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Native Pathways to Education
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Our Land, Our Future

Our Land, Our Future:
The 1991 Amendments to the Alaska
Native Claims Settlement Act

A Video Instructional Series for Alaska High School Students

 Teacher's Guide
By John Creed
Dixie Dayo, Researcher


Center for Alaska Native Studies
Northwest Arctic Borough School District
Kotzebue, Alaska
Susan Andrews, Director

These instructional materials have been produced by:
Center for Alaska Native Studies
Northwest Arctic Borough School District
P.O. Box 51
Kotzebue, Alaska 99752
(907) 442-3472
Jerry Covey, Superintendent

The Center for Alaska Native Studies is a curriculum development division of the Kotzebue-based Northwest Arctic Borough School District, which operates schools in 11 Inupiat Eskimo villages in Northwest Alaska.


Funding for this project
provided by the Alaska State Legislature
under a grant administered through the:

Office of Special Education and Supplemental Programs
Alaska Department of Education
Pouch F
Juneau, Alaska 99811

Copyright (c) 1988 by the Alaska Department of Education



"While we were in Washington we were being recorded by a cameraman. We were experiencing the life of a star for a while. That is, we were doing a video on the 1991 bill. We did an interview with our (Senator) Ted Stevens, which I thought was totally neat-o! We also shot scenes of us touring the capitol. It was totally awesome."
-Judy Sampson
Bear Facts
Noorvik Aqqaluk High School



Producer/Director/Writer: Susan Andrews
Interviewer: Susan Andrews
Narrator: Billie Ashcraft-Sundgren
Technical Advisor: Daniel Housberg
Graphics and Titles: Bob Curtis, The Videoplex, Anchorage
Chief Videographer: Curtis Thomas
Auxiliary Videographers: Chuck Berray, Jerry LaVine, Frank
Mojin, Steve Waller
Field Producers: John Creed, Dixie Dayo
Field Audio: David Melton
Grips: Jonathan Hale Andrews, SS. Guru Nam Singh Khalsa


Television Series Review Panel

Fred Bigjim, Author
Letters to Howard: An Interpretation of Alaska Native Land Claims

Dick Blair, Chair
Social Studies Curriculum Committee
Northwest Arctic Borough School District

Marjorie Gorsuch, Curriculum Specialist
Alaska Department of Education

Lynn Johnson, Acting Director
Chukchi College, Kotzebue

Ed Westlund, Associate Supt.
Northwest Arctic Schools

Dorothy Jordan, Director of Instruction
Yukon-Koyukuk School District

Rosita Worl, Special Asst.
Office of the Governor

Toni Kahklen-Jones, Director of Education Programs Support
Alaska Department of Education
Julie Petro, Public Affairs Coordinator
Alaska Federation of Natives

Sherry Taber, Librarian III
Juneau Public Libraries

 Panelists' review of the material does not imply endorsement. The
creators accept full responsibility for errors



 Alaska State Legislature

 Northwest Arctic Borough School District

 Jerry Covey, Superintendent
Charles Mason, Assistant Superintendent
Ed Westlund, Associate Superintendent

Northwest Arctic Borough School District Board of Education

Sophie Ferguson, President; June Nelson, Vice-President; Vincent
Schuerch, Treasurer; Bobby Schaeffer, Parliamentarian; Diana
Howarth; Helena Jones; Martha Shield; Lori Westlake.


Betty Reynoldson, Grants Manager, Alaska Department of Education
Daniel Housberg, Producer-Director, Northwest Arctic Television

Steve Cathers, English Teacher, Kotzebue High School
Alaska Federation of Natives
Close-Up Foundation
Alaska and Polar Regions, Elmer E. Rasmuson Library, University of
Alaska Fairbanks
Congressional Offices of Senators Ted Stevens and Frank Murkowski
and Alaska Representative Don Young
Pubic Broadcasting Stations: KYUK, Bethel; KUAC, Fairbanks
Commercial Broadcasting Stations: KTVF, Fairbanks; KTUU, Anchorage

 We wish to thank everyone, named and unnamed, who gave their
time unselfishly for the good of this project.



Author: John Creed
Researcher: Dixie Dayo
Editor: Susan Andrews
Reviewers: Julie Petro, John Shively


Join Us in the Nation's Capital


Our Land, Our Future represents the first major attempt to explain the 1991 amendments by video instruction to Alaska high school students. The series spotlights a group of students who flew to Washington, D.C., to meet with Alaska's congressional delegation during the spring of 1988. By and large, they are the same age as students viewing this series.

Join these young Alaskans as they travel to the nation's capital to find out how the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act's 1991 amendments passed the US. Congress. And why.


Table of Contents


CLASSROOM USE OF THIS VIDEO SERIES...................................11
BEFORE TEACHING THE 1991 AMENDMENTS..............................15
HOW TO USE THIS TEACHER'S GUIDE.......................................17
INSTRUCTIONAL FORMAT..............................................19
OUR LAND, OUR FUTURE: PART I.............................................21
OUR LAND, OUR FUTURE: PART II............................................29
OUR LAND, OUR FUTURE: PART III..........................................35
QUESTIONS................................................................ 36
TERMS....................................................................... 38
PEOPLE...................................................................... 41
OUR LAND, OUR FUTURE: PART IV......................................... 43
QUESTIONS................................................................ 45
TERMS....................................................................... 46
PEOPLE...................................................................... 48
OUR LAND, OUR FUTURE: PART V.......................................... 49
QUESTIONS................................................................ 50
BIOGRAPHIES...................................................................... 55
OUR LAND, OUR FUTURE: THE PLAYERS.........................57
OUR LAND, OUR FUTURE: THE STUDENTS...................... 68
OUR LAND, OUR FUTURE: THE CREATORS...................... 69





The teacher’s guide to Our Land, Our Future: The 1991 Amendments to the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act is designed to help high school teachers explore with their students the 1991 amendments to the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971.

A five-part series, this instructional videonot only covers the history leading up to the 1991 amendments, but also their route through Congress, what they say and do, the politics surrounding them, and what they mean for the future of all Alaskans.

Our Land, Our Future offers secondary students an overview of this far-reaching federal legislation that no doubt will touch them for the rest of their lives, or at least as long as they live in Alaska. It targets both rural and urban, Native and non-Native students with a question-and-answer format designed to highlight each segment's main points. The information is presented in a way that will interest young people in this difficult, complex subject.

All Alaskans, especially young people, need to know and understand these issues. Ideally, secondary students studying Native land claims issues today ensures a better-informed, more politically active Alaska citizenry tomorrow.

We sincerely hope you enjoy this video instructional series and find it useful to convey this important information to high school students.

No matter how electronic and sophisticated the world has become during this, the latter part of the 20th century, technology never can replace human beings when it comes to effective teaching. Ultimately, only the classroom teacher can ensure the success of these materials. Best Wishes!



Why an Alaska Native Claims
Settlement Act in the First Place?


Alaska's First Peoples

Alaska's original inhabitants are known collectively as Alaska Natives. They are divided into three groups: Indians, Eskimos and Aleuts. Alaska Natives have lived in this harsh northern land for at least 10,000 years.

The Russians Arrive

Not until about 250 years ago did outsiders become established here. The Russians first sighted the Alaska land mass in 1741. For about the next 125 years, they would exploit this vast land by harvesting sea otter, fur seal and other natural resources, and by establishing ports to pursue trade.

The Russians also exploited Alaska's human resources by subjugating Alaska's aboriginal people, primarily the Aleuts. Beginning with the Russians, whose activities during their occupation of Alaska cut the Native population by half, outsider contact almost always has caused social upheaval for Alaska Natives.

The United States Buys Alaska

Russia sold Alaska to the United States in 1867. Alaska Natives never received any of the $7.2 million paid to Russia for this massive land transfer. Natives never were consulted in the sale. It would take another 100-plus years and a substantial battle in the U.S. Congress before Natives would receive any substantial recognition of their land right

Alaska Becomes a State

After the territory of Alaska was admitted into the union in 1959, the State of Alaska began making land selections under the Statehood Act. Natives, however, became alarmed that many of these selections were in areas traditionally used and occupied by them. By 1966, a statewide group formed called the Alaska Federation of Natives, which began a united push for a fair settlement to Native land claims.

When Alaska Natives pressed their land claims with the federal government in the late 1960s, they said they never had their homeland taken from them either by an act of the U.S. Congress, or in battle, or by abandonment. They said no treaty ever had been signed giving up ownership of the land they owned by reason of historic use and occupancy.

Giant 0il Strike Helps Push Land Claims

Alaska's huge oil discovery on the North Slope in 1968, along with a land freeze imposed by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior, provided impetus to settle the Native land claims. No matter how you look at the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, this unique legislation found quicker approval in the nation’s capital because Native land claims were holding up construction of the trans-Alaska oil pipeline. This massive, unprecedented development project could not proceed until it was determined who owned the land in the pipeline’s proposed path across the state from Prudhoe Bay to Valdez.

Unlikely Partnerships Form

Powerful economic and environmental interests joined forces with Alaska Natives in the nation’s capital to settle their land claims. Huge multi-national oil companies, trade unions, construction contractors, and the State of Alaska all pushed for the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act because vast oil riches awaited development at Prudhoe Bay, and every one of these groups stood to benefit greatly.

Even environmentalists, who saw the potential for vast areas of preserves to be created in Alaska, had a stake in ANCSA. If developers and the state tasted huge economic windfalls, environmentalists saw a way for ANCSA to advance their interests as well. Indeed, the settlement act triggered events that culminated in the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act of 1980, when some 100 million acres of Alaska were added to conservation units in the United States.

Meanwhile, Alaska Natives were fighting for their land.

The Original 1971 Land Claims Settlement

Congress responded by passing the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act in 1971, and President Richard Nixon signed the bill into law on December 18 of that same year. This legislation granted Natives title to 44 million acres of land. The act also set up 13 Native regional corporations and more than 200 village corporations, capitalizing them with $962.5 million. The cash payments provided compensation to Natives for lands they had used for centuries but had lost in the settlement.

Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act: An Experiment

Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, a social experiment almost universally called "ANCSA" in Alaska, departed radically from the Indian reservation system imposed on Native Americans in the Lower 48. In fact, the settlement act, in addition to extinguishing all aboriginal rights to Alaska lands, also ended all previously established reservations and reserves, excepted for one, in the 49th state.

For Alaska Natives, this now corporate world was strange and unfamiliar. In fact, the idea of creating village and regional corporations emanated not from the Native community, but from Congress itself and the dominant culture. Nevertheless, most Native leaders felt ANCSA struck the best deal possible with the federal government because the settlement act gave Natives control over the new corporations as well as fee simple title, or outright ownership, of their land.

