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Holding Our Ground Part 12


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.
"CHANGING THE CLAIMS ACT--THE KEY PLAYERS"
(Part 12 of 16)

[Byron Mallot] The Native people have said "Hey, where are we? What has this meant? Has it been good for us?" One side people are saying "Throw the whole thing out, start over" and others are saying, "Give us time, it'll work" But in my judgment, there were several fatal flaws in the Claims Settlement Act that have to be fixed. I don't think they can be fixed within the framework of continuing implementation of the Claims Settlement Act. They're the sort of fixes that you can't do on a moving machine.

BYRON MALLOT IS THE PRESIDENT OF THE LARGEST REGIONAL CORPORATION FORMED BY ANCSA, THE ALASKA NATIVE CLAIMS SETTLEMENT ACT. MALLOT AND OTHERS ARE GRAPPLING TO FIND WAYS TO SAVE LANDS THAT RISK BEING LOST. IT IS A DIFFICULT TASK, BECAUSE THERE ARE DIFFERENT IDEAS AMONG THOSE WHO ARE MAKING THE CHANGES. NOW A LOOK AT THOSE STRATEGIES FOR CHANGE. 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.

[Janie Leask] When Congress first signed ANCSA into law in 1971, everybody realized that it was an imperfect tool, it was a very good tool, but it was an imperfect tool. And it was certainly one that Alaska Natives had not been used to working with, and the corporate structure provided a lot of problems to Native people.

JANIE LEASK IS PRESIDENT OF A-F-N, THE ALASKA FEDERATION OF NATIVES, INCORPORATED.

THE CLAIMS ACT DIVIDED NEARLY A BILLION DOLLARS AND ONE-TENTH OF ALASKA AMONG 12 REGIONAL CORPORATIONS AND MORE THAN 200 VILLAGE CORPORATIONS. LAND WAS THE MAJOR CORPORATE ASSET, AND UNDER CURRENT LAW, THE SHARES CAN BE SOLD ON THE OPEN MARKET IN 1992. IF A CORPORATION WERE TAKEN OVER THE NEW OWNER WOULD GET LANDS NATIVES HOPED TO KEEP FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS. IF NATIVE CORPORATIONS ARE ABLE TO KEEP CONTROL OF THE STOCK, THEY STILL FACE THREATS THAT LAND CAN ALSO BE LOST TO BAD DEBTS, BANKRUPTCY AND FUTURE TAXATION.


DALEE SAMBO RUNS THE ANCHORAGE OFFICE OF THE INUIT CIRCUMPOLAR CONFERENCE, AN INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION OF ESKIMOS.
In my personal opinion, the land has to be taken out of the hands of the corporations, the corporations guarantee vulnerability. So I think the land is vulnerable, the threat of taxation, of bankruptcy, the question of alienation of shares, the issue of afterborns, all those things that we've now come to term the 1991 issues, are products of the corporate structure. And the only way that we're going to be able to move away from those fears, those very real threats, is to get the land out of the hands of the corporate structures and put the ownership of the land into tribal governments.

TRIBAL GOVERNMENTS WERE IGNORED BY ANCSA BUT THEY ARE NOW LOOKED AT AS ONE OPTION TO SAVE NATIVE LANDS.


NELSON ANGAPAK IS PRESIDENT OF THE CALISTA REGIONAL CORPORATION OF SOUTHWEST ALASKA.
There is nothing in the Land Claims Settlement Act, in any way, shape or form, that states specifically that the rights of the Natives to govern themselves as they see fit was taken away. In fact, Federal Indian Law is that until such time that a right that is enjoyed by the Natives is specifically taken away from them, through a specific act, that right still remains with the Indian group. The Land Claim Settlement Act certainly did not take the right of the Natives to govern themselves. It was basically a real estate settlement that settled the claims of the Natives against the federal government, no more, no less.

