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Holding Our Ground Part 10


Holding Our Ground

"Programs are presented as broadcast in 1985 and 1986. Some of the issues may have changed. A new series is looking at how these issues have changed over time. For more program information please contact the producer: Jim Sykes, PO Box 696, Palmer, AK 99645. The address given at the end of the program is no longer correct."

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TapeAlaska Transcripts, PO Box 696, Palmer, AK 99645
HOLDING OUR GROUND
(c) 1985 Western Media Concepts, Inc.
"THE NEWBORNS--LEFT OUT OF ANCSA"
(Part 10 of 16)

[Noah Andrews, Tuluksak] Just one minute after midnight, the morning of December 19th, 1971, at 12:01 AM, a child was born, a newborn child, one minute too late.

THEY ARE CALLED NEWBORNS OR AFTERBORNS-CHILDREN BORN TOO LATE TO DIRECTLY GET SHARES IN THE CORPORATIONS THAT NOW OWN NATIVE LANDS. ELDERS, NEWBORNS AND PARENTS ARE UNWILLING TO ACCEPT SUCH A WEDGE BETWEEN PEOPLE AND LANDS THEY REGARD AS THEIR BIRTHRIGHT--A SMALL PORTION OF THE LANDS THAT NATIVE PEOPLES IN ALASKA USED AND OCCUPIED FOR COUNTLESS GENERATIONS. PEOPLE ARE NOW MOVING TO RESTORE EQUAL RELATIONSHIP WITH THE LAND AND EACH OTHER. THIS IS HOLDING OUR GROUND.

FUNDING FOR "HOLDING OUR GROUND" IS PROVIDED BY THE ALASKA HUMANITIES FORUM, THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE HUMANITIES, RURAL ALASKA COMMUNITY ACTION PROGRAM, THE NORTH SLOPE BOROUGH, AND ZIONTZ-PIRTLE LAW FIRM.

[Mike Albert] On these people born after 1971, which are today called "new Natives" to us these people are not "new Natives". They are just like all of us. They are no different than we are. They are our own children. Under the Settlement Act of 1971, people had a chance to get shares, stocks, but after 1971, people born after '71 cannot have shares, cannot have land, cannot have stock, so as the way I see it is the way they are settled today, they are like those children that don't even belong to us. Those children don't even exist like Natives. They exist like non-Natives because they have no right to vote, they have no right for anything because of this Act.

MIKE ALBERT'S WORDS ARE ECHOED IN VILLAGES ACROSS ALASKA, BECAUSE THE ALASKA NATIVE CLAIMS SETTLEMENT ACT, ANCSA, STRIKES AT THE HEART OF THE KINSHIP TIES THAT BIND THE PAST TO THE FUTURE FOR NATIVE PEOPLES. ANCSA PUT LANDS IN JEOPARDY THAT PEOPLE HAD HOPED TO SAVE FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS. ALASKA NATIVES BORN BEFORE THE ACT PASSED GOT ONE HUNDRED SHARES IN A REGIONAL CORPORATION AND 100 SHARES IN A VILLAGE CORPORATION. THOSE SHARES REPRESENT CORPORATE ASSETS INCLUDING THE LAND. THE ACT HAS SERVED TO DIVIDE PEOPLE IN A VERY ARTIFICIAL WAY.

PERRY EATON OF KODIAK.
The sense of cutting off and saying because you are 14 years old you are a Native, but because you are 12 years old you are not a Native. That's ludicrous. That is absolutely ludicrous. The structure of the corporation does not deal with that. You cannot have a population that constantly is expanding, who don't belong culturally, by virtue of the fact that you had a settlement in 1971. It will lead, ultimately, to the smashing of the people as an identity.

CONGRESS MAY HAVE HAD SOME IDEAS TO BRING NATIVES INTO THE AMERICAN WAY OF LIFE WITH ANCSA--ACCORDING TO DOUG JONES WHO WAS AN AIDE TO ALASKA SENATOR GRAVEL DURING THE WRITING OF THE ACT. HE SAYS THE LEGISLATION REFLECTED THE MOOD OF THE COUNTRY THEN.
The times here were times of the sixties where upward mobility was the theme, economic development was the rampant national theme. It was the theme that was used throughout this legislation. A movement toward providing a sameness for the Native population in terms of the legal recognition and treatment that it had, that is, being like everybody else.