During congressional testimony on ANCSA, Alaska Natives had stressed that the implementation vehicle of the land claims settlement, whatever it would be, must be controlled by Natives so that ANCSA would not become a long-term paternalistic relationship with the federal government.

After the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971 was enacted, however, the people involved realized that this pioneering legislation was far from perfect. That is why Native leaders returned to Capitol Hill in the 1980s to secure changes in the form of the 1991 amendments.

ANCSA Shortfalls

The Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 197l contained serious flaws, or shortfalls.

For example, ANCSA allowed the potential for Natives to lose control of their corporations, which in turn would mean a loss of control of corporate-owned lands. In addition, ANCSA excluded Natives born since 1971 from automatically becoming shareholders in the corporations. Furthermore, Native corporations were unable to provide special benefits for elders, because ANCSA said all shareholders had to be treated equally. Also, the corporations had no way of admitting Natives who missed the original period of enrollment in the early 1970s. The 199l amendments address these issues.

But if the original ANCSA had deficiencies, so do the l991 amendments, or so say its critics. For example, the Alaska Native Coalition, a group representing about 70 village councils, withdrew its support for the amendments along the way. In fact, its members lobbied President Reagan against signing the 199l legislation into law because the amendments did not address the concerns of village tribal governments. This issue is covered in Part IV of this series.

Nevertheless, the l991 amendments still correct some broad deficiencies found in the original legislation.


So What Exactly Are These 1991
Amendments, Anyway?

The Law of the Land

Lawmakers in the nation’s capital designed the 1991 amendments to correct problems with the original ANCSA legislation. After years of debate and lobbying that began in the early 1980s both across the state and in Washington, D.C., the, U.S. Congress passed the 1991 amendments in 1987, and sent them on to the president for his signature.

On February 3, 1988, President Ronald Reagan signed the 1991 amendments into law. Reagan did not attempt a veto, despite U.S. Interior Secretary Donald Hodel's vehement objections to many of the bill’s provisions. Reagan perhaps realized that because the amendments passed Congress by an overwhelming majority, he could faced an embarrassing vote override. He signed the amendments into law.

A Big Problem Addressed

If there are provisions of the original Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971 that symbolize why Natives pushed so hard for 1991 amendments, they are the following, which in part read:

Section 7 (h) (1) . . . for a period of twenty years after the date of enactment of this Act the stock . . . may not be sold, pledged, subjected to a lien or judgement execution, assigned in present or future, or otherwise alienated.

For the first 20 years after 1971, as demonstrated in the italicized excerpt above, Native stock was to be very restricted. (It has always been legal, however, to transfer shares via inheritance, divorce or child support.)

But according to the original ANCSA legislation, what was to happen on Jan. 1, 1992? Read on:

Section 7 (h) (3) On January 1 of the twenty-first year after the year in which this Act is enacted, all stock previously issued shall be deemed to be cancelled and shares of stock of the appropriate class shall be issued without restrictions.

As you can see, by the terms of the original ANCSA legislation, on Jan. 1, 1992, Native corporate stock was to be reissued to its shareholders with no restrictions. That meant that Native shareholders could have sold their stock on the "open market" after l991 just as shareholders in other corporations do.

So what’s the big deal?

With the year l99l on their minds in the 1980s, Natives across the state feared that by allowing totally unrestricted stock sales after 1991, then the majority of stock in Native corporations one day could fall into non-Native hands.

As a result, Natives could have lost control of their corporations, and thus lost control over their traditional lands. For land-based peoples, this directly threatens their very social, economic and cultural survival.

Therein lies one of the key reasons Alaska Natives returned to the U.S. Congress: to address potential land-loss problems with the original law, which they felt needed amending.

These changes, known collectively as "the l99l amendments," are explored in this instructional series.

Native Land Protection

Apart from economic concerns, those who pushed for the 1991 amendments in Washington, D.C., harbored one overriding concern: that Native land remain forever in Native ownership, or at least for as long as Natives themselves so choose.

As with any diverse group, though, during statewide hearings on the 1991 amendments, Natives showed that they do not view their lands and corporations in a uniform way.

Many Natives, especially in rural areas, wanted to continue their traditional subsistence activities, so land protection was paramount to them. Other Natives, however, wanted to retain the option of selling their corporate shares on the open market. Therefore, the 1991 amendments had to accommodate widely varying interests within the Native community.

In any case, with passage of the 1991 amendments behind them, the Native challenge today remains the blending of centuries-old cultures with profit-making corporate structures and village tribal governments. And the ultimate concern always will be protection of the key to aboriginal survival: the land

Why Study the 1991 Amendments?

Many high school students, especially in urban areas, might think that neither the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act nor its 1991 amendments affect them. But after they consider the 49th state's roller-coaster economy and the influence that Native-owned businesses have statewide, young people soon should realize that all Alaskans have a stake in Native corporate success.

Today, village and regional corporations employ both Natives and non-Natives across the spectrum of Alaska's industries, including oil and gas development, tourism, commercial fishing, construction, mining, transportation, publishing and communications.

Natives also rank as the state's third-largest landholders. Only the state and federal governments own more land in Alaska. Indeed, Natives by far are the state's largest private landowners.

Whether one person feels the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971 never should have happened or another feels Natives should have forged a better deal, all Alaskans need to understand ANCSA and its amendments--not only to develop good citizenship skills, but because, again, Natives inevitably will continue to influence Alaska's economy and culture as the world approaches the 21st century.

Consequently, an understanding of ANCSA and its 1991 amendments remains essential to ensure the well-being of all Alaskans.


Classroom Use of This Video
Instructional Series


Instructional Use of Our Land, Our Future

This series is not a rigid, step-by-step delivery of information on ANCSA's 1991 amendments. Indeed, teachers should use this series to fit students' needs.

Because Alaska is such a sparsely populated and young state, its history seems that much closer and alive. Indeed, an issue as current as 1991 might find teachers learning this subject right along with students. Great! This material is designed for educators well versed in Native issues as well as those with limited knowledge of ANCSA and its 1991 amendments.

The instructor should not feel limited by these materials, but rather should view them as a "jumping-off point." For example, inviting a local land claims player to speak to classes would no doubt interest students. If the class wants to discuss these issues with someone who lives somewhere else, teachers might consider setting up an audioconference class. The local library, postsecondary institution or Legislative Information Office can help teachers with this.

Allow the journey to be a mutual exploration with students. With 1991 issues still developing, teachers no doubt will supplement their instruction with recent newspaper and magazine articles. (In addition, educators also can consult New Paths, Old Ways: An Alaska Native Studies Catalog for Teachers, developed as a companion piece to this instructional series by the same folks who produced this video.)

A Series for All Alaskans

Remember: Our Land, Our Future can be used in secondary classrooms statewide because the series emphasizes no one area over another. Interviewees range from regional and state leaders to Alaska's congressional delegation in Washington, D.C. Students should find the program interesting if only because they recognize so many familiar faces from Alaska public life. Also, the tape includes students their own age.

The tape itself offers varying and often conflicting viewpoints by the players in this series, reflecting a healthy example of the American democratic process. In that same spirit, expect divergent views from students on this issue. Indeed, Alaskans' opinions on this subject vary greatly. Some may speak out of passion, others out of ignorance, and still others from first-hand experience, but the ultimate goal in a free society is to allow students to think independently. Encourage them to explore why they hold whatever opinions they have.

Every student's opinion, of course, should be valued and respected.

View Each Segment More Than Once

This series contains a lot of new, complicated information. Plan, therefore, for students to view each segment more than once. Before and after each showing, introduce and review new terms and people that students will encounter. This guide offers a glossary of terms for each segment as well as a survey of main points and questions being introduced.

So before each segment, tell them what you're going to tell them, tell them again by showing the videotape, then tell them what you've told them by reviewing the questions. Take your cue from American television commercials: repetition is the mother of retention.

Don't Be Intimidated!

At first glance, the 1991 amendments may seem dreadfully dry, pedestrian, and academic. Give the material a chance. Whether in urban or rural Alaska, teachers and students alike not only should find these issues important to all Alaskans, but believe it or not, you also will find them FASCINATING.


Before Teaching The 1991


Cover ANCSA First

No study of the 1991 amendments should proceed without first understanding the original federal legislation, the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971.

Although teachers could cover the 1991 amendments without ever studying the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, students might become lost, frustrated and confused without some grounding in events leading up to these amendments. In particular, students should understand the concept of corporations and stock.

Existing ANCSA Instructional Materials

Alaskans already have produced some excellent instructional materials on this historic settlement.

In 1987, the Alaska Native Foundation released a six-part video series called ANCSA: Caught in the Act. It includes a teacher's guide with student worksheets and is available from: Alaska Native Foundation, P.O. Box 100278, Anchorage, Alaska 99510, Tel. (907) 561-7452; or from: Anchorage Film Library, 650 West International Airport Road, Anchorage, Alaska 99502, Tel. (907) 561-1132.

In 1986. the Northwest Arctic Borough School District released a five-part video series called The Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, which includes a teacher's guide with worksheets as well as a separate work of selected student readings. The address is: Northwest Arctic Borough School District, Box 51, Kotzebue, Alaska 99752 (907) 442-3472.

Another worthwhile resource is Holding Our Ground, a national award-winning, 15-part audiotape series produced by Western Media from hearings held in the mid- 1980s by Thomas Berger. This Canadian judge was hired by the Inuit Circumpolar Conference to assess ANCSA's impact on Alaska Natives. The 15 half-hour segments on eight cassettes cost $60, and transcripts also are available. Write or call: Jim Sykes, Executive Producer, Western Media Concepts, Inc., P.O. Box 100215, Anchorage, Alaska 99510. Tel. (907) 333-3513.

The Alaska Federation of Natives also has produced some excellent written materials on ANCSA and its 1991 amendments. The address is: Alaska Federation of Natives, 411 West 4th Ave., Suite 301, Anchorage, Alaska 99501, Tel. (907) 274-3611.

An Up-to-Date Bibliography Now Available

As a companion piece to this videotape series, the Center for Alaska Native Studies in Kotzebue has compiled a bibliography on ANCSA, its 1991 amendments, and numerous other Native subjects. This valuable resource, called New Paths, Old Ways: An Alaska Native Studies Catalog for Teachers, is available through the Northwest Arctic Borough School District, Box 51, Kotzebue, Alaska 99752, Tel. (907) 442-3472. Call or write today!

Teachers should find New Paths, Old Ways especially helpful when searching for supplemental materials on the settlement act, but again, this bibliography also includes entries on many other Native subjects.