NATIVE GOVERNMENTS DON'T OWN THE LAND, THE CORPORATIONS DO, AND THE LAND AREA OF TRIBAL GOVERNMENTS JURISDICTION IS UNCLEAR. BECAUSE THERE IS CONFUSION ABOUT THE STATUS OF TRIBAL GOVERNMENTS MOST CORPORATIONS AREN'T READY TO HAND THEIR LANDS OVER TO THE TRIBAL GOVERNMENTS JUST YET. TRIBAL GOVERNMENTS IN ALASKA ARE KNOWN AS EITHER TRADITIONAL OR I-R-A.


GLEN FREDERICKS IS THE NEWLY-ELECTED CO-CHAIRMAN OF A-F-N.
I am very hesitant, though, to put that land into an IRA, for instance, until some of the issues are cleared up. As we know, or heard, at least, the Federal government doesn't want to take or hold the land in trust.

WHILE INDIAN RESERVATION LANDS ARE HELD IN TRUST, THE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR SAYS THEY DO NOT WANT TO TAKE ALASKA NATIVE LANDS INTO TRUST. ALASKA NATIVES WANT TO ENSURE THEIR LANDS CAN'T BE TAKEN FOR TAXES OR BAD DEBTS. THE ALASKA FEDERATION OF NATIVES IS STUDYING THE LEGAL IMPLICATIONS OF LANDHOLDING BY TRIBAL GOVERNMENTS.

A-F-N IS THE LARGEST, MOST POLITICALLY ACTIVE AND WELL-FINANCED NATIVE ORGANIZATION IN ALASKA. BEFORE THEY INCORPORATED THEY WERE A GRASSROOTS LOBBYING GROUP THAT HELPED THE LAND CLAIMS THRU CONGRESS. AFTER THE CLAIMS ACT PASSED THEY INCORPORATED TO REPRESENT THE REGIONAL PROFIT AND NON-PROFIT CORPORATIONS. A-F-N HAS DEVELOPED A SERIES OF RESOLUTIONS AIMED AT PREVENTING CORPORATE TAKEOVERS, AND OPENING THE OPTION TO TRANSFER LANDS TO TRIBAL GOVERNMENTS. THE RESOLUTIONS ARE KNOWN COLLECTIVELY AS THE 1991 RESOLUTIONS. THEY PASSED DURING THE 1985 CONVENTION AND WILL BE TAKEN TO CONGRESS IF THE A-F-N BOARD APPROVES THEM.


JANIE LEASK.
The AFN board will really have the bottom line final authority on any kind of actions or negotiations regarding the 1991 legislative package.

A-F-N DID SOME RESTRUCTURING JUST BEFORE THEIR FALL CONVENTION TO ALLOW SOME VILLAGE INPUT TO THE CONVENTION. THE BOARD THAT MAKES THE FINAL DECISION ON THE CONVENTION RESOLUTIONS MAY BE EXPANDED FROM ITS PRESENT 25 MEMBERS OF REGIONAL PROFIT AND NON-PROFIT CORPORATIONS TO 37 BY ADDING 12 VILLAGE REPRESENTATIVES. IF SEATED THE INTERIM BOARD IS DESIGNED TO EXIST FOR ONE YEAR.

[Janie Leask] Where we go now with the whole 1991 legislation and the strategy, is that we will finalize the legislation the first part of December, the next week, the week of December 9, we will hand carry the 1991 legislation down to Washington D.C., submit it to our Congressional delegation, who will then introduce the legislation to Congress. We then will work with them in holding a series of hearings in Alaska on the legislation, and then the formal hearings in Washington D.C. by both the House and the Senate. And then hopefully if all goes right, we will get legislation passed in 1986.