GUY MARTIN WAS SENIOR STAFF ASSISTANT TO ALASKA CONGRESSMAN NICK BEGICH DURING THE FORMATION OF THE CLAIMS ACT.
Basically what people were saying is that they were worried about cheating in enrollment and the mistakes on enrollment and explosion of the enrollment rolls of people entitled to benefits under the act, people who were concerned about the way in which proportionality between the regions would be maintained where you used a population base as the criterion for dividing certain benefits under the act.

THE LAW SAYS THAT ONLY ALASKA NATIVES BORN BEFORE THE ACT PASSED ARE ELIGIBLE. THE LAW DEFINES ALASKA NATIVES AS ONE-FOURTH OR MORE ESKIMO, INDIAN, OR ALEUT, OR A COMBINATION OF THE THREE. SOME ELIGIBLE NATIVES MISSED THE ENROLLMENT BECAUSE OF MILITARY SERVICE, NOT PROVING BLOOD QUANTUM, OR JUST SIMPLY BEING AWAY WHEN THE ROLL WAS MADE. THE ENROLLMENT WAS CLOSED ANYWAY.

The administration (GUY MARTIN) pressed for some kind of certainty with regard to the enrollment, and for some kind of certainty with regard to a cutoff date, and one was added.

DOUG JONES
...I think the Congress was just rather pragmatic about it, not wanting to leave it open-ended, just chose a date certain, and the date certain as is often chosen in legislative acts, is the date of the passage of the act.

ALASKA NATIVES SEE THE CLOSED ENROLLMENT AS A WEDGE BETWEEN THE SHAREHOLDERS AND THE NEWBORNS.

I have two girls, and one was born in '69 and one was born in '81 (JUDY BAUMAN OF FAIRBANKS). One daughter is considered Native and eligible for the land claims and the other one is not. And I don't like that, to me it's almost like discriminating against your own people. They're still, to me they're both my children and they're both Natives and it's very difficult for me to think that they're being treated differently.

SOME CHILDREN BORN BEFORE 1971 HAVE OFFERED TO SHARE THEIR VOTING RIGHTS AND ANY DIVIDENDS THEY MIGHT GET WITH THEIR NEWBORN BROTHERS AND SISTERS.


HENRY AHGUPUK OF SHISHMAREF.
My oldest son, who is the only one that participated in Land Claims Act, has two younger sisters now. So, whatever he has got to share is getting smaller and smaller. For I feel we are second class citizens, and I think deep inside of our younger children born after 1971, they feel that they are third class citizens.

In my own situation my oldest son (EDNA MAC LEAN OF BARROW) has membership with the Arctic Slope Regional Corporation and the Upeagvik Village Corporation, but my younger son does not. And it was very hard for me to explain to him that he was born too late to be a part of the Iñupiaq people of the North Slope as it was dictated by law through the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act.

JIM CARDIN TEACHES AT EMMONAK SCHOOL.
All the Headstart children and the preschool children in this village, according to this act are considered non-Native. My own two children, born of a Yup'ik mother are considered non-Native. I am quite concerned about the fact that these Native students or these Native children, are denied any voice, not only in the preservation of the past, but also in the determination of the future.

My name is Anna Marie Moore. I'm a senior at the Emmonak High School. I do not think that it is fair for the after-borns of 1971 to be left out and not be considered shareholders, even though they are Natives. I think that they have every right to become shareholders because they will, and I myself, will be the future Native leaders. If they are not considered shareholders who will control the corporations and the land?

In the rest of the world an inheritance goes on to whoever you will it to. (LILLY MAC GARVEY) If you will your Native shares to your children who are not shareholders, not stockholders, they have no vote as shareholders. They can inherit the shares but they cannot vote if they are not at least a quarter Native. Down the line, I can see a lot of our children who will not be a quarter Native and it's a shame that, even though they inherit from us, that that's who we want to talk for us after we're gone, they do not have that right at the present time.