Instructional Format:
How to Use this Teacher's Guide


Five-part Series

The five sections of this video instructional series vary in length from 5.5 minutes to 13.5 minutes. This video, although the centerpiece for this course of study, also allows the individual teacher flexibility in presenting the material. Teachers should feel free to adapt their lessons to individual classroom needs.

Overview of Each Segment

Part I. History: Why Did These Amendments Come About?

(12 minutes) Series host Billie Ashcraft-Sundgren takes students on a broad-brush journey through the Alaska history that set the stage for the 1991 amendments. Alaska students arrive in the nation's capital. Native leaders and members of Alaska's congressional delegation talk about Native claims and the need to correct some broad deficiencies in the original Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971.

Part II. A Civics Lesson: How Did the 1991 Amendments Pass the U.S. Congress?

(11.5 minutes) See how government works in this segment, as students follow the writing of the 1991 legislation, the bill's route through committee hearings, its vote before both houses of Congress, and signature by the president. This part not only focuses on the 1991 bill, but also offers a broader civics lesson on how all bills work their way through legislative bodies in a representative democracy.

Part III. Land Protection, New Natives

(13.5 minutes) Find out exactly what the 1991 amendments say and do, and how they address Natives' top priority: land protection. Also, learn about an emerging problem in Native corporations and Alaska society: the so-called "New Natives," or those born after the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971 became law, and therefore who are not shareholders automatically because they were born too late. Find out how the 1991 amendments address New Natives.

Part IV. Debate Over the 1991 Amendments

(11 minutes) This segment introduces the issue of sovereignty, a complex subject that is "in the news" of late and may one day be decided by the US. Supreme Court. Part IV also explains why framers of the 1991 amendments attempted to remain neutral on tribal sovereignty, and also why the Alaska Native Coalition and the US. Department of the Interior opposed the 1991 amendments.

Part V. Our Land, Our Future

(5.5 minutes) This segment discusses land and economic issues that will continue to be important to Native corporations and Native peoples, and why it is every Alaskan's business to make Native land claims work. Alaska's leaders explore the philosophy of land claims.


Explanation For Each Segment

This teacher's guide covers each of the five segments of the video instructional series. At the beginning of each segment is an explanation of issues discussed in that section. The "synopsis" for each section is in bold italics.

Question-and-Answer Section

Every section except the final one poses a handful of "questions to keep in mind" that begin and end each segment. The questions highlight major points in the series, and are designed to spark class discussion. All questions and brief answers are included in this teacher's guide, so teachers can cover the questions for each section with the class before rolling the tape.

Glossary of Groups and New Terms Discussed

Each segment introduces new terms with which students may or may not be familiar. Each part of the series includes terms introduced in that section, complete with answers, background information, and teaching tips. Teachers should cover these terms before rolling the tape, and they also should review them after showing the tape.

Some of the definitions included in each section of this guide are more general than specific to the 1991 issue, such as "US. Senate." Many students may already know them, but not always, and it is always good to review. Also, Part II, which covers how a bill becomes law, definitely covers more general civics issues not just related to the 1991 amendments. All terms are presented in this guide in the simplest way possible, so teachers can present them in an understandable fashion.

This guide also defines groups more directly involved in the 1991 amendments, such as the Alaska Federation of Natives, but it also covers more general bodies such as the US. House of Representatives. Students may not be as familiar with the Native groups, however, so teachers might consider spending extra time on these organizations.

Generally, groups, individuals and terms are presented as they relate to the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971 and its 1991 amendments.

Biographies at the Back of This Guide

This teacher's guide also includes biographies of the people involved in this instructional series. So, for more detailed information on these folks when preparing to teach each segment, simply turn to the biographies section and read up on the players!

People's insatiable interest in people should make the biographical section fascinating in itself, but this background information also will help teachers get a more rounded view of the people involved. The biographies were included in this guide and not on the tape because of the impossibility of cramming that kind of information into a video instructional format. Teachers should cover the biographies of these prominent Alaskans with students before or after rolling the video.

This teacher's guide covers the videotape segment by segment. Each section includes a simple list of the people included in that particular section. Some already may have been included in previous sections, but for consistency and to avoid confusion, all people appearing in each segment are listed in each individual section of this teacher's guide.

Before viewing each segment, teachers should use these biographies to help students understand who these people are and why they are involved in Native land issues.






Our Land, Our Future: Part I


History: Why Did the 1991 Amendments Come About?

(12 minutes) Series host Billie Ashcraft Sundgren takes students on a broad-brush journey through the Alaska history that set the stage for the 1991 amendments. Alaska students arrive in the nation's capital. Native leaders and members of Alaska's congressional delegation talk about Native claims and the need to correct some broad deficiencies in the original Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971.


This segment shows how the ancestors of today's Alaska Natives have inhabited Alaska for more than 10,000 years by gathering food from the land and sea, and now for the past 250 years, non-Natives have established roots here, building towns, farming, mining, and also hunting and fishing.

Viewers get a sense of the land-use conflicts that come to a head with the discovery of oil at Prudhoe Bay in 1968. Part I also shows how oil hastened Natives' obtaining title to their lands and compensation for lands lost through passage of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971.

This section also explores how the corporations set up by ANCSA were envisioned to become profitable and self-sufficient after 20 years, but how difficult that was for Alaska Natives who had little or no experience running corporations before the settlement act. Today, while some corporations thrive, others not only risk bankruptcy, but subsequent loss of their land, the basis of their traditional way of life.

So the Alaska Federation of Natives, which represents a majority of Natives, asked Congress for changes, called "amendments," in the settlement act. These "1991 amendments" allow for less risk of Native corporations to lose their lands through bankruptcy, taxation or other means after 1991, but also fell short of other goals many Native had for these amendments, which is discussed in Part IV.


Questions: Part I

1. How much land and money did Alaska Natives secure through the settlement act?

Natives received title to some 44 million acres of land and just under $ 1 billion, or $ 962.5 million to be exact. With that settlement, 13 Native regional corporations and more than 200 village corporations were established.

This is review material. If you already have taught ANCSA, this stuff probably is old hat, but it's good to go over again. It might be good to illustrate how much land that is, and also to show a map of Alaska from your study of ANCSA that shows the 12 regions of the state where the regional corporations are located. (The Thirteenth Regional Corp., remember, has no land base, and was set up for Natives living outside Alaska.)

2. What was a major flaw in the ANCSA legislation, and how can it be corrected?

Congress assumed that Native corporations would be sound and healthy after 20 years, but instead many corporations have found themselves struggling to stay afloat.

The Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act also said that the restriction on the sale of stock should be lifted in 1991, but many Native people thought the restrictions should continue indefinitely.

Native people corrected ANCSA by seeking amendments, or changes, to it through Congress.

The original act would have allowed Natives to sell their corporate shares to anyone they wanted after 1991. This point is pivotal. Under the newly passed 1991 amendments, Alaska Natives can't do that unless a majority of corporation shareholders vote to remove the restrictions, with some exceptions.

Emphasize the difference between the year 1991 and the 1991 amendments. The 1991 amendments are so-called because they had to become law before the year 1991, when some major provisions of ANCSA were due to expire. The 1991 amendments were signed into law February 3, 1988.

A major component of the 1991 amendments was driven by an overriding concern of many Natives that automatic land and stock protections become law so that Natives would have more flexibility in deciding if and when stock in the individual corporations would go public.

ANCSA said stock restrictions would be removed automatically after 20 years. ANCSA's 1991 amendments changed that to allow shareholders to vote when to remove restrictions. Also, the 1991 amendments say that Native corporations' undeveloped lands would not be taxed unless they are developed.

The original act of 1971 said that all lands would be taxable after 1991. A subsequent ANCSA amendment, however, (passed separately after ANCSA but before the 1991 amendments) changed that to lands not being taxed until 20 years after conveyance, because conveyances were taking longer than anticipated.

In addition, congressional intent in setting up these corporations in 1971 was that they would become part of the mainstream and not always be racially delineated, at least by law, after 1991. Does this philosophy differ from the intent of the 1991 amendments?

3. Why do we need to learn more about the land claims?

For Native students, because it's the key to your future and the future of your people. For non-Native students, because Natives are the third largest land holders in Alaska, making them a major force in Alaska's economy. Only the state and federal governments hold more land.

Originally, Congress believed that after a period of 20 years (1971-1991), Alaska's Native corporations would become profitable and self-sufficient. They were expected to perform like big corporations such as Ford Motor Company or Safeway. But because Alaska Natives had little or no experience running corporations before 1971, today, some corporations are thriving while others are at risk of losing everything, including their land, which could affect the lives of all Alaskans. The 1991 amendments to the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act offer more flexibility in dealing with these issues.

This does not imply, however, that if the Native corporations were profitable after 20 years, that Natives would try to sell their stock automatically. It would have only been an automatic option for Native corporations.


Terms: Part I

Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971. This law, which became law on December 18. 1971, and known almost universally in Alaska as "ANCSA," settled the land claims of Alaska Natives. Natives had said they were the rightful owners of Alaska, a vast land they had hunted on and fished from for thousands of years. The U.S. Congress in Washington, D.C., settled these claims by granting Natives title to 44 million acres of land. For lands lost, Natives received just under $1 billion, with which they capitalized 13 regional corporations and more than 200 village corporations.

Today, Native corporations are involved with almost every major industry in Alaska and promise to be both a cultural and economic force in Alaska well into the 21st century and beyond.

1991 Amendments. Passed overwhelmingly by the US. Congress in 1987 and signed by President Ronald Reagan on February 3,1988, these amendments seek to correct problems with the original Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971. An amendment is simply a change, or a correction. For example, the 1991 amendments provisions include the ability for Native corporations to keep their stocks from falling into non-Native hands.

Bill. A bill is a draft of a proposed law presented for approval to a legislative body. The 1991 amendments to the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act started as a bill in Congress. A bill in Congress becomes law only when signed by the president or if Congress overrides a presidential veto.

The Capitol. The building in Washington, D.C., occupied by the Congress of the United States. This is where the battle over the 1991 amendments to the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act was waged.

Capitol Hill. The U.S. Congress, which includes both the House and the Senate. That's where people interested in passing the 1991 amendments lobbied and negotiated in the mid-1980s.

Statehood. Alaska became the 49th state, or it "achieved statehood," in 1959. That's what people mean in Alaska when they talk about "statehood." Before it became a state, Alaska had been a territory of the United States since 1867, when the United States government purchased Alaska from the Russian government. The Russians had been settling Alaska since the 1740s. The Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971 is one of the most significant events in Alaska since statehood.