THE MAIN TRIBAL GOVERNMENT RESOLUTION WHICH DIDN'T GET APPROVED AT THE A-F-N CONVENTION WAS KNOWN AS RESOLUTION 35, WHICH HAD A GREAT DEAL OF SUPPORT AMONG MAJOR TRIBAL GROUPS IN ALASKA. RESOLUTION 35 RECOGNIZED BROAD POWERS OF NATIVE GOVERNMENTS INCLUDING MANAGEMENT OF FISH AND GAME, FREEDOM FROM BAD DEBTS, AND EXEMPTION FROM TAXATION. A-F-N IS STUDYING THESE BROADER TRIBAL POWERS WHILE THEY TAKE THE LESS CONTROVERSIAL ISSUES TO CONGRESS.

JANIE LEASK.
AFN has worked real hard to try to keep our 1991 legislative package clean. We realize that in order for the 1991 legislative package to succeed, it needs to have not only the consensus behind it, which we've achieved here in Alaska, but it also needs, we need to work with the three key groups, the Congressional delegation, the governor in the State of Alaska, and the Department of Interior. And we will continue to meet with them and work with them to try to get the whole legislative package through Congress.

ALASKA CONGRESSMAN DON YOUNG ADVISED A-F-N TO STAY AWAY FROM COMMITTEES OF CONGRESS THAT DEAL WITH TAXES, AND SENATOR TED STEVENS ADVISED THAT CONGRESS DID NOT WANT TO DEAL WITH POWERS OF TRIBAL GOVERNMENTS. EVEN THOUGH A-F-N'S PROPOSALS ARE NOT AS WIDE-RANGING AS TRIBAL LEADERS WOULD LIKE, THEY ARE THE MOST SUBSTANTIAL CHANGES PROPOSED TO DATE, AND THE ACT HAS BEEN AMENDED SIX TIMES ALREADY.

[Janie Leask] We've heard a number of different times from the Congressional delegation, "Try to get all the amendments and all that you need in right now, because you can't keep going back to Congress, and that Congress is looking for this as one of the last stops, if not the last stop as far as amending ANCSA."

IF CONGRESS ACTS ON A-F-N'S CURRENT PROPOSALS SOME TRIBAL GROUPS FEAR THAT CONGRESS MAY NOT BE IN A MOOD TO DEAL WITH FURTHER SUBSTANTIAL CHANGES ON THE LARGER TRIBAL GOVERNMENT ISSUES.


TOM RICHARDS DOESN'T SEE A MAJOR PROBLEM WITH ALASKA CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION. HE WAS INVOLVED IN THE ONLY MAJOR CHANGE TO ANCSA, IN 1980 CALLED ANILCA.
I don't think whatever advise is being given from the Alaska Congressional Delegation to Native people is locked in concrete as far as what Congress may or may not do concerning Alaska Native affairs. One mistake that AFN the leadership has made, assuming that the Alaska Congressional Delegation has the best interests of Alaska Natives at heart, we have to very often go outside the Congressional Delegation for assistance. We've had to go to members of the party on the opposite side of the political spectrum from the Alaska Congressional Delegation oftentimes. And if you look back at the history of legislation affecting Alaska Natives the Congressional Delegation has been effective on matters involving the corporations and their problems, and it has not been very effective in dealing with issues involving Native rights, subsistence. In dealing with issues that effect the Native people, their lives on a daily basis.

THE VARIOUS NATIVE GROUPS ARE STRIVING TO PRESENT A UNITED FRONT TO CONGRESS WHICH INCLUDES MORE TRIBAL RECOGNITION, BUT THAT IS PROVING DIFFICULT.


ANDY HOPE, PRESIDENT OF SITKA COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION.
I don't think the corporate package will stand on its own, and I don't think it will go anywhere in Congress, so I think from a national perspective the tribal rights and the corporate rights issues have to be consolidated into one legislative package.

