 10 years at an annual payment of 2,000 land otter skins. The British
established a fort in Taku Harbor (approx. 1830 to 1840) and were a presence
in Alaska for the next 30 years.
1823 December 2-- President James Monroe, seeking to exclude European intervention
in the New World, issues the Monroe Doctrine.
1824 Russia and USA sign a treaty accepting 54 degrees, 4 minutes latitude
as the southern boundary of Russian America.
1830 Congress passes the Indian Removal Act, directing all Indians to move
west of the Mississippi
1831 United States Supreme Court rules in Cherokee Nation
v. Georgia that Indian
tribes are domestic dependent national and not foreign nations.
- 1832 United States Supreme Court rules in Worcester
v. Georgia that a federal Indian treaty overrides inconsistent
state legislation. Also that Indians have sovereign immunity from
state laws on their own reservations.
- 1840 Russian Orthodox Diocese formed; Bishop Innokenty Veniaminov
given permission to use Native languages in liturgy
1841 Edward de Stoeckl assigned to the secretariat of the Russian delegation
to the U.S.
1835 United States and England obtain trading privileges in Russian Alaska.
1859 De Stoeckl returns to U.S. from St. Petersburg with authority to negotiate
the sale of Alaska
1861 Gold discovered on Sitkine River near Telegraph Creek
1865 Last shot of Civil War fired in Alaskan waters, as Confederate raider
burned and sank Yankee whaling vessels.
1865-67 Surveyors' map route for overland telegraph line through Alaska to
1867 --Treaty of Cession of Alaska between Russia and the United States. Secretary
of State William H. Seward arranges for payment of $7.2 million to Russia.
The treaty transferred to the United States whatever Russia purported to “own”
of Russian-America. http://explorenorth.com/library/yafeatures/bl-Alaska1867.htm
1869 (check date) Chief Johnson takes Tlingit delegation to Washington D.C.
to challenge transfer of land rights from Russia to America.
1868 to 1877 Alaska territory under rule of U.S. Army, Brevet Major General
Jeff C. Davis
1868 First appropriation from Congress for education in the Territory. The
funds were never put into use as no agency was found to administer them.
1869 The Sitka Times, first newspaper in Alaska is published
1871 Congress enacts a law that ends the negotiation of treaties between the
United States and Indian tribes.
1872 --- Mining Act of 1872.
- --- Gold discovered near Sitka and in British Columbia (Cassiar)
- 1874 First School in Alaska established by the Russians at Three
Saints Bay-Kodiak Island
1876 Gold discovered south of Juneau at Windham Bay
1877 U. S. Army Troops withdrawn from Alaska; territory turned over to U.S.
1878 --Salmon-canning industry started, at Klawock and Sitka
- -- school opens at Sitka, to become Sheldon Jackson College
- 1880 News of gold discovery near Juneau.
1882 In the Tlingit Indian village of Angoon on
Kootznahoo Inlet, a shaman working for a whaling company was accidentally
killed in the explosion of
a whaling gun. A white hostage was taken and indemnity of 200 blankets demanded.
Capt. Merriman of the Revenue Cutter Corwin steamed in from Sitka, shelled
the town and demanded a counter-indemnity of 400 blankets, then bombed and
burned the village of Angoon.
- --- first commercial herring fishing begins at Kilisnoo near
--- first two central salmon canneries built
- 1884 ---Congress enacts the first Organic Act for Alaska, creating
a “District of Alaska” and setting up a code of laws. The act extends
the mining laws to Alaska, and makes Alaska a civil and judicial
district, providing the territory with marshals, clerks and judges.
It provides: “That the Indians or other persons in said district
shall not be disturbed in the possession of any lands actually
in their use or occupation or now claimed by them but the terms
under which such persons may acquire title to such lands is reserved
for future legislation by Congress.”
------Funds for education in Alaska appropriated to be distributed among the
existing mission schools.
1885 --Dr. Sheldon Jackson, founder of the Presbyterian Sheldon
Jackson College in Sitka, was appointed as general agent for education in Alaska.
- --- Alfred P Swineford begins four-year term as second District
Governor of Alaska
1887 September 21-- Annual Report of the Commissioner of Indian
Affairs sets policy of English-only in all schools, and announces
plans to enforce.