Groups: Part I

Alaska Federation of Natives. First organized in 1966 to push for a settlement of Native land claims in Alaska, the Alaska Federation of Natives, called AFN for short, found success in passage of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971. AFN, an advocacy and lobbying group for Native issues based in Anchorage, worked for passage of the 1991 amendments, which became law in 1988.

United States Congress. Congress consists of two bodies of elected representatives, the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives, which pass laws on the national level. Each state elects two senators. A state’s population determines its number of representatives. Because Alaska's population is so small, it has one lone member of the House. The 1991 amendments passed Congress before going to the president to be signed into law.

Alaska Natives. The original inhabitants of the 49th state are called Alaska Natives, which is the most accepted reference--not Alaskan Natives, Native Alaskans, or native Alaskans. The three main distinct groups are Indians, Eskimos and Aleuts, who represent many languages and distinctly different cultures.

Alaska Natives migrated from Asia over the Bering Sea land bridge thousands of years ago. Natives once made up 100 percent of Alaska's population. For at least 10,000 years, they lived off the land and waterways by hunting, fishing and gathering. Today, Natives make up between 10 and 15 percent of Alaska's population and live in Alaska's cities as well as outside the state. Nevertheless, many Natives still live traditionally from subsistence activities in rural settlements across the state.

Non-Natives. For purposes of this instructional material, non-Natives generally are Alaskans who are not Natives, and who began arriving in the state about 250 years ago. Today, most of Alaska's 525,000 or so people are non-Native, who came to Alaska and built towns, farmed, mined for gold, and also hunted and fished. Also, in this series, non-Native could refer to those not living in Alaska but who might be interested in buying stock in Native corporations.

Native Regional Corporations. The U.S. Congress set up 13 of these for-profit, Native-owned businesses through the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, which was signed on December 18.1971, by President Richard Nixon. Generally, Alaska Natives alive before the act passed in 1971 were eligible to become shareholders in these regional corporations. Although it never has been a requirement. most shareholders live in the region of their corporation's base. For example, Doyon, Ltd., is the Native regional corporation representing most interior Alaska Athabascan Indians born before ANCSA passed in 1971.

Today, Native corporations play an integral role in Alaska's economy.

Native Village Corporations. Congress also set up more than 200 of these smaller village corporations through the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act. For example, Kikiktagruk Inupiat Corporation (K.I.C.), a Native-owned business in Kotzebue, is the village corporation for Kotzebue Natives. Generally speaking, Kotzebue Natives who were alive when the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act became law in 1971 are K.I.C. shareholders.


People: Part I

For more detailed information on the people involved in this video instructional series, see the biography section of this teacher's guide.

Billie Ashcraft-Sundgren. Series narrator and Native broadcast journalist from Fairbanks.

Willie Hensley. State Senator from Kotzebue by appointment until January 1989, and one of the first Natives to fight for the original Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971.

Stewart Udall. U.S. Secretary of the Interior from 1961 until 1969 during the Kennedy and Johnson administrations. Udall imposed a land freeze on the State of Alaska to prevent the selection of Native lands until the land claims were settled.


Our Land, Our Future: Part II


A Civics Lesson: How Did the 1991 Amendments Pass the U.S. Congress?

(11.5 minutes) See how government works in this segment, as students follow the writing of the 1991 legislation, the bill's route through committee hearings, its vote before both houses of Congress, and signature by the president. This part not only focuses on the 1991 bill, but also offers a broader civics lesson on how all bills work their way through legislative bodies in a representative democracy.


After the historical briefing of Part I, students are now ready to see how the 1991 amendments passed the US. Congress. Through a narrative explanation by U.S. Representative Don Young, R-Alaska, and with assistance from illustrative graphics, viewers see how a bill moves through the Congress after it has been drafted by interested parties.

This section shows how the first 1991 bill died in the U.S. Senate in 1986, and how a new one, entered in the House in January 1987, passed the House, moved to the U.S. Senate and passed, then went on the the president for his signature on February 3, 1988.


Questions: Part II

1. How long did it take to draft the 1991 legislation and pass it through Congress?

The process began in 1982 with the Alaska Federation of Natives. President Ronald Reagan signed the bill in February 1988, so the process took roughly six years.

Naturally, passing the 1991 amendments was neither simple nor cheap. Native groups spent millions of dollars for lawyers, who had to write legally appropriate legislation, and for Native and non-Native lobbyists on Capitol Hill. Lobbyists' job was to try to influence the nation's elected representatives that these amendments were worthwhile, important and necessary.

It might be important to remind students that most bills introduced never become law. Some say passage of these amendments was a tremendous feat by those involved. Others argue that although it indeed took a lot of time and money, most members of Congress had no real reason to block the bill's passage because it only affected Alaska directly. What do students think?

2. What sort of process is used to pass a bill through Congress?

A bill is assigned to a series of committees, and assuming it is moved out of committee, it then goes to the floor for a vote. Once both the Senate and House have approved it, the two chambers must work out their differences, often in a conference committee.

Any good written material at the appropriate grade level can be used to cover this material. It's as American as apple pie, although the theory and practice of the process differ radically. Do students understand and realize that?

3. Why is a bill routed through committees?

This enables lawmakers to take public testimony from many different people and to work out the major problems in the bill before it goes to the floor for a vote.

It might be interesting to make students aware of how powerful committees are in determining the life and death of a bill. In addition, teachers might cover briefly why it is so important which political party controls either or both houses of Congress. Also, committees allow small groups of lawmakers to deal with legislation instead of every bill coming before the entire Congress for all hearings and debates, which would be an impossible situation.


Terms: Part II

Bill. A draft of a proposed law presented for approval to a legislative body. The 1991 amendments started in the House of Representatives. Senators Frank Murkowski and Ted Stevens introduced another version of the 1991 bill in the Senate. Bills must be passed by both houses in identical form before they can be sent to the president for his signature. Bills originating in the House are prefixed with "H.R." which stands for House of Representatives. Bills originating in the Senate are prefixed with an "S." All bills are assigned a number. The l991 amendments, for example, were introduced into the House of Representatives as HR.278, also called House Bill 278.

Drafting a Bill. Before a bill ever is introduced, it first must be written or "drafted." The 1991 amendments were drafted primarily by lawyers, who draft most bills because of all the legal technicalities.

Committees and Sub-Committees. This is where the life or death of most bills is determined. Bills are assigned to a congressional committee, where they come under the sharpest focus. It is where most changes, or amendments, to a bill occur. Failure of a committee to act on a bill is equivalent to killing it, and the majority of bills introduced never make it out of committee. For example, the first 1991 bill, introduced in 1986. died in Senate committee. So in January 1987, the process had to begin anew. Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, introduced H.R. 278, which was referred to the House Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs.

Public Testimony. The U.S. Congress usually takes testimony from interested parties on a given bill. Although testimony on the 1991 amendments bill was taken in full view of the public, not all hearings are conducted like that. On many occasions, especially for military intelligence matters, hearings will be held in private to protect, for example, national security.

Lobbyist. An individual, who also can be part of a group, hired to influence legislators, especially in favor of a special interest. In addition to Natives working as lobbyists themselves, Native groups also hired lobbyists in the nation's capital to work on the 1991 amendments.

Compromise. A settlement of differences where each side makes concessions.

Alaska Natives voted to give up their quest for a tribal option in the 1991 bill that would have allowed Native corporations to transfer lands over to tribal governments. A majority believed the tribal option was politically infeasible due to opposition from Alaska's governor, Alaska's congressional delegation, and the Reagan administration. While these political leaders did not specifically oppose the tribal option, they said they would not support pro-sovereignty language in the bill. They perceived the tribal option as pro-sovereignty.

In order to get the 1991 amendments passed and subsequently benefit from their many critical provisions, Alaska Natives had to "compromise" on the bill, a typical order of business in a representative democracy.

Floor of the House, Floor of the Senate. When a bill reaches the "floor" of either congressional house, it is ready to be debated and then voted on.

Debate. After a bill reaches the floor, lawmakers "debate" the merit of the bill depending on how they feel about it. They are now "considering" a bill, with lawmakers trying to convince colleagues to their point of view.

AFN Convention. The Alaska Federation of Natives, which represents a majority of Alaska Natives at the statewide level, holds a convention each October.

Veto. The president can "veto" a bill, or reject it, if he does not agree with it. He can do this only after it has passed both houses of Congress, the US. House and the US. Senate. but that's not always the end of lt. The House and Senate can override, or overrule, a presidential veto, and make the bill a law over the president's objections, but only with a two-thirds majority vote of both houses. President Ronald Reagan made no apparent attempt to veto the 1991 amendments after the bill passed Congress. He signed it into law on February 3,1988.

Alaska Native Coalition. A Native-interest group representing about 70 village councils and other regional Native organizations. The Alaska Native Coalition formed after United Tribes of Alaska disbanded. The coalition supported the 1991 amendments to the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act until provisions the group wanted were taken out of the legislation.


People: Part II

For more detailed information on the people involved in this video instructional series, see the biography section of this teacher's guide.

Don Young. Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Alaska since his first election in 1973.

Frank Murkowski. Republican senator from Alaska since his first election in 1980.

Morris Thompson. Co-chair of the AFN Convention during key negotiations over the 1991 amendments in 1987. Also president of Doyon, Ltd., one of Alaska's largest Native regional corporations.

Ted Stevens. Republican U.S. Senator from Alaska since his appointment in 1968.

Janie Leask. President, Alaska Federation of Natives, and head of the AFN during passage in Congress of the 1991 amendments to the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971.

John Borbrldge. Chief lobbyist, Alaska Native Coalition.



Our Land, Our Future: Part III


Land Protection, New Natives

(13.5 minutes) Find out exactly what the 1991 amendments say and do, and how they address Natives' top priority: land protection. Also, learn about an emerging problem in Native corporations and Alaska society: the so-called "New Natives," or those born after the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971 became law, and therefore who are not shareholders automatically because they were born too late. Find out how the 1991 amendments address New Natives.


In Part III of Our Land, Our Future, viewers see exactly how who 1991 amendments address the important issue of protecting Native-owned land in Alaska, Natives' absolute priority. Also, students with find out about a provision of the bill that affects young Natives their own age, especially those born after 1971.

Viewers in this segment learn the difference between developed and undeveloped Native-owned land, and how the Native Land Bank, an automatic provision of the 1991 amendments, works.

Also, this section covers how the amendments corrected a "flaw" In the original legislation that would have allowed for non-Native takeover of Native corporations and land. With the 1991 amendments, shareholders in individual Native corporations can continue to restrict the sale of corporate stock to non-Natives.