TOM RICHARDS, VICE-PRESIDENT OF AVCP, ALASKA VILLAGE COUNCIL OF PRESIDENTS.
The AFN proposals address the concerns of the corporations, and the managers of the corporations, and the employees, boards of directors. And essentially they provide for some means of tinkering with the corporate system. What we've been looking for is some means to address the very basic problems with ANCSA in that people at the community level or tribal level be afforded an opportunity to return the lands that were conveyed to the corporations back to the communities, under tribal ownership. Mechanisms to protect land involving ownership through the tribal governments is not being considered as a serious option. In some respects it would seem that the AFN leadership has given up on some very important issues and very important ideas, even before they are presented to Congress. It doesn't make much sense to us to give up before we even start. So what we have to do now as AVCP, and with any other Native groups throughout Alaska that feel similar concerns to proceed, and I am hopeful that we could make one more attempt over the next month or two to obtain some support with the AFN board, to have the board act to provide for some kind of inclusion of our proposals with the AFN package. If that doesn't happen, it is fairly clear to us that we're going to have to go to Congress ourselves.

IS CONGRESS WILLING TO LISTEN TO DIFFERENT GROUPS OF ALASKA NATIVES WHO HAVE DIFFERENT APPROACHES TO THE SAME PROBLEM?


DALEE SAMBO THINKS NOT.
Congress is not going to deal with a tribal government camp and a corporation camp. They're going to deal with the Alaska Native people in one lump sum in one package. For Congress to be put on notice that there is controversy here, that the Native community is divided is going to force us to sit down and talk to each other and negotiate out a compromise or an accommodation that is favorable to all concerned, but that's going to take time also.

ON THE ISSUE OF TRANSFERRING CORPORATION LANDS TO TRIBAL GOVERNMENTS, MANY PEOPLE FEEL THAT CAN BE DONE TODAY, INCLUDING CALISTA REGIONAL CORPORATION PRESIDENT NELSON ANGAPAK.
The right of a private corporation to transfer it's assets, including land to other third parties, is a right that is enjoyed by a private corporation. And so with that in mind, do we even need the amendment?

SUCH A TRANSFER WOULD REQUIRE A SHAREHOLDER VOTE, AND THOSE WHO DO NOT APPROVE OF THE ACTION HAVE THE RIGHT TO MAKE THE CORPORATION BUY THEIR SHARES. THE A-F-N 1991 AMENDMENTS WOULD ALLOW THE SHAREHOLDERS TO DECIDE WHETHER OR NOT TO COMPENSATE THE DISSENTERS. UNDER CURRENT LAWS THE DISSENTERS WOULD HAVE TO BE PAID.

As part of the whole 1991 package, we've included an option (JANIE LEASK) in which shareholders can make that determination, and if shareholders want to transfer all or a portion of their assets out of the corporate structure and into some other kind of structure and namely the IRA or the traditional council then they would have the opportunity to do so. We also realize that IRA's in some instances may provide greater protection than ANCSA corporations.

WHILE TRANSFER OF LANDS TO TRIBAL GOVERNMENTS IS OPTIONAL FOR THE CORPORATIONS, IT IS SEEN BY TRIBAL LEADERS AS A NECESSITY.


CHARLIE KAIRIAUAK IS PRESIDENT OF THE U-T-A, UNITED TRIBES OF ALASKA, A STATEWIDE ORGANIZATION OF NATIVE GOVERNMENTS TO WHICH ABOUT HALF OF ALASKA'S VILLAGES BELONG.
We're gonna encourage all tribal governments to get together and put their own package because, I believe contrary to what the Alaskan delegation is stressing, that we can bring those issues and concerns to Congress. If our people are not there, if they don't lobby, if they don't go down to Congress and go door to door and explain what their concerns are, those same Congressmen are not going to know the real issues, the real concerns. What I'd like for Congress to recognize is that there is an Alaska villages that do exist, and that these people have real concerns, because everyone in those villages live off the land, and they depend on the land, so the land is an economic base of those communities. ANCSA and the corporations, that system is failing. The villages are in the process of losing their lands and it worries me, because Native people are telling other Native people even with this failing system, telling them, not to talk about sovereignty, not to talk about tribal governments, not to talk about protecting their rights. It worries me.