WHEN AN ORIGINAL SHAREHOLDER DIES, SHARES ARE USUALLY DISTRIBUTED AMONG CHILDREN, SOMETIMES INEQUALITIES RESULT OR THE VALUE OF THE SHARES DIMINISHES.


LILLY WALUNGA FROM GAMBELL.
How would I divide my shares, if I was to have, say, 10 kids? And later they'd give their children their shares that was given from me, there wouldn't be much left.

SAM DEMIENTIEFF OF FAIRBANKS.
So in the first generation you can have the shares being diluted right down to almost nothing, and in fact lost in the first two or three generations.

THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT HAS HAPPENED IN PAST INDIAN LEGISLATION. IN 1887, THE GENERAL ALLOTMENT ACT ENCOURAGED INDIANS TO BECOME FARMERS ON LARGE HOMESTEADS. MOST LANDS WERE LOST BECAUSE PROVING REQUIREMENTS WEREN'T MET. LANDS THAT SURVIVED BECAME SPLIT INTO SUCH TINY PARCELS THAT IT MEANT LITTLE TO THE MANY HEIRS, AND IT WAS NO LONGER USABLE FOR COMMUNAL PURPOSES. THE SIMILARITIES WITH ANCSA ARE STRIKING. UNLESS THE ACT IS CHANGED, THE NEWBORNS MAY NOT BE ABLE TO INFLUENCE CORPORATE DECISIONS UNTIL THEY ARE GRANDPARENTS THEMSELVES.

VERNITA ZYLIS OF UNALAKLEET.
When my daughter is 21, I'll be 51. When she's 21 I hope that she would be in a position and desirous of being able to speak for herself. However, under ANCSA she will have no forum in which to speak for herself and she will not have anything until I die, and I really don't plan to die when I'm 51. My people have a history of longevity, and if I follow in my grandmother's footsteps, for instance, I'm going to be 79, 80 some years old before I die and she will then be middle-aged and have children and grandchildren of her own.

ANCSA SHARES CAN BE SOLD IN THE OPEN MARKET IN 1991. PEOPLE ARE SEARCHING FOR WAYS TO INCLUDE THE NEW NATIVES. SOME WANT TO ISSUE SHARES TO NEWBORNS LIKE DAVID LIGHT FROM HAINES.
1971 I was not a grandfather, but now I'm a grandfather three times and my grandchildren are left out. Only seven more years be 1991. They said that through the whole State there was something like 7,000 children that were born after 1971 and if we let them in that's going to water down everybody's share. Hey, water it down!

IF NEWBORNS RECEIVED SHARES, THERE WOULD INSTANTLY BE MORE SHAREHOLDERS, AND REDUCE THE CASH VALUE OF EACH SHARE. THE GROWING POPULATION WOULD MEAN THAT MORE AND MORE SHARES WOULD BE ISSUED.


ROBIN SAMUELSON OF DILLINGHAM.
I have two newborns or afterborns in my family. Both do not own stock in our corporation. I am against diluting my stock or allowing newborns into the corporation. When a person owns stock in any corporation, that person hopes that stock will increase in value, not decrease or get diluted. My newborn children will become shareholders in time. They will inherit my wife's stock, as well as mine. What I own is what they own. They are newborns today but tomorrow they will be shareholders. They are our future.

THE FUTURE IS UNCERTAIN SINCE SHARES COULD BE SOLD AFTER 1991. THE SHARES REPRESENT A CASH VALUE FOR ASSETS AND LAND. BEFORE ANCSA, LAND WAS USED AND OCCUPIED FREELY, IT COULD NOT BE SOLD OR BOUGHT AS PRIVATE PROPERTY. MANY PEOPLE WORRY THAT THEY COULD BECOME TRESPASSERS ON THEIR OWN LAND, AND POSSIBLY LOSE SUBSISTENCE HUNTING AND FISHING RIGHTS. MOST PEOPLE REALIZE THE LAND IS AT RISK IN THE CORPORATE STRUCTURE AS LONG AS THE CORPORATION IS SUBJECT TO TAKEOVER, BANKRUPTCY AND TAXATION.