In addition, this section covers "Now Natives" born after Dec. 18, 1971, who were not included automatically as shareholders in the original Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971. In fact, two students in this segment illustrate this problem pointedly: Clara Henry, born before the cut-off date, is a shareholder. Glenda Carter, born after the cut-off date, is not a shareholder.

Part III also Illustrates how thorny the question of New Natives Is because It addresses critical Issues such as disenfranchisement and dilution of existing corporate stock. Final moments of this section touch briefly on 1991 provisions that address the Issue of Natives who missed the original period of corporation enrollment as well as the option to provide special stock to Native elders.


Questions: Part III

1. What was the main objective of the 1991 amendments?

The main objective was to protect the land. Today, Native land still can be lost, but it less likely now than it was before the 1991 amendments were passed.

This issue can spawn interesting class discussions, such as the difference between how Natives traditionally have vowed their land versus how European Americans regard land. All civilizations must have land to flourish, but a people's relationship to their land largely determines how they use the land and treat each other.

A question arises about how radically the 1991 amendments have changed the intent of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act. While reservations in the Lower 48 were set up as a conscious recognition of the difference between Native Americans and their oppressors, the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, in its original intent at least, seemed to set up American-style corporations to allow Natives eventually to become part of mainstream America.

Indeed, the lack of restriction on Native stock in the corporations after 20 years is evidence enough that Congress believed that by 1991 Natives would be "ready" for the mainstream. The 1991 amendments, on the other hand, allow individual corporations, on their own choosing, to remain separate Native-owned and Native-controlled entities. How different is this from the original intent of Congress?

2. How do the 1991 amendments differ from the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971?

The 1991 amendments provide more options and more flexibility for shareholders than ANCSA did. For example, the 1991 amendments provide automatic land-bank protections, and in most cases, continue the restriction on the sale of stock beyond 1991.

The 1991 amendments also give Natives more choice in running their corporations than they enjoyed under the original legislation, the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act. Shareholders also now have the option to provide special stock to elders and to include in their corporations both New Natives as well as those who missed the original period of enrollment.

Remember: ANCSA of 1971 allowed sale of Native-owned stock on the open market 20 years after the original legislation passed, but the 1991 amendments modified that provision considerably. For example, they allow shareholders in each corporation to decide if and when they want their stock to go public.

Under ANCSA with no 1991 amendments, Congress said stock would go public after 1991. The 1991 amendments changed the decision-making from Congress mandating to shareholders deciding for themselves.

Before the 1991 amendments passed, instituting land protections was complicated, costly and time-consuming. With the 1991 amendments now law, land bank protections are automatic.

As for stock restrictions, again, they were to expire under ANCSA after 1991. Under the 1991 amendments, stock restrictions generally will continue unless shareholders of individual corporations vote to remove stock restrictions, with some exceptions. Under ANCSA, Congress made these kinds of decisions. Now, under the 1991 amendments, shareholders and corporate boards decide, not Congress. So we're seeing big changes.

3. How did the 1991 amendments address the issue of New Natives?

The 1991 amendments give Native corporations the option of including New Natives as shareholders.

The issue of New Natives could not be more relevant to high school students today. Whether teachers have no Natives, some Natives, or all Natives in their classroom in any corner of this vast state, high school students can relate to this issue because it affects young people their own age. Perhaps teachers have examples in their classes of New Natives. This surely will trigger some lively class discussion.


Terms: Part III

Developed Lands. Developed lands in this series refers to tracts owned by Native corporations and used for industrial development, such as mining. For example, NANA Regional Corporation in Northwest Alaska is developing some of its land for the Red Dog lead and zinc mine near Noatak. After 1991, this can no longer be considered subsistence use or undeveloped property, and at that time is subject to property taxes and even foreclosure through bankruptcy. That's because under the 1991 amendments, Native corporations still risk losing their developed lands, although outside takeover of undeveloped lands is now less likely.

Undeveloped Lands. For the purposes of this video series, undeveloped lands refer to Native-owned land not used for industrial development. Native corporations have ways, since passage of the 1991 amendments, to protect their undeveloped lands for subsistence and other purposes. Undeveloped lands cannot be lost through taxation, adverse possession (such as squatters), or bankruptcy, because they automatically are protected in a land bank.

Land Bank Protections. Under the 1991 amendments, if Native-owned land is not developed, it automatically has "land bank" protections. This concept of putting land in a "bank" is more metaphorical than literal, but the protections are real nonetheless, just as depositors in a commercial bank can expect protections for their money by depositing it there.

Under the 1991 amendments, Native corporations automatically have land bank protections to protect undeveloped lands from being bought by non-Native interests. Under land bank protections, undeveloped Native-owned lands are immune from judicial foreclosure, from adverse possession, from bad debts, and from other legal proceedings that corporations may have incurred from business ventures.

Uniformity. While the original ANCSA bill treated all Native corporations the same, the 1991 amendments do not require such rigid "uniformity." In Part III, Republican Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska talks about not requiring "uniformity" of Native corporations as a result of the 1991 amendments. For example, under the 1991 amendments, Natives have the option of selling their stock or continuing the restrictions on the sale of stock, with some exceptions. It is up to shareholders to vote on these options.

Flexibility. Here is another word used in this series that students may not fully understand without help. The 1991 amendments to the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act were designed to be more "flexible." What does this mean? When we are physically flexible as human beings, it means we can stretch our bodies a lot and we are not stiff and rigid. If we can bend over and touch our toes without bending our knees, for example, we are said to have flexibility.

When we say these 1991 amendments are flexible, it means they offer more options to Native corporations. The amendments allow Native people more choice, or more flexibility, in how to control their corporate stock. For example, in the spirit of flexibility, shareholders of one corporation may choose to restrict the sale of their stock indefinitely, while shareholders in another corporation may decide to sell their stock on the open market.

New Natives. New Natives, also called "afterborns" (Note: Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, calls them "newborns" in Part III), are those Natives born after the cut-off date of December 18, 1971. Natives who were living on that date automatically were eligible to be Native corporation shareholders; Natives born after that date are not, and, according to the original act, Could only receive stock through inheritance.

The 1991 amendments give corporations the right to include New Natives, but only if shareholders choose to do so. In addition, under the 1991 amendments, grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles can transfer their stock while still living to other Natives, including New Natives, or afterborns.

Part III spotlights Clara Henry, a junior at Kotzebue High School and a shareholder, and Glenda Carter, a Kotzebue sophomore and a "New Native."

Dilution of Stock. Although many corporations may vote to include New Natives on their corporate rolls, this move also could risk economic disaster if Now Natives "dilute" the stock of their corporations. The videotape illustrates the problem of New Natives by using the analogy of a loaf of bread. Today, the loaf is divided into ten slices. If it were divided into 20 slices, each slice would be twice as small.

Applying this analogy to Native corporations, if New Natives suddenly come onto corporate rolls, the shares suddenly would have to be divided among many more shareholders. So the slice of bread is feeding more people, but making each slice smaller. This is an illustration of how Native corporate stock can become diluted.

Disenfranchised. State Sen. Willie Hensley, D-Kotzebue, uses the term "disenfranchised" in Part III when he refers to New Natives.

"The earlier act (ANCSA of 1971 ) more or less disenfranchised those who were born after 1971," Hensley says. "They have no economic interest in the corporation."

The American Heritage Dictionary defines disenfranchised this way: "to deprive (an individual) of a right of citizenship, especially the right to vote." The 1991 amendments address New Natives. For example, shareholders of individual corporations can vote to include them. Also, under the 1991 amendments, parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, while Still living, now may transfer stock to children, including New Natives. New Natives, like all Natives, can still receive stock through inheritance.

Nevertheless, whole groups of young Native people still risk being disenfranchised, or locked out, from admittance into their village and regional corporations if current shareholders in individual corporations vote not to include New Natives as shareholders. Even though the 1991 amendments address the issue, the New Native problem still could pose a serious threat to the Alaska Native community.

New Enrollees. One provision in the 1991 amendments allows Native corporations to include Alaska Natives who missed the original period of enrollment laid down by the original ANCSA legislation.

Special Stock for Elders. The 1991 amendments allow Native corporations the option to provide special stock for Natives who are 65 years of age or older. This is a way of recognizing the special status of older in the Native community. Also, under the 1991 amendments, parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, while still living, now may transfer stock to children.


People: Part III

For more detailed information on the people involved in this video instructional series, see the bibliography section of this teacher’s guide.

Steve Cowper. Democratic governor of Alaska since his election in 1986.

Janie Leask. President, Alaska Federation of Natives since 1982.

Frank Murkowski. Republican senator from Alaska since first being elected in 1980.

Ted Stevens. Republican senator from Alaska since 1968.

Morris Thompson. Chief executive officer, Doyon, Ltd. the Native regional corporation for interior Alaska.

Willie Hensley. Democratic state senator from Kotzebue until January 1989, appointed to complete the term of former Sen. Frank Ferguson, who retired due to illness. Hensley also is president of NANA Regional Corporation.

Clara Henry. Kotzebue High School junior and a Native shareholder.

Glenda Carter. Kotzebue High School sophomore and a New Native, or non-shareholder because she was born after Dec. 18, 1971.

Al Adams. Democratic member, Alaska House of Representatives, from Kotzebue.

Don Young. A Republican and Alaska's lone member of the US. House of Representatives in Washington, D.C., since first being elected in 1973.


Our Land, Our Future: Part IV


Debate Over the 1991 Amendments

(11 minutes) This segment introduces the issue of sovereignty, a complex subject that is "in the news" of late and may one day be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court. Part IV also explains why framers of the 1991 amendments attempted to remain neutral on tribal sovereignty, and also why the Alaska Native Coalition and the U.S. Department of the Interior opposed the 1991 amendments.


As Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, says in this segment, the 1991 amendments to the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971 saw substantial opposition from the federal government as well as some Alaska Native groups.

This segment covers the move by many Alaska Natives to opt out of the corporate system set up by ANCSA in favor of system they believe is more in line with Native culture and traditions. Viewers learn how frustrated many Natives in villages across the state had become with the settlement act.

Students are introduced to a book called Village Journey, written by Canadian justice Thomas Berger. As head of the Alaska Native Review Commission, Berger traveled across Alaska from 1983 to 1985 taking testimony from Alaska Natives, who by and large said they were dissatisfied with the corporate structure established by ANCSA.

Berger, among other things, has recommended that Natives transfer corporate lands at the village level into tribal governments (or IRA councils) set up by the federal Indian Reorganization Act of the 1930s.

"Deep structural flaws in ANCSA make it likely that Native people will lose their land," Berger has said, although this was before the 1991 amendments became law.