-----The General Allotment or Dawes Severalty Act makes the allotment of land
to individual Indians and the breaking up of tribal landholdings in the coterminous
states the official policy of the United States. (Bob Price) The stated goal
was to divide reservations and encourage Indians to assimilate. The allotments
were 160 acres.
---Bureau of Fisheries assertion of federal right to regulate salmon fisheries
--- Father William Duncan and Tsimshina followers found Metlakatla on Annette
1888 Boundary survey started by Dr. W. H. Dall of the U.S. and Dr. George Dawson
1890 In the last battle between federal forces and Indians, approximately 300
Lakota Sioux are killed at Wounded Knee. (Dakota)
--- Dr. Sheldon Jackson explores Arctic Coast, brings reindeer husbandry to
1891 Congress establishes the Annette Islands Reserve for the Metlatkatla Indian
1896 outlawing of in-stream traditional harvest techniques and harvest within
500 yards of stream mouth
1897 --Tlingit and Haida clan leaders protest destruction
of salmon resources to federal fisheries agent Jefferson Moser
- --Klondike gold rush brings national attention to Alaska’s natural
resources, and brings an influx of prospectors.
- 1898 Richardson Trail blazed from Valdez to Canadian border.
1899 Local communities authorized to set up school boards.
1900 --Stampede of gold-seekers to Nome. Railroad
from Skagway to White Horse completed.
- -- James Wickersham became District Court Judge, served for seven
- 1902 President Theodore Roosevelt establishes Tongass National
Forest. No mention of indigenous land rights.
1904 “Canoe Rocks” speech at “final” potlatch (so designated by Territorial
Gov. John G. Brady) in Sitka
---- submarine cables laid from Seattle to Sitka, and from Sitka to Valdez
1905 The Nelson Act provided for establishment of schools
for white children outside of the incorporated towns.
- ---- telegraph links Fairbanks and Valdez
- 1906 Congress enacts Alaska Native Allotment Act, authorizing
the Secretary of the Interior to allot homesteads to the natives
-- Alaska Syndicate established by J.P. Morgan and Simon Guggenheim
-- An Act for the Preservation of American Antiquities was passed by the U.
S. Congress on June 8, 1906. (34 STAT.L.225) It provides penalties for the
removal, defacement, etc. of antiquities on ground controlled by the Federal
Government such as the National Parks, Monuments and Forests of Alaska. Fines
of $500 and/or 6 months imprisonment are provided. (AFTC)
1909-Wickersham begins service as Alaska’s delegate in Congress (extending
to 1921). Helped push through the Second Organic Act (1912)
1911 The Alaska School Service developed a tentative course of study for the
schools of Alaska.
1912 Alaska Native Brotherhood founded. Natives were not citizens. Unequal
treatment existed in segregated schools. Voting was denied to Native people.
The right to land ownership, licenses, mine claims etc denied to Native people.
-- Congress enacts the Second Organic Act for Alaska, conferring official territorial
status, extending the federal laws and constitution to Alaska, and providing
for a system of government (an elected Territorial Legislature with limited
powers and a delegate without vote to Congress).
1913 First Territorial Legislature convenes in Elks Hall in Juneau.
-- Alaska Territorial Legislature grants non-indigenous women territorial voting
1915 Territorial Legislature allows Natives to acquire citizenship if they
sever tribal relations, adopt habits of civilization, pass exam by town teachers,
secure endorsements of five white residents, and satisfy the district judge.
(Worl p 10)
-- Feb. 14 Arizona admitted to Union. (last state before Alaska.)
-- Congress appropriated funds that allowed the Bureau of Education to build
a 25-bed hospital for Alaska Natives at Juneau
--- Alaska Native Sisterhood holds first convention in Sitka
1916 James Wickersham introduced first Statehood bill in U.S. Congress
-- Alaskans vote in favor of prohibition of alcohol by two to one margin
1917 Treadwell Mine complex in Juneau caves in
1920 Jones Act passes, requires all merchandise going to or from Alaska to
be transported by vessels with American-made bottoms. (or American-flagged
vessels? check this.)
1922 Chief Shakes of Wrangell (Charlie Jones) arrested and charged with a felony
for voting “at time and place where not entitled to vote.” (Worl pg 10) Mrs.
Tillie Paul Tamree, mother of William Paul, arrested for aiding and abetting.
1923 In referendum in Southeast, Panhandle voters (Natives not permitted to
vote) overwhelmingly supported seceeding to create the Territory of South Alaska.
Proposal rejected by U.S. Congress.