BARBARA RILEY-ASHER.
So what are the alternatives? I am not really familiar with all of the legal aspects, but I would really hope that those representing us would find ways to protect our land forever, so it will be available for use by Natives during my lifetime and for future generations. We really need to find some way to provide for those born after 1971.

SHAREHOLDERS WHO LIVE IN THE VILLAGE HAVE DIFFERENT CONCERNS FROM THOSE LIVING ELSEWHERE. A FEW PEOPLE COULD END UP CONTROLLING THE CORPORATION WHILE A MAJORITY OF THE PEOPLE LIVING IN THE VILLAGE MIGHT NOT BE SHAREHOLDERS.


MIKE ALBERT.
When 1991 comes, if we don't do something, if everything just grew as the way it is today, when 1991 comes, how many shareholders are going to be left in the village of Tununak? Probably just maybe 10-15% of the whole population will be shareholders. And what power are they going to be holding?

UNIVERSITY OF ALASKA PROFESSOR BART GARBER.
Who, who makes the decision? Under the current resolutions we say that shareholders do and that the actions that are necessary to be taken are a majority of a quorum. That tells me that as little as 15 percent of the Natives who are shareholders, will make decisions about the destiny of Natives and the land that they own. Given the fact that the number of Natives will double, that 15 percent is then reduced to five to six percent of the Natives who live, who could essentially make the decision about what happens with land.

One Hundred shares represents the past life of the Native people, it represents the culture, the land, the lifestyle, village living. (SAM DEMIENTIEFF OF FAIRBANKS) And this portion, this hundred shares is something that's going to become available for sale to the public in 1991. Right now, I think, people are beginning to understand it. One of the things that one of our shareholders said at one of the annual meetings was that he didn't think he held the responsibility to hold a hundred shares in his hand that represents the Native people throughout the ages in his village and area, to have him the to give him the opportunity to sell that in 1991. He said that was something that never should have happened. And I think he is speaking true. Because what is sold there is the end of the people. The people would continue on living, but what is taken from them is everything that they lived for, land and everything that comes with land.

CONGRESS IS BEING ASKED TO MAKE CHANGES IN 1986 BY THE ALASKA FEDERATION OF NATIVES INCORPORATED--A STATEWIDE ORGANIZATION OF THE 12 LARGE ANCSA REGIONAL CORPORATIONS. ONE OPTION WOULD CONTINUE THE STOCK RESTRICTIONS BEYOND 1991, SO THAT IT WOULD BE OWNED ONLY BY NATIVES AND THEIR DESCENDENTS. NEWBORNS WOULD BE ABLE TO RECEIVE SHARES EQUAL WITH THE ORIGINAL SHAREHOLDERS, OR THEY COULD BE ISSUED A SEPARATE CLASS OF STOCK, IT WOULD BE AT THE OPTION OF THE CORPORATION.

WHILE THESE OPTIONS WILL PREVENT CORPORATE TAKEOVER, ONLY THOSE CORPORATIONS WHO REOPEN THE ROLLS WOULD RE-CREATE EQUAL REPRESENTATION. HOWEVER, THESE CHANGES WOULD NOT KEEP A CORPORATION FROM GOING BANKRUPT OR BEING TAXED. SOME PEOPLE FEEL THEY HAVE THE RIGHT TO CHOOSE WHETHER OR NOT TO SELL IN 1991.


HUBERT MC CALLUM OF SAND POINT.
I resent somebody saying, you can do this with your share, you can't do this, it's restricted, we like freedom. I'd like to have my choice as to what I would like to do with my share in 1991.

SELLING STOCK MAY NOT BE AN ISSUE IF THE CORPORATION GOES BANKRUPT. CREDITORS ARE ALREADY DEMANDING LANDS PLEDGED AS COLLATERAL FROM VILLAGE AND REGIONAL CORPORATIONS. TAXATION IS THE OTHER MAJOR THREAT TO LOSING CONTROL OF THE CORPORATIONS. THERE IS CURRENTLY NO TAXATION OF UNDEVELOPED LANDS BUT THAT COULD CHANGE AS ALASKA'S OIL WEALTH DECLINES.