Students will see in Part IV how some Native leaders wanted language in the 1991 bill that would have allowed Natives a way to opt out of the corporate system. Some Natives lobbied heavily for a "tribal option" in the 1991 amendments, which would have enabled them to transfer control of their lands to tribal governments, or IRA (Indian Reorganization Act) councils.

Nevertheless, these Natives faced stiff opposition from Alaska’s congressional delegation and governor as well as the U.S. Secretary of Interior and others, who believed that the tribal option could be used to advance legal arguments for Native sovereignty. Students learn that the right of Natives to govern themselves is grounded in federal Indian law, but that federal Indian law and the laws of the State of Alaska don’t always agree.

At this writing, several sovereignty cases face the courts. No doubt the final battle on sovereignty will be waged before the U.S. Supreme Court. Framers of the 1991 amendments attempted to remain neutral on this issue, although during the process no broad agreement ever was reached on a definition for neutrality on sovereignty.

In addition, Part III reveals that Interior Secretary Donald Hodel also opposed the 1991 amendments, but for different reasons. Hodel felt the 1991 amendments did not do enough to advance the rights of the individual shareholder to opt out of the corporations. Students learn what "dissenter’s rights" are in this segment, as well as the conflict between individual rights versus group rights.


Questions: Part IV

1. What is meant by sovereignty?

Sovereignty means having the authority to govern oneself.

No simple sentence ever is going to define this controversial issue. Again, the right of Native Americans to govern themselves is rooted in federal Indian law. Nevertheless, a main question, ultimately to be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court, is what tribal rights have existed and which ones continue to exist.

The sovereignty issue is complex, controversial, and emotional, and probably might be tough to handle briefly with high school students. We strongly suggest bringing additional materials into the classroom, such as topical newspaper articles, to address the issue. Perhaps a knowledgeable attorney could speak to students about sovereignty, either in person or by audioconference.

2. What Native group lobbied President Reagan against signing the 1991 legislation into law? Why?

The Alaska Native Coalition asked President Reagan to veto the bill because the coalition felt the legislation did not address the needs of village tribal governments.

3. Why did the U.S. Department of the Interior oppose the 1991 amendments?

The Secretary of the Interior, Donald Hodel, believed that the 1991 amendments discriminated against the individual because the bill did not require all corporations to require dissenter’s rights.

This is still one more opportunity to discuss with students the vast difference in how European Americans and Native Americans view the world.

Respect for the individual remains a basic belief of all Americans today. Native Americans’ traditional values, on the other hand, hold that group’s rights reign over individual rights, an idea that has proved essential for survival. Denying dissenter’s rights invites a constitutional challenge for individual rights, but to invoke the U.S. Constitution raises questions of Natives’ special relationship with the federal government (which is spelled out in the Constitution).


Terms: Part IV

Tribal government. Alaska Natives who opposed the 1991 amendments did so because they felt that this legislation did not meet the needs of village tribal governments. These Natives believe that the American-style corporate structure does not function well for Natives, especially those at the village level. These Natives say that tribal governments, the right for which is firmly grounded in federal law, fit in better with Alaska Natives’ lifestyle because Natives understand tribal governance better.

Tribal Option. As leaders of the Alaska Native Coalition, both Willie Kasayulie and John Borbrldge sought legislation that would allow Natives a way to opt out of the corporate system. They lobbied heavily for what was called the "tribal option" in the 1991 amendments. Among other things, the tribal option would have enabled Native corporations to transfer control of their lands to tribal governments. That way, the lands could have been managed by the tribe rather than the corporation. Advocates for this point of view said this would be a step in the right direction for villages. Opponents said such a provision in the 1991 bill could have set the stage for Native tribal sovereignty.

Native Sovereignty. Sovereignty means the ability to govern oneself, a right of Natives that is grounded in federal law. Nevertheless, sometimes federal Indian law and the laws of the State of Alaska do not agree. In fact, several sovereignty cases currently are being tried in Alaska courts, with the distinct probability that those cases ultimately will be decided before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Neutral on Sovereignty. Students should understand the concept of neutrality for this segment. Neutrality, of course, means not being allied with, supporting of, or favoring either side in a war, dispute or contest. The 1991 amendments were written to be neutral on the sovereignty issue, although all groups and individuals never agreed on what was neutral. Framers of the 1991 amendments tried to leave sovereignty out of the legislation by attempting to remain "neutral" on the issue.

Nevertheless, as Sen. Frank Murkowski, R-Alaska, says on the tape: "Everyone agreed it should be neutral. But it was difficult for the attorneys to agree on what was meant by neutral. The interpretation of what's neutral to one attorney may not be neutral to another." For this reason, and others, the tribal option never was included in the 1991 amendments.

Dissenter's Rights. A dissenter, for the purposes of the 1991 amendments to the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, is a person who does not agree with the majority of other shareholders. Under the 1991 legislation, it's up to the shareholders in a corporation to decide whether to grant what are called "dissenter's rights."

A corporation with dissenter’s rights is obligated to buy out the dissenter’s stock. That way, the dissenter who is not happy with the decisions of the majority can cash out--in other words, get out of the corporation with money in his pocket. But a corporation that does not grant dissenter’s rights is not obligated to buy out the dissenter's stock. In such a case, dissenters could continue to belong to the corporation and choose not to participate, or they could transfer their stock to someone else. But they could not sell their stock.

Involuntarily Dissolved. Willie Kasayulie, a Native leader from the Bethel area, uses the term "involuntarily dissolved" in Part IV of this series when describing what has happened to some Native corporate structures "because of lack of understanding of the corporate system. "Involuntarily" means to do so against one's will, and "dissolved" means to bring to an end.

Tyranny of the Majority. Tyranny means absolute power. The Bill of Rights in the U.S. Constitution is designed to protect the rights of the individual over the will, or "tyranny" of the majority. For example, the First Amendment guarantees free speech. That means that the individual can exercise his or her free speech even when that opinion does not conform with the view of the majority, and even the vast majority. Those who would try to silence such a person would be violating the speaker's right to free speech. If people cannot voice minority opinions, they may well be victims of "tyranny of the majority."


People: Part IV

For more detailed information on the people involved in this video instructional series, see the biography section of this teacher's guide.

Ted Stevens. Republican senator from Alaska since 1968.

Thomas Berger. Canadian justice who wrote Village Journey, a report commissioned by the Inuit Circumpolar Conference.

John Borbrldge. Chief lobbyist, Alaska Native Coalition.

Willie Kasayulie. President, Association of Village Council Presidents.

Frank Murkowski. Republican senator from Alaska since first elected in 1980.

Donald Hodel. Secretary of the Interior in President Ronald Reagan's administration.



Our Land, Our Future: Part V

Our Land, Our Future

(5.5 minutes) This segment discusses land and economic issues that will continue to be important to Native corporations and Native peoples, and why it is every Alaskan's business to make Native land claims work. Alaska's leaders explore the philosophy of land claims.

Part V breaks from the format of previous sections. The narrator, for example, does not introduce any formalized questions at the beginning to be answered at the end. Rather, this part offers many open -ended questions with no "real" answers.

Much of the narrative you find in this section also can be found on the video instructional tape. By now, students should be familiar with these faces, having met most players in previous segments. This time, however, these Alaska leaders ponder the more philosophical aspects of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act and its 1991 amendments.


This section explains that students Glenda, Clara, Kim, Judy and Naomi have long since left Washington, D.C., and that although they don't know what the future will bring, a look at the past always can give clues.

Mitch Demientieff heads the Tanana Chiefs Conference, a major non-profit Native organization in the interior of Alaska. He says Natives’ fight to keep traditional lands from outsider takeover goes back a long time:

"Long before the claims act was settled, our chiefs, our grandfathers before us met and discussed issues of land, and how to keep that land-how to protect it, what goes on with it," Demientieff says. "I don’t see any changes in this now. Maybe we meet in slightly different halls, but we’re still doing the same thing. And I think that’s the legacy we’re going to leave for our children and grandchildren."


Questions: Part V

The following questions appear in Part V of this video instructional series. These questions are broad and open-ended, and are designed to stimulate discussion and debate. Remind students that these questions have no correct answers, and that they actually create more questions than answers.

1. Should Native corporations develop their lands? If not, why not? If so, which ones should be developed?

Remember, developed lands still can be lost through bankruptcy and taxation.

This is a difficult issue. As the outside, industrialized world continues to expand into every corner of this planet, aboriginal peoples across Alaska will face now challenges to retain their lands for hunting, fishing and gathering. Although most of Alaska remains roadless, population expansion worldwide in the 21st century will continue to encroach on traditional lands. How does population growth affect land use?

Alaska, with its storehouse of natural resources, has industrialized countries looking north with the need to develop sufficiently to feed, clothe and house their people. Native corporations probably will feel tremendous pressure in the 21st century to develop their land and resources, perhaps both from outside forces as well as from within.

In addition, Alaska’s non-Native population will continue to expand. Land, like oil, is a non-renewable resource. There won't over be any more land made, and the earth’s resource-hungry, burgeoning population surely will affect Alaska significantly in the future. How will this affect Alaska’s way of life?

The dilemma: should Native corporations develop their lands to provide higher shareholder employment and dividend checks, or should the land remain in its untouched, wild state, for present and future generations to use for subsistence?

2. Which lands should be left undeveloped?

Undeveloped lands, remember, are protected automatically in a land bank and are immune from bankruptcy and taxation.

What Native-owned land should be developed, if any? Certainly, lands used for subsistence probably will remain the top priority on all Native corporations' list to remain undeveloped. But who makes these decisions? The corporations ' boards of directors and shareholders do. These all are big questions for students to think about.

2. Do Natives want to sell their stock on the open market, or should the restrictions on the sale of stock continue indefinitely?

This question has been posed in previous parts, although not quite in this way. The 1991 amendments do indeed allow all Natives both options. These are questions that only Native shareholders themselves can and should answer.

3. Should New Natives and those who missed the original period of enrollment be included as shareholders in the corporations, and should special stock be awarded to elders?

The answers to these questions will be important not just to Native corporation shareholders, but to all Alaskans. After all, Native corporations play a major role in the state’s economy.

Again, this simply reviews issues raised in previous segments. The question of New Natives will continue to challenge Native corporations for years to come. As for new enrollees who missed the initial period of enrollment, this is definitely a smaller question than the one about New Natives, because of the significantly fewer potential new enrollees as opposed to the burgeoning numbers of New Natives born every year.

The issue of the special stock issued to elders can again center on the reverence that Natives have for the oldest members of their societies. Elders hold special status in Native cultures, something unparalleled for their American elderly counterparts, who often are "warehoused" in hospitals and nursing homes in their old age to live out their days separated from the mainstream of American life.