- --- President Warren E. Harding comes to Alaska to drive the
last spike in the AlaskaRailroad
- 1924 Congress extends citizenship to all Indians in the United
States. The Indian Citizenship Act extends citizenship to Native
Americans, including Alaska Natives, without terminating tribal
rights and property. (Was voting right specified?)
---- White Act passed, giving preference to Washington-owned fish traps.
-------Alaska Native William Paul Sr. elected to Territorial House of Representatives
-- Alaska Voters' Literacy Act of 1925
1926 Village Townsite Act-establishment of restricted deed Indian-title lots
1927 Thirteen-year-old Benny Benson wins a contest to design the Alaska flag.
His entry reads: “The blue field is for the Alaska sky and the forget-me-knot.
The North Star is for the future state of Alaska, the most northerly in the
union. The Dipper is for the Great Bear-symbolizing strength.”
1928 Court case resolves right of Native children to attend public schools
1929 ANB Grand Camp convention in Haines formalized bill that became known
as the Jurisdictional Act of June 15, 1935 (right to bring suit for claims
against the U.S. in the Court of Claims) (Langdon says check “Then fight for
-- ANB initiated boycotts against businesses that discriminated.
-- Tlingit Haida Central Council established to permit suit in Court of Claims
1930 Federal Bureau of Education field administrative headquarters moved from
Seattle, Wash. to Juneau, Alaska.
1931 --Control of education among the Natives of Alaska was
transferred to the Office of Indian Affairs, which became known as the Alaska
- --Wickersham serves again as Alaska’s delegate in Congress (1931-33)
- 1932 Wrangell Institute Boarding School opened - Alaska Indian
--- Radio telephone communications established in Juneau, Ketchikan, and Nome
1933 Tony Dimond begins service as Alaska’s Delegate in Congress (until 1945).
1934 Indian Reorganization Act officially reverses the trends to break up tribal
governments and landholdings by providing for tribal self-government and an
Indian credit program. Was this a reversal of the 1887 Dawes Act allotting
1935 Congress enacts a jurisdictional statute which permits the Tlingit and
Haida Indians to file suit in the Court of Claims for loss of land in southeastern
---- 900 miners at Alaska-JuneauGoldMine go on a strike that lasts 40 days
and ends in violence.
1936 Congress enacts amendments to the Indian Reorganization Act extending
all of its major provision to Alaska.
1936 Fourteen persons were killed in a slide down the slopes of Mt. Roberts
near the Juneau Cold Storage on Sunday, November 22, 1936 at 7:30 p.m. Up until
the slide occurred, the month of November had seen 20.31 inches of rain. Between
10 p.m. Saturday and 10 p.m. Sunday, the day of the slide, 3.89 inches had
1938 Momument erected on the Douglas Highway in Juneau by the Civilian Conservation
Corps June 1st, in honor of Chief Anatlahash , a Taku Tlingit Chief of the
Raven moiety who moved to Douglas Island when mining commenced there in the
1880’s and died there on October 8, 1918. The monument was a yellow cedar shaft
in a concrete base.
1939 President Franklin Delano Roosevelt appoints Ernest Gruening Territorial
Governor of Alaska. (serves until 1953.)
1942 Japanese bomb Dutch Harbor (June 3rd) and invade Kiska and Attu Islands
of the Aleutians. Alaska Natives served with distinction, disproportionately
to their numbers in the general population.
-- Dec. 1, Alaska Military Highway completed.
1943 November. Wickersham in a national radio address argued that the territory’s
service to the nation in time of war demonstrated readiness for Statehood.
Statehood bill introduced and ignored.
1944 --E.L. “Bob” Bartlett elected as Alaska’s Territorial Delegate to Congress.
(serves until 1959.)
-- Roy Peratrovich and ANB offer to settle aboriginal lands through cash payment
for lost lands
-- Sept. Richard Hanna holds hearings in Hydaburg
--- Alaska-Juneau Gold Mine shuts down
1945 Alaska Territorial Legislature passes Anti-Discrimination Act. Signed
by Governor Gruening. Elizabeth Peratrovich, a leading proponent of the Act,
is later honored by the State of Alaska in “Elizabeth Peratrovich Day” every
-- Alaska Indian Service changed to Alaska Native Service.