MIKE VIGIL OF CHENEGA.
We've got to find that way so that we can pass that land on to our children and their children so we could keep up the heritage and the culture. But we can't pay taxes on it. That'll just force us to pay the land...to pay the taxes. And then eventually we'll have no land again, and then there goes our culture.

SOME CORPORATIONS ARE ALREADY SELLING LAND TO COVER ADMINISTRATIVE COSTS OR TO SHOW A PROFIT. THESE ARE ALL VERY UNCOMFORTABLE PROSPECTS FOR SHAREHOLDERS AND NEW NATIVES ALIKE SINCE THE RELATIONSHIP TO THE LAND HAS BEEN CHANGED.

MARY MILLER OF NOME.
When you look through the corporate eye, our relationship to the land is altered. We draw our identity as a people from our relationship to the land and to the sea and to the resources. This is a spiritual relationship, a sacred relationship. And it's in danger, because from a corporate stand point, if we are to pursue profit and growth, and this is why profit corporations exist, we would have to assume a position of control over the land resources and exploit these resources to achieve economic gain. This is in conflict with our traditional relationship to the land, where we were stewards, we were caretakers, and where we have respect for the resources that sustain us.


ONE PROPOSED WAY TO SAVE LANDS IS TO TRANSFER CORPORATE LANDS TO TRIBAL GOVERNMENTS BY SHAREHOLDER VOTE. IF THIS WERE DONE, SHAREHOLDERS WOULD THEN DECIDE HOW TO TREAT THOSE WHO VOTED AGAINST SUCH A MEASURE; EITHER BOUGHT OUT FOR THE CASH VALUE OF THEIR SHARES, OR NOT RECOGNIZE THE DESCENTOR'S CORPORATE RIGHT TO BE BOUGHT OUT.

ANDY HOPE IS PRESIDENT OF SITKA COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION. HE BELIEVES TRIBAL GOVERNMENT IS THE BEST WAY TO HOLD LAND FOR THE FUTURE.
We could lose all the land right now. And the children that have been born since 1971, I think to me that's the strongest argument for transferring resources to a tribe, because the children can enroll...become enrolled full fledged members of a tribe, and it's an ongoing process. ...the tribe continually renews itself because it's based on enrollment and tribal membership.


THE LAND IS HELD IN COMMON BY THE NATIVE GOVERNMENT. THE TRIBAL GOVERNMENT CAN DECIDE TO SELL LAND, BUT THERE IS NO THREAT OF TAKE OVER AS IN A CORPORATION. A TRIBAL GOVERNMENT WOULD NOT GO BANKRUPT, AND WOULD NOT LOSE LAND TO CREDITORS UNLESS THEY SPECIFICALLY AGREED TO. THE LAW IS UNCLEAR WHETHER OR NOT LAND HELD BY TRIBAL GOVERNMENTS CAN BE TAXED. THE SECRETARY OF INTERIOR HAS INDICATED HE HAS NO PLANS TO TAKE LAND INTO TRUST TITLE WHICH WOULD FREE IT FROM TAXES. SOME LEGAL EXPERTS SAY THAT TRIBAL GOVERNMENTS HAVE POWERS THAT PREVENT THEM FROM BEING TAXED, BUT SOME OTHER EXPERTS DISAGREE. TAXATION REMAINS AN OPEN QUESTION.

MOST CORPORATIONS AREN'T QUITE READY TO HAND OVER EVERYTHING OVER TO TRIBAL GOVERNMENTS. THERE ARE TWO TYPES OF TRIBAL GOVERNMENTS IN ALASKA: TRADITIONAL AND IRA, NAMED FOR THE INDIAN REORGANIZATION ACT.

GLEN FREDERICKS, NEWLY ELECTED CO-CHAIRMAN OF ALASKA FEDERATION OF NATIVES, INCORPORATED.
I'd be very hesitant to go out now and put my million acres in this IRA 'til I know, if we're going into it we better go knowing what we going into, everybody knowing what we're going into, you know. And it's very important.

CORPORATIONS CAN RETAIN LAND FOR DEVELOPMENT UNDER THEIR PRESENT STRUCTURE AND TRANSFER CULTURAL AND SUBSISTENCE LANDS TO TRIBAL GOVERNMENT. THE CORPORATIONS CAN EXIST SIDE-BY-SIDE OR BE CHARTERED BY THE TRIBAL GOVERNMENT.