Parting Words from Alaska Leaders

The following comments are almost straight from the video, included here for the benefit of teachers, who may want to photocopy this sheet for student use.

Native corporations generate a lot of jobs for Alaskans, according to Alaska Gov. Steve Cowper.

"The regional corporations and the village corporations not only hire their own shareholders to a great degree and thereby take care of a lot of unemployment problems that we've got, but they also generate a lot of jobs for non-Native people in Alaska as well," says Cowper. "The strength and viability of the regional and village corporations are tremendously important to Alaska."

Morris Thompson, president of Fairbanks-based Doyon, Ltd., feels the same way, as he relates in Part V:

"Native corporations in Alaska are becoming big business. We are becoming some of the key economic fabric of this state, and so if we can stabilize our total state, it can only help," Thompson says.

For many Natives such as John Borbridge, the 1991 amendments left a major question unanswered: when will tribal concerns be addressed?

"I don't think we can begin to pretend that corporations can function out here very well, successfully, and may be well-financed, while we accept the proposal that over here, tribal governments will not work, (and) that they will not be able to overcome the barriers that are placed before them," says Borbridge, chief lobbyist for the Alaska Native Coalition. "I think we need to look at ourselves as one people, with tribal governments and corporations serving us. They all have got to work."

Ultimately, of course, the future belongs to you, the young people. But you might be asking yourselves:

How do I Get Involved?

"Work hard," says Mitch Demientieff, president of Tanana Chiefs Conference in Fairbanks.

"Study land issues," he says. "Complex. Continually work at it. Continually learn new things. You learn new vehicles. New thoughts. Old vehicles, old thoughts. You study. You make yourself aware. You count on the wisdom of people that have fought to protect Native lands before you. And you use the good decisions of your people to lead you to continue to protect the land."

Judy, Naomi, Kim, Clara and Glenda already have take some of that advice by learning more about how government works through the Close-up program in Washington, D.C. You can do that, too.

Get Involved!

Or how about working as an intern in the state capitol?

You see, if you get involved now, someday you will be a leader of the people.

"The Native people are the third largest landholders in the state behind the federal government and the state, and so we own some very key lands," says state Sen. Willie Hensley. "It's going to be the obligation of the future generations to protect it in every way possible."

As you see, this part asks more questions than it answers, as it's designed to ask students questions with no real, definite answers. This segment is designed to stimulate class discussion on this important issue to all Alaskans. Good luck!



 Our Land, Our Future:
The 1991 Amendments to the Alaska
Native Claims Settlement Act




These biographies are designed to give teachers and students as much information as possible about those involved in this instructional video series. Entries are in alphabetical order, and after each name is the title that person held at the time of publication of this teacher's guide. Many of these folks already may have moved on to other pursuits as you read this. These biographical sketches are up-to-date as of June 1988.



Our Land, Our Future: The Players

ADAMS, AL. Member, Alaska House of Representatives. Inupiaq Eskimo Albert P. Adams was born on June 18, 1942, in Kotzebue, Alaska, where he grew up and is a shareholder in Kikiktagruk Inupiat Corporation (K.I.C.) and NANA Regional Corporation. He is a graduate of Mt. Edgecumbe High School and RCA Institute Technical School in Los Angeles. He also has attended the University of Alaska.

Adams has worked as a satellite electronic technician for RCA Alascom, has been director of the Rural Development Assistance Division of the state Department of Community and Regional Affairs, and is past board chair of the Community Enterprise and Development Corporation. He also has been a member of the Northwest Coastal Zone Management Board, and treasurer of the Kotzebue Dog Mushers Association.

Adams is a former executive vice-president for NANA Corporation and former president of K.I.C. Today, he runs Adams Management Services as a self-employed financial consultant. First elected to the state House in 1980, Adams rose to power quickly, and has chaired and co-chaired the House Finance Committee for many years. At this writing, Adams is running for his district's Senate seat as a Democrat. He is married to Diane Adams. He has six children.

In the 1970s, Al Adams participated in adjudication of all appeals filed with the Alaska Native Claims Appeal Board that arose from the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, and has a continuing interest in ANCSA and its 1991 amendments.


ASHCRAFT-SUNDGREN, BILLIE. Broadcast journalist. An Inupiaq Eskimo, Billie Ashcraft-Sundgren was born April 26, 1962, in Fairbanks, where she grew up. She is a reporter and evening news co-anchor for KTVF-Channel 11, Fairbanks' CBS affiliate. She has worked in television journalism for five years. Ashcraft-Sundgren is a shareholder in Wales Native (village) Corp. and Bering Straits Regional Corp. She is a graduate of North Pole Junior-Senior High School, and has attended the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Billie Ashcraft-Sundgren is the narrator for Our Land, Our Future: The 1991 Amendments to the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act.


BORBRIDGE, JOHN JR. Writer, lobbyist, researcher. A Tlingit, John Borbridge, Jr., was born July 15, 1926, in Juneau, Alaska, where he grew up. He is a shareholder in Gold Belt (village corporation) and Sealaska (regional corporation).

Borbridge is a graduate of Juneau High School, holds a bachelor's degree in political science from the University of Michigan, and has done graduate work at the University of Washington. Borbridge taught and coached sports for a total of 12 years at Juneau-Douglas High School, at Sheldon Jackson High School, and at Sheldon Jackson Junior College in Sitka, Alaska.

Borbridge became the first vice-president of the Alaska Federation of Natives during its earliest lobbying efforts in the 1960s to win the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act. He is a former five-term president of the Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska, a regional tribal government of Southeast Alaska. He belongs to the Alaska Native Brotherhood. Borbridge also was the first-ever president and board chair for Sealaska, Southeast’s Native regional corporation, and served from 1972-78. In addition, he was chief lobbyist for Southeast Alaska Natives during consideration of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act as well as one of the primary Native architects of this landmark legislation.

Borbridge also has served on Theo state Board of Education and the Alaska Growth Policy Council, and has received a congressional appointment to the American Indian Policy Review Commission. In the late 1970s Borbridge was appointed by President Jimmy Carter to the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, said to be one of the highest federal appointments of a Native American. At this writing, Borbridge has completed about 90 percent of a book on the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act.

Borbridge is married to Emma Borbridge from Bethel, Alaska. Their children are Sandra, Linda, John Edward and Charles.

In addition to his work for passage of the original Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971, John Borbridge, Jr. served as chief lobbyist for the Alaska Native Coalition during efforts to pass ANCSA's 1991 amendments.


COWPER, STEVE. Governor of Alaska. Gov. Steve Cowper of Fairbanks was born Aug. 21, 1938, in Petersburg, Virginia. He grew up in Kinston, North Carolina, and graduated from Virginia Episcopal School in 1956. Cowper holds a bachelor's degree and a law degree from the University of North Carolina. In addition to service in the U.S. Army Medical Corps and the Army reserves, Cowper spent three years as a maritime lawyer in Norfolk, Virginia. In 1968, he moved to Fairbanks, where he became an assistant district attorney, covering rural Alaska in addition to his Fairbanks duties.

In 1970, Cowper worked as a freelance correspondent in Vietnam and also traveled throughout Asia. He returned to Fairbanks in 1971 to start a private law practice, which operated until 1984. He also was a partner in a Bethel air taxi and cargo business called Bushmaster Air from 1973-78, has taught college classes on Alaska lands issues, and was a diver for the University of Alaska Marine Research Team from 1975-76.

Elected to the Alaska House of Representatives in 1974 and re- elected in 1976, Cowper chaired the House Finance Committee, the Conference Committee on the State Budget, and the Legislative Steering Council on Alaska lands. He also was a member of the Budget and Audit Committee, Special Subsistence Committee, and the Alaska Advisory Committee on the Law of the Sea Conference. In 1979, Cowper represented Alaska before Congress during the Alaska lands battle. Ho also has been a manager and chair of the Alaska Permanent Fund, the state’s multi-billion dollar savings account. Cowper is a member of the National Rifle Association, Alaska Native Brotherhood (Klawock Camp), Eielson Area Grange, and the Fairbanks Sundawgs Rugby Club.

Cowper ran for governor in 1982 but lost to Bill Sheffield in the primary by 259 votes. From 1984-86, he ran a private arbitration service in Fairbanks. He made it to the governor's mansion on his second try in 1986. Cowper is married to Michael Margaret Stewart Cowper, an attorney and businesswoman from Santa Barbara, Calif. The governor's children include Wade, born Aug. 29, 1986, and, from a previous marriage, Katherine and Grace, who are in their 20s.

Democrat Steve Cowper was governor of Alaska when the 1991 amendments to the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act became law.


DEMIENTIEFF, MITCH Sr. President, Tanana Chiefs Conference, Fairbanks. Athabascan Mitch Demientieff, Sr. was born on Sept. 7, 1952, in Nenana, Alaska. He is a shareholder in Doyon, Ltd. (regional corporation) and Toghotthele (village) Corporation.

Since 1971, Mitch Demientieff, Sr. either has been chief of the Native village of Nenana or a member of the Nenana Native Council, supervising tribal relations with regional, state and national Native governments as well as local, state and federal governments. From 1971 -72, Demientieff was a special assistant for the Alaska State-Operated School District. From l973-74, he was president of Tanana Chiefs Conference, Inc., and executive vice-president from 1976-77. From 1973-85, he served Toghotthele Corporation as a board member, chairman and president as well as chairman of its Land Selection Committee.

From 1974-79, Demientieff worked as a private consultant to Native organizations, private enterprise, state and local governments, universities, and other concerns. Since 1974, he has subsistence and commercial fished on the Tanana River.

From 1978-79, Demientieff was program director for the Alaska Federation of Natives as well as sports editor for Tundra Times. From 1979, ho was chief executive officer for the Rural Youth Development Corporation. From 1981-84, Demientieff was maintenance supervisor for Nenana-based Yukon-Koyukuk School District and also worked as a finish carpenter for the City of Nenana during that time. From 1984-87, Demientieff was a regional coordinator for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. Since March 1987, he has been president of Tanana Chiefs Conference.

Demientieff also has served on Tanana Chiefs' board as a member, treasurer, vice president and president, and has chaired its education committee and Land Claims College Advisory Board. He has served on AFN's board and was a member of its 1991 Steering Committee and Bush Justice Committee. Ho has chaired AFN's Human Resources Board and Statewide Village Board. Demientieff has been a non- voting member on Doyon's board, and has chaired the Tanana Fish and Game Advisory Committee, the Wilderness Builders, Inc., and Toghotthele's land selection committee. He has served on both the Nenana City Council and the Nenana Municipal Assembly, has been chief of the Native Youth Movement, and a member of the Koyukon Development Corporation board, Alaska State Commission for Human Rights, the advisory council for the University of Alaska's Center for Northern Education Research, and the Alaska Native Human Resource Development Program Policy Council.