--Judge Hanna identifies unextinguished aboriginal rights of Kake, Hydaburg
and Klawock claimants
1946 Congress enacts the Indian Claims Comission Act, which allows Indian groups
to sue in the Court of Claims for claims against the United States arising
-- January, President Truman first president to recommend Alaska Statehood,
as soon as the residents of the territory demonstrated that support.
-- Territorial citizens vote to apply for Statehood: October territory-wide
referendum on statehood passes 9,630 to 6,822.
-- Bartlett introduces Statehood Bill in Congress; it fails.
--- Boarding school for Native high school students opens at Mt. Edgecumbe
1947 Tlingit and Haida “Land Claims” law suit filed by James Curry in the U.S.
Court of Claims. (First decision 1959; amount to be compensated decided 1968.)
--Congressional Joint Resolution authorizes the Secretary of Agriculture to
sell timber in the Tongass National Forest notwithstanding any claims of possessory
right by Alaska Natives.
-- Mt. Edgecumbe, a former military installation is opened as a boarding school
for Alaska Natives, operated by the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
1948 Curry brokers the land claims case to “Lefty” Weissbrodt and David Cobb
-- April. Bartlett introduces Statehood Bill. (Rules Sen. Hugh Butler of Nebraska
is strong opponent.)
-- Hybaburg reservation formed. Kake and Klawock turn down offer
-- state-wide vote against fish traps 19,712 to 2,624
1949 Territorial Legislature creates Statehood Commission. (Committee?)
-- Eleanor Roosevelt, James Cagney and Pearl S. Buck are among 100 prominent
Americans who stand in support of Alaska Statehood.
-- Another Alaska Statehood bill is introduced in Congress.
1950 Statehood bill passes U.S. House 186-146, but is killed in Senate. (Korean
war 1950 to 1952.)
-- ANB/ANS Grand Camp Convention in Craig. Gruening and Curry attend.
Unanimous resolution adopted that the ANB 1)“favors the immediate designation
of land reservations under the Indian Re-organization Act for all those Native
communities that desire the same;” 2) “favors such legislation as may be necessary
to authorize the negotiated sale of Alaska Native lands to the United States
by the communities desiring thus to dispose of their property…:” and 3) opposes
any legislation which limits the authority of federal officials to confirm
Native land title “as said Natives desire.” (Source: Oct. 13, 1951 ANB resolution
on H.R. 4388, reviewing history of 1950 convention action. )
-- Johnson O'Malley Act provides for the transfer of schools in Alaska to the
administrative control of the Territory.
1951 March --Territorial Legislature complains to Congress that Statehood progress
is hampered by uncertainty of Indian or aboriginal title controversy. (Mitchell
Sold America p. 398-349 paperback) House Joint Memorial No. 11, 20th Alaska
-- June 11th –Bartlett introduces HR 4388 in 82nd Congress, 1st Session , after
repudiation of HR 7002 (Mitchell SA p. 398 says for Natives 4388 was worse
than 7002 since it required an assertion of land claims within two years. William
Paul to Felix Cohen: “What good to Natives who cannot read or write?” Id. 399.)(paperback
-- August 27 – Bartlett asks Subcommittee on Indian Affairs of House Committee
of the Interior to hold hearings on 4388. (SA fn. #179 p. 350)
-- Nov. 5 to 10 Field hearings on 4388. (Mitchell writes that hearings demonstrated
that Bartlett’s constituency was fractured along racial lines.)
-- November ANB/ANS Grand Camp Convention in Ketchikan. William Paul elected
to first term as ANB Grand Secretary since 1938. (SA paperback 352)
1952 Feb 11th, , 13th and 18th Senate Interior Committee hearings in Washington
D.C. Testimony by Ernest Gruening, and James Curry. Gruening testified that
at the ANB Convention in Craig the previous year, he had recommended against
reservations, and also reported that Curry had told the convention that “This
land is all yours” and that “The white man is a trespasser here.” Gruening
also says Curry had recommended a reservation policy at the Craig convention.
--February 27 , Senate on one vote margin (45-44) kills statehood bill for
another year. Southern Democrats had threatened a filibuster to delay consideration.
-- May-H.R. 4388 dies.
-- June Alaskans became subject to new rules under Immigration and Naturalization
Act, requiring Alaskans to go through Customs and Immigration when traveling
to the lower 48
-- Walter Hickel travels to Washington D.C. to meet with Congressional leaders
about terms for Alaska Statehood.