There already has been a precedent set which I think will help the villages in Alaska, is that similar situation was created by Congress with the Menominee Indians. And the Menominee Indians through the efforts of Ada Deer, went to Congress even though their corporate leaders were telling them that they should not go down to Congress, that they would not have a chance of changing a law that Congress had passed. Even though the State legislatures were opposing that, even though the Congressional representatives were opposing that. The Menominee Indians went down. And they worked at it and they got the law changed, so the lands were given back to tribe, the tribal governments were re-recognized, and the Indian rights of the Menominee Indians were recognized.

We did something that was never done before in the history of Indian affairs, in this country and that is (ADA DEER) a grassroots movement, a major policy reversal that started at the bottom and then resulted in the passage and implementation of the Menominee Restoration Act.

U-T-A IS ASKING THEIR VILLAGES TO MAP THEIR TRADITIONAL BOUNDARIES SO THEY CAN SHOW WHERE LOCAL TRIBAL GOVERNMENTS WANT TO EXERCISE THEIR POWERS.

[Charlie Kairiauak] The villages know their jurisdictional boundaries, but they're the only ones that know that. That is until such time as the jurisdictional boundary is put on paper and legal documents are put together to show where the jurisdictional boundaries are. All this talk about Indian Country and everything else is going to be considered immaterial because there are no legal documents that people can look at. The villages themselves have to recognize them first by establishing them through legal documents. Then they can address these issues to the Federal government, and the Federal government once they recognize those jurisdictional boundaries will probably mandate the State to recognize them.

THE STATE OF ALASKA CURRENTLY CONTRACTS FOR SERVICES WITH 55 VILLAGES WHICH HAVE NATIVE GOVERNMENTS AND NO CITY GOVERNMENT. THE STATE HAS REFUSED TO RECOGNIZE TRIBAL GOVERNMENTS OFFICIALLY EXCEPT FOR THE INDIAN RESERVATION OF METLAKATLA. THERE THE TRIBAL GOVERNMENT POWERS ARE CLEARLY SPELLED OUT BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.

STATE SENATOR RICK HALFORD IS PART OF A STATE TRIBAL RELATIONS TASK FORCE TRYING TO SORT OUT SOME OF THE DIFFICULTIES THE STATE HAS WITH TRIBAL GOVERNMENTS.
I don't think the legislature can deal with tribal governments, I think the tribal government question is a Federal question. I think unless the Federal government has a clear standard and comes out and says these entities were created and were recognized before you were as a state. They were parallel to you and you therefore through our supremacy can deal with them contrary to your constitution. Unless they say that we in following our own constitution haven't got the ability to deal with tribal governments as governments on a government to government relationship. The state constitution requires that all local governmental powers be vested in cities and boroughs, and then also further states that the only entities that can be delegated taxing authority are cities and boroughs. The constitution goes on in discusses cities and boroughs in such a way they are traditional governments in the probably I'd say the European sense. The Native tribal councils, be they IRA's or traditional councils don't meet all the conditions of a local government. We can deal with them on services, as non-profit corporations, as entities, but they are not governments in the state constitutional sense, and can't be without specific federal action. And that hasn't occurred in the past so for it to occur now would be a very substantial change.

DALEE SAMBO BELIEVES THAT IT IS IMPORTANT FOR TRIBAL GOVERNMENTS TO DEMONSTRATE THEY CAN FUNCTION EFFECTIVELY AND TO GET STATE RECOGNITION.
I've seen in other parts of the United States this kind of triangle relationship in operation. The state government, the Federal government, and tribal governments working cooperatively either on a fish and game management level or in a public safety enforcement level of revenue sharing, all different kinds of activities that this triangle relationship does exist in other places and can exist here in Alaska. And I think it's about the only effective way for the State of Alaska to provide for government services on a community by community level. To provide for exclusive jurisdiction by Native peoples on Native lands. It's not something that is extreme and unique and new in Alaska, it's happened in other places on an international level and on a state by state basis.