DOLLY GARZA FROM KETCHIKAN.
I think this should not separate us and our children should be continued to have the right that we now hold. I hope that we as Natives are never that greedy because I know when our grandmothers and grandfathers fought for the settlement Act, they had no intentions of leaving us out and we should never have the intention of leaving our children out.

IN CANADA'S MOST RECENT LAND CLAIMS SETTLEMENT, THE COMMITTEE FOR ORIGINAL PEOPLES ENTITLEMENT GOT SEVERAL MEMBERSHIP CORPORATIONS TO HANDLE LAND, DEVELOPMENT, INVESTMENT, AND LOCAL NEEDS. CORPORATIONS ARE BASED ON MEMBERSHIP NOT SHAREHOLDERS. THE LAND AND CORPORATIONS ARE HELD IN TRUSTS BY TRIBAL ELDERS. OIL, GAS, AND MINERALS ARE STILL CONTROLLED BY THE CANADIAN GOVERNMENT. UNDEVELOPED LANDS ARE FREE FROM TAXATION. THE PROBLEMS OF THE NEWBORNS HAVE BEEN ELIMINATED.

ALASKANS ARE LOOKING FOR IDEAS THEY CAN USE TO DEAL WITH CURRENT PROBLEMS IN THE ALASKA NATIVE CLAIMS SETTLEMENT ACT.

SHIELA AGA THIERIAULT OF LARSEN BAY.
The concern is, with 1991 coming up, that we're going to lose our lands and our children are going to have nothing. With all the children born after 1971 ineligible for any Native rights, rights to live by subsistence, to live by Native values in the Native way, this actually means that when the last person that was alive before 1971 dies, Alaska Natives will no longer exist. Well, you can't convince me of that because this village is still going to be here. I don't know what condition it will be in, but we're still going to be here and our children are still going to be here, and our children's children. And I believe they will be living according to the values that they have been taught--by no other. We're all dealing with the same thing. And if we get our heads together periodically and talk about it among ourselves and decide what to do and then back that decision up all the way I don't think it's too late. Maybe I'm overly optimistic but I don't think when a people refuse to accept things imposed upon them, I don't thing those things can carry on without consent.

ALASKA'S NATIVE PEOPLES ARE DEMANDING TO BE CONSULTED ABOUT CHANGES THAT WILL BE MADE. IN AN UPCOMING PROGRAM WE LOOK AT GRASSROOTS POLITICAL ACTION, THE POWER BROKER, AND STRATEGIES FOR CHANGE. IN OUR NEXT PROGRAM WE LOOK AT HOW HUNTERS AND FISHERMEN BECAME CORPORATE DIRECTORS. PLEASE JOIN US. FOR HOLDING OUR GROUND THIS IS ADELINE RABOFF.

THIS PROGRAM IS PRODUCED BY JIM SYKES, WRITTEN BY BILL DUBAY AND SUE BURRUS, EDITED BY SUE BURRUS, AND RESEARCHED BY FRANKIE BURRUS. SPECIAL THANKS TO THE COMMUNITY OF GAMBELL FOR DANCING, SINGING, AND DRUMMING, AND ALSO TO THE INUIT CIRCUMPOLAR CONFERENCE. "HOLDING OUR GROUND" IS A PRODUCTION OF WESTERN MEDIA CONCEPTS WHICH IS SOLELY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CONTENT.

FUNDING FOR "HOLDING OUR GROUND" IS PROVIDED BY THE ALASKA HUMANITIES FORUM, THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE HUMANITIES, RURAL ALASKA COMMUNITY ACTION PROGRAM, THE NORTH SLOPE BOROUGH, AND ZIONTZ-PIRTLE LAW FIRM.

[Western Media Concepts no longer exists. Please Contact TapeAlaska, PO Box 696, Palmer, AK 99645 for information about Holding Our Ground.]

 

PROGRAM SUMMARIES:

1. The People, the Land, and the Law
Comprehensive 30-minute survey of the burning issues facing Alaska's Native community in the second half of this decade. This tour over the vast landscape of Alaska Native affairs serves as an overview of the topics to be treated in depth during the other 14 segments.