-- Federal court overturns Hydaburg reservation
-- November –Dwight Eisenhower elected President, and Republicans swept in
by Eisenhower victory regain both Houses of Congress
-- November ANB/ANS Grand Camp Convention in Hoonah
1953 Congress enacts Public Law 280, which extends state legal jurisdiction
in certain states over Indian country.
-- Congress passes House Concurrent Resolution 108, which calls for termination
of special services of the Bureau of Indian Affairs to specified tribes and
in particular states “at the earliest possible time.”
-- November ANB/ANS Grand Camp Convention in
-- Sen. Hugh Butler, chair of the Senate Committee on Interior and Insular
Affairs, visits Alaska. Butler had deprecated the “little men” of Alaska, and
his visit prompted demonstrations of the “Little Men of Alaska” in support
1954 In State of the Union address, Eisenhower refers to Statehood
for Hawaii (then a Republican state) but not Alaska (then a Democratic state).
---March Frustrated by Eisenhower refusal to support statehood for Alaska,
a Senate coalition led by Democrats ties the fate of Alaska and Hawaii Statehood
together as one package. The parliamentary move is backed by some Southern
Democrats, concerned about the addition of new votes in the civil rights for
blacks movement, in the hope of defeating both measures.
-- April--Court of Claims issues decision in Tee Hit-Ton Indians v. Unites
States. Court reasons that neither the 1867 Treaty of Purchase/Cession, the
1884 Organic Act, nor any other federal statute had ‘recognized’ Alaska
Native aboriginal title, and that therefore the Tee-Hit-Tons were not entitled
to recompense for the taking of land. Significantly, the court also recognized
that aboriginal possessory rights existed and had not been extinguished. See
1955 for Tee-Hit-Ton decision of U.S. Supreme Court.
--- First plywood operations begin at Juneau; first big Alaskan pulp mill opens
-- November ANB/ANS Grand Camp Convention in Angoon
1955 February United States Supreme Court affirms the 1954
Court of Claims decision in Tee-Hit-Ton Indians v. United States that the United
States has no legal
obligation under the Fifth Amendment to compensate the Indian tribe for taking
lands to which there is aboriginal title. However, the court also implicitly
recognized that aboriginal title existed and had not been extinguished, a concept
that proved important to future litigation and legislation. http://supreme.justia.com/us/348/272/case.html
-- May U.S. House sends Hawaii-Alaska Statehood bill back to committee, blocking
its passage for yet another year
-- November ANB/ANS Grand Camp Convention in Petersburg
--- Alaskans elect delegates to the Constitutional Convention
-- November 8th--Alaska’s Constitutional Convention begins at the University
of Alaska Fairbanks. Fifth-five delegates, including only one Native person,
Frank Peratrovich, of Klawock, meet for more than two months. Gruening gives
speech "Let Us
End American Colonialism".
1956 February 5th-- Alaska Constitutional Convention adopts
constitution for eventual State of Alaska. It includes a disclaimer of property
Alaska Native Lands. Disclaimer
-- April--Alaskans vote in a statewide referendum to approve the Constitution
and eliminate fish traps. Statewide vote is affirmative.
-- Under the “Alaska-Tennesee Plan” (in which representatives are elected to
serve in the eventual State), two senators (Ernest Gruening and William Egan)
and one representative (Ralph Rivers) are elected.
-- November Eisenhower swept back into Presidency by “landslide”.
-- November ANB/ANS Grand Camp Convention in Hoonah
1957 November ANB/ANS Grand Camp Convention in Kake
1958 Congress extends Public Law 280 to Alaska.
-- Speaker of the House Sam Rayburn, previously an opponent of Alaska Statehood,
changes his mind. President Eisenhower fully endorses Alaska Statehood for
the first time. A new Statehood bill passes the U.S. House May 28th, and the
Senate (64-20) June 30th. The bill includes a disclaimer of property interest
in Alaska Native lands. Eisenhower signs the bill July 7th.
-- November ANB/ANS Grand Camp Convention in Sitka
1959 Jan. 3 -Alaska becomes a State as President Eisenhower signs the official
-- fish traps abolished.
--- Sitka pulp mill opens
-- October Court of Claims in Tlingit and Haida Indians of Alaska v. United
States holds that Tlingit and Haida tribes occupied much of southeastern Alaska
under aboriginal title at time of Treaty of Cession. The Tlingit and Haida "as
a tribe, had established aboriginal Indian title...by their exclusive use and
occupancy of that territory from time immemorial." 177 F. Supp. 452, 147
Ct. Cl. 315 (1959). See 1968 for the decision, nine years later, establishing
the damages for the taking of the land.