TRIBAL GOVERNMENTS THAT ENJOY RECOGNITION BY STATES ALSO HAVE A CLEARLY DEFINED LAND BASE; THE MAJOR PROBLEM THAT ALASKA NATIVES ARE TRYING TO RESOLVE.

THE 56 VILLAGES IN SOUTHWEST ALASKA THAT BELONG TO THE ALASKA VILLAGE COUNCIL OF PRESIDENTS ARE CONSIDERING THE POSSIBILITIES OF FORMING A REGIONAL NATIVE GOVERNMENT. THEY ARE ALSO CONSIDERING A LEGAL CHALLENGE TO THE CLAIMS ACT.

IF TRIBAL GOVERNMENTS DON'T GET THE RECOGNITION THEY WANT LITIGATION IS ANOTHER ALTERNATIVE. INDIAN LAW IS EVOLVING, AND THERE ARE MANY LAWS AND POLICIES ON THE BOOKS WHICH COULD MAKE GOOD CASES. THE PROBLEM IS THAT AN UNFAVORABLE DECISION BY JUST ONE JUDGE CAN HAVE DETRIMENTAL LONG TERM EFFECTS.

THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY IS ANOTHER AREA ALASKA NATIVES ARE EXPLORING. CHARLIE KAIRIAUAK.
Native people should go to the international community, for example, in my opinion, they should go to the United Nations and take part in developing the human rights bill that is right now in the process of being developed by Indigenous people from all over the world.

THE INUIT CIRCUMPOLAR CONFERENCE IS AN INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION OF ESKIMOS FROM GREENLAND, CANADA, AND ALASKA. THE ICC HAS JUST FINISHED A TWO YEAR STUDY ABOUT ANCSA CALLED THE ALASKA NATIVE REVIEW COMMISSION. CANADIAN JUDGE THOMAS BERGER, WHO HEADED THE COMMISSION, RECOMMENDS THAT VILLAGES HAVE MAXIMUM CONTROL OF LAND, SUBSISTENCE, AND SELF-GOVERNMENT. TRIBAL GOVERNMENTS WOULD OWN AS MUCH LAND AS CORPORATIONS WOULD TRANSFER.


DALEE SAMBO IS SPECIAL ASSISTANT TO THE INUIT CIRCUMPOLAR CONFERENCE PRESIDENT.
I think that initially our sense is that the executive council supports and endorses the recommendations. However, the ICC really doesn't feel that we as an international organization that encompasses people in Canada and Greenland also, can take the lead role in affecting a positive change that embraces the Berger recommendations to move forward to Congress with. It is going to take the work of Alaska Native people. It is going to have to be the will of the Alaska Native people to effect some kind of positive change.

BERGER'S BOOK IS A MAJOR SOURCE FOR DISCUSSION AS TRIBAL LEADERS AND CORPORATE LEADERS TRY TO FIND WAYS TO BUILD A UNIFIED POLITICAL APPROACH. THE COMBINED GROUPS HAVE GREAT POTENTIAL TO MAKE MAJOR CHANGES.

JOIN US FOR OUR NEXT PROGRAM WHEN WE EXAMINE THE PRO'S AND CON'S OF THE BERGER REPORT, VILLAGE JOURNEY. FOR HOLDING OUR GROUND, THIS IS ADELINE RABOFF.

THIS PROGRAM IS PRODUCED AND WRITTEN BY JIM SYKES AND SUE BURRUS, EDITED BY SUE BURRUS, AND RESEARCHED BY FRANKIE BURRUS. ADDITIONAL TAPE WAS GATHERED BY LAURIE HILL, PATTY HARPER, AND MARK BAUMGARTNER. 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