2. The Land and Sea
The ages-old Native feeling about the land comes across the airwaves like a fresh breeze. Two starkly different realities are presented—the Native concept of oneness with the land and the Western notion of land ownership and development. How do these contrasting philosophies fit the Native in rural Alaska?

3. Subsistence—A Way of Life
Far from the political and legal controversies surrounding subsistence, Natives carry on their traditional subsistence lifestyles. Hear their very personal descriptions of subsistence, what it is, and what it means to them. An important aspect of this documentary will be to delve into the mix of subsistence and cash economies.

4. Sovereignty—What it Means to People
Self-determination is the heart of a rising grassroots political movement. The listener will learn that this quest by Native people to control their own futures reaches far into the past. And the listener will discover that American political theory is not as much at odds with the sovereignty movement as one might think.

5. Traditional Councils and Corporate Boardrooms
Who calls the shots in the Native community: A look at power, history, and decision making. The audience will consider change from the perspectives of traditional village rule to government and corporate bureaucracies.

6. The Land and the Corporations
Traditional Native lands became corporate assets because the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act created profit-making Native corporations to hold the land. This segment will look at one of the toughest questions facing the Native community today: "Do these Native corporations have an obligation to develop their lands to earn a profit for their shareholders, or do they have an obligation to preserve those lands for subsistence and for generations to come?"

7. Risking and Saving the Land
Land owned by Native corporations can be lost through sales, corporate takeover, bankruptcy, or taxation. This has generated so much concern among Natives trying to save their land that there are now a number of options to prevent loss of these lands. This program is an exploration of the major risks and what alternatives are available.

8 Subsistence and the Law
Carrying on the subsistence lifestyle without interference from the law is a thing of the past. Traditional ways of hunting fishing, and gathering are now subject to political and legal changes and challenges in what may well be Alaska's most bitter controversy. Hear discussion of the new role of Alaska Natives as treaty-makers and game managers.

9. Sovereignty - How it Works in Real Life
Local government control is a reality in some areas of Native Alaska. In other areas Natives are working to implement their own unique forms of self- government. Some have found self-determination in traditional government. Take a close look at the communities where sovereignty is becoming a reality.

10. The Newborns—Left Out of ANCSA
When the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act. passed on December 18, 1971, all those yet to be born were left out. Now thousands of teenagers and toddlers alike are on the outside of ANCSA looking in. The Native community is divided into ANCSA shareholders and newborns, and the problems could get worse. Natives young and old speak out in eloquent terms.

11. From Hunter, Fisher, Gatherer to Corporate Director
The corporation idea—how and why it was chosen as a vehicle for land claims. Was this a good way to give Alaska Natives a piece of the American dream, or was it a way of assimilating them? This program examines how Natives have made the transition from traditional life to corporate director or shareholder

12. Changing the Claims Act—The Key Players
Nearly every Native organization in the state is jumping on the "Let's do something about ANCSA" idea. What began as grassroots dissatisfaction with the act has now shifted into a well-organized movement. There is the Inuit Circumpolar Conference, the United Tribes of Alaska, the Alaska Federation of Natives, and Association of Village Council Presidents, and others.

13. Recommendations of the Alaska Native Review Commission
An historic journey by Canadian Judge Thomas R. Berger has culminated in some provocative recommendations about the options open to Alaska's Natives. Listeners will hear a cross-section of views about what Berger reported and how this may affect changes in the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act.

14. Other Settlements with Indigenous Peoples Settlement Act
The Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act inspired other indigenous peoples in the world to seek land claims in the settlements with their countries. This program will look at those efforts in Canada, Greenland, Australia, Norway, and elsewhere. Now some of the land claims proposals of others are being studied by Alaskans seeking to improve ANCSA.

15. The Dream versus the Reality
The final segment considers what people wanted all along in land claims and what they got. Should all the hard work of the past be scrapped? How has the dream changed? Voices of many people speak of the future, what they want and how they will go about getting it for themselves and their Children.

16. Special Program--Berger's Recommendations

 

 

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Last modified February 7, 2007