1960 The 1960 Census of Alaska showed a total population of Alaska, the largest
state geographically, but with the smallest population: 226,167. This was slightly
above the wartime high of 225,986 in 1943, which included armed forces then
stationed throughout the Territory. The 1950 census gave 128,643 as the civilian
population compared with 193,475 in 1960. The 1960 census breaks down is as
follows: Total Population: 226,167 Civilian Population: 193,475; Caucasian:
141,854; Eskimo-Aleut: 28,637; Indian: 14,444; Negro: 6,771; Japanese: 818;
Filipino: 814; Chinese: 137 (AFTC)
1962 United States Supreme Court holds that State of Alaska may regulate fish
traps of the Native villages of Kake and Angoon, but not those of the Metlakatla
Indian Community within the Annette Islands Reserve.
-- The Tundra Times established, the first state wide newspaper devoted to
representing the views and issues of Alaska Natives.
1964 Good Friday Earthquake
1966 Eskimo land claims filed on North Slope. Interior Secretary Morris Udall
imposes a “land freeze” to protect Native use and occupancy of Alaska lands.
-- Alaska Federation of Natives formed in Anchorage, Alaska.
1967 Informal land freeze of State of Alaska land selections under the Statehood
Act begun by Secretary of Interior.
-- Fairbanks flood
1968 January Court of Claims, nine years after decision
that the Tlingit and Haida people had established aboriginal title to much
of Southeast Alaska, awards
$7.5 million as compensation for extinguishing of that title. Tlingit and Haida
Indians of Alaska v. United States 389 F. 2d 778 (Ct. Claims 1968) http://openjurist.org/389/f2d/778
---Governor Wally Hickel establishes task force that recommends 40 million
acres of land of Natives
1969 Formal land freeze initiated by Secretary of Interior by withdrawing all
public lands in Alaska from appropriation under the public land laws, including
---- Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals holds in State of Alaska v. Udall that
Secretary of Interior must first determine extent of Alaska Native possessory
rights before approving state selections.
---- North Slope Oil lease brings $900 million
1971 Congress enacts the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act.
1972 The Marine Mammal Protection Act becomes law with the important provision
that Alaska Native would be able to continue traditional use of marine mammals.
1974 Alaska adopts limited entry for fisheries
1973 Salmon fisheries statewide limited entry program becomes law
1975 --Congress enacts the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance
Act. It requires that the federal government contract with tribes for services
that benefit their citizens. -----State begins limited entry program for fishing
1976 The so-called "Molly Hootch" (Tobeluk vs. Lind) case is settled with the
commitment by the state to provide local schools for Alaska Native communities
as it had in predominately white communities in the state
1977 Trans Alaska Pipeline completed from Valdez to Prudhoe Bay
1978-State passes law designation “subsistence” as priority use of state fish
and game resources
1980 Congress enacts the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act. It
provides for various national parks and wildlife refuges in Alaska (80 million
acres), and for subsistence rights on federal lands by rural Alaska residents,
most of whom are Alaska Natives.
1982 First Permanent Funds dividends distributed
1991 Amendments to ANCSA take effect
1995 Federal limited entry program for halibut and sablefish quotas
Price, Bob “Native Rights: A Report for the Alaska Statehood
Mitchell, Donald Craig Sold American: The Story of Alaska Natives
and Their Land, 1867-1959 (Dartmouth College, 1997)
Paul, Fred Then Fight For It (Trafford 2003)
Naske, Claus-M An Interpretive History of Alaskan Statehood (Alaska
Northwest Publishing Company 1973)
Gruening, Ernest The State of Alaska: A Definitive History
Northernmost Frontier (Random House 1968)
Goldschmidt, Walter R. and Theodore H. Haas Haa Aani, Our Land:
Tlingit and Haida Land Rights and Use (University of Washington
Press and Sealaska Heritage Foundation 1998)
Also Steve Landgon, personal electronic communication 3/27/09
Thomas, Ed Power point presentation to Clan Conference March 25,
This Chronology was developed by Kathy Kolkhorst
Ruddy under the Alaska Statehood Experience grant to Tlingit Readers
Inc. For comments or corrections please e mail firstname.lastname@example.org.