He is married to Kathleen Demientieff. His children are Christina, Mitch, Jr., Miranda, Julie, Daniel, Sunya and Titus.

Mitch Demientieff, Sr. worked in 1972 for Tanana Chiefs Conference to provide training to village councils and residents on the details of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act. Demientieff, who also was involved in the quest in Congress for the 1991 amendments, was concerned with how the amendments would affect village Alaska.


HENSLEY, WILLlE. State Senator from Kotzebue. An Inupiaq Eskimo, William "Iggiagruk" Hensley was born June 17, 1941, in Kotzebue, the adopted son of John "Aqpayuk" and Priscilla "Naungagiaq" Hensley.

Hensley attended high school at Harrison Chilhowee Academy in Seymour, Tennessee. He studied business at the University of Alaska Fairbanks from 1960-62, and from 1963-66 attended George Washington University, from where ho holds a bachelor’s degree in political science. Hensley studied post-graduate finance at UAF in 1966 and in the fall of 1968 attended law school at UCLA. In 1980, he received an honorary doctor of laws degree from the University of Alaska.

Hensley was president of Anchorage-based NANA Development Corporation from 1976-86, and has been president of Kotzebue-based NANA Regional Corporation since 1986. He is a shareholder in NANA and Kikiktagruk Inupiat Corporation, Kotzebue's village corporation.

From 1976-86, Hensley chaired United Bank Alaska, which has since merged with Alaska Mutual Bank to create Alliance Bank. He also chairs the Tundra Times board and has served on the advisory board of Providence Hospital. He has chaired commissions on state reapportionment, capital site selection, rural affairs, as well as an advisory committee for Alaska of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission. Hensley was president of the Alaska Federation of Natives from 1972-74, and served on the University of Alaska Board of Regents from 1983-87. He has been president of the Alaska Village Electric Association, director of the National Council on Indian Opportunity, and a board member of both the Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory and Alascom.

A Democrat, Hensley was a national committeeperson for the Democratic Party from 1980-84 and was Alaska Democratic Party chair in 1968 and 1984-86. Hensley served in the state House of Representatives from 1966-70 and in the state Senate from 1970-74. In 1987, ho was appointed by Gov. Steve Cowper to fill the unexpired term of retired Sen. Frank Ferguson until January 1989.

Hensley received the Rockefeller Public Service Award in 1980, as well as AFN's Citizen of the Year Award and NANA's Shareholder of the Year Award in 1981. In 1982, he received the NANA Inupiat Ilitqusiat Award for his work with the Inupiat Eskimo spirit movement.

Hensley is married to Abigale Ryan Hensley. His children are Priscilla Aline, Mary Lynn, James William, Elizabeth Frances, Baker and Eric.

Willie Hensley was a key figure in the battle for Native land claims in the 1960s, including helping to organize the Northwest Alaska Native Association in the Kotzebue region as well as the Alaska Federation of Natives in 1966. He and other Native leaders successfully pushed for the original ANCSA legislation. Hensley has been involved in both civic and Native issues, including the 1991 amendments, ever since.


KASAYULIE, WILLIE. Chief executive officer for Akiachak Native Community, the IRA (Indian Reorganization Act) Council in Akiachak, Alaska. A Yupik Eskimo, Willie Kasayulie was born June 1, 1951, in Fairbanks, Alaska. He is enrolled in Akiachak, Ltd., a village corporation, and Calista Regional Corporation in the Bethel area.

Kasayulie is a graduate of Hartford High School in White River Junction, Vermont. Ho served in the U.S. Army National Guard for six years, achieving the rank of 1st Lt. Company Commander. At this writing, Kasayulie is chairing the Association of Village Council Presidents for the second year, and is in his fourth year as president of the Yupiit School District. He also is chief of the Yupiit Nation in southwest Alaska. Kasayulie is married with four children.

Interested in the tribal portions of the 1991 amendments to the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, Willie Kasayulie chaired the Alaska Native Coalition from 1984-87.


LEASK, JANIE. President, Alaska Federation of Natives. Haida-Tsimshian Janie Leask of Anchorage was born Sept. 17, 1948, in Seattle. She grew up in Metlakatla, Alaska. Leask is enrolled as an at-large shareholder in Cook Inlet Region, Inc., one of Alaska's Native regional corporations set up by the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971.

Leask moved to Anchorage in 1959 and is a 1966 graduate of East Valley High School. She joined AFN in 1974 and since has held various administrative positions, including becoming AFN's executive vice president by 1977. She was elected president of AFN, Inc., in 1982.

Leask received the governor’s award in 1983 for her work on behalf of Alaska Natives. Leask also serves on the state Board of Education as well as the boards of the Alaska State Chamber of Commerce and the Alaska Land Use Council. She is married to Rep. Pat Pourchot, D- Anchorage, and has a son, David.

As AFN president since 1982, Janie Leask was instrumental in helping the Native community develop ANCSA's 1991 amendments and later seeking their passage by Congress.


MURKOWSKI, FRANK. U.S. Senator from Alaska. Frank Murkowski was born on March 28, 1933, in Washington state, and grew up and graduated from high school in Ketchikan, Alaska. He enrolled in Santa Clara University and later transferred to Seattle University, where he graduated with a bachelor's degree in economics and a minor in philosophy. Murkowski spent two years in the U.S. Coast Guard from 1955-57, earning the rank of 2nd Class Petty Officer.

In addition to Ketchikan, Murkowski has lived in Stick, Wrangle, Anchorage, Juneau, and today maintains a home in Fairbanks. He entered banking when he worked for Pacific National Bank of Seattle from 1957-58. He was with National Bank of Alaska for nine years in Wrangell and Anchorage, and in 1971 he became president and chief executive officer for the now-defunct Alaska National Bank of the North. He has served as president of both the Alaska Bankers Association and the Alaska State Chamber of Commerce.

Between banking assignments, Murkowski was Commissioner of Economic Development for the State of Alaska from 1967-70 in the Walter Hickel administration, and was the Republican nominee for the US. House of Representatives in 1970. He is a member of the Elks, Lions, Pioneers of Alaska, National Rifle Association, Alaska Conservation Society, and the Young Presidents Organization.

Murkowski was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 1980 and re- elected in 1986. In the 100th Congress, he is the ranking minority member on the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee and a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and subcommittees on Public Lands, National Parks and Forests, Mineral Resources Development and Production, and Water and Power. Murkowski also serves on the Foreign Relations Committee, where he's ranking minority member of the Subcommittee on East Asian and Pacific Affairs. Ho also serves on the select committees on Indian Affairs and on Intelligence and is a member of the U.S. Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control.

Murkowski is married to the former Nancy Gore, who was born in Nome. They have six children: Carol Murkowski Sturgulewski, Michael, Lisa Murkowski Martell, Eileen Murkowski Van Wyhe, Mary, and Brian.

Republican Sen. Frank Murkowski, along with Sen. Stevens and Rep. Young, sponsored the federal legislation to amend the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971.


STEVENS, TED. U.S. Senator from Alaska. Ted Stevens of Anchorage was born Nov. 18, 1923, in Indianapolis, Indiana, and grew up in Redondo Beach, Calif. He attended Oregon State College and Montana State College before graduating from UCLA in 1947 and from Harvard Law School in 1950. During World War II, Stevens was a pilot with the 14th Air Force in China.

Stevens became an Alaskan in the early 1950s. He was a member of the law firm Collins & Clasby in Fairbanks in 1953. During the Eisenhower administration, Stevens became a U.S. Attorney in Fairbanks in September 1953, legislative counsel to the U.S. Department of the Interior in 1956, Assistant to the U.S. Secretary of the Interior in 1958, and finally Solicitor in 1960. He pursued law in private practice in Anchorage from 1961 -68, and is a member of the American, Federal, California, Alaska and District of Columbia bar associations.

In Anchorage, Stevens was elected to the state House of Representatives in 1964 and re-elected in 1966, where he was majority leader and speaker pro-tem. He became a U.S. Senator by appointment in 1968, and has been reelected since 1970.

Stevens, ranked 11th in seniority in the 100th Congress, served eight years as the Senate Whip from 1977-85. In the 100th Congress, he serves on four full committees: Rules, Appropriations, Commerce and Government Affairs. He also is a member of the board of the Office of Technology Assessment, and co-chairs the Senate Observers Group to the Geneva Arms Control Talks.

Stevens is married to Catherine Chandler of Anchorage. They have one child. Stevens has five children by his first wife, Ann, now deceased.

Republican Sen. Ted Stevens has been in all legislation in the U.S. Congress relating to Alaska Natives over the past two decades, including the original Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971 as well as the act's 1991 amendments.


THOMPSON, MORRIS. Athabascan Morris Thompson was born on September 11,1938, in Tanana, an lnterior Alaska community on the Yukon River. A graduate of Mount Edgecumbe High School in Sitka, Thompson is a former electronics technician for RCA. He also studied civil engineering and political science at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Today he is president of Doyon, Ltd., interior Alaska's Native regional corporation with 9,000 shareholders and more than 12 million acres of land.

From 1967-68, Thompson was deputy director of the state Rural Development Agency before moving to the nation’s capital to become Special Assistant to the Secretary for Indian Affairs until 1970. In the early 1970s, Thompson was area director of the Juneau office of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, overseeing a $40 million budget and 1,300 employees.

At 34 in 1973 during the Nixon presidency, Thompson became the youngest commissioner ever of the Bureau of Indian Affairs in Washington, D.C., and remained until the Ford administration ended in 1976. A presidential appointee, Thompson headed the BIA, a federal agency with an annual budget of $1.2 billion and 13,000 employees. After that, Thompson moved to Anchorage as vice- president for the Northwest Alaska Pipeline Co., which was charged with seeking approval to build a natural gas pipeline from Prudhoe Bay to California and the American Midwest.

From 1978-80, Thompson was president of the Alaska Federation of Natives, an advocacy and lobbying group for Alaska Native issues. In 1980, he went after the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Republican Frank Murkowski. In 1981, Thompson became vice-president of shareholder relations and corporate development at Doyon before becoming its president in October of 1985.

Thompson married the former Thelma Mayo of Rampart on Oct. 5, 1963. The couple has three daughters: Sheryl Lynn, Nicole Rae and Allison Mae.

Morris Thompson was a key figure in the initial fight to the win the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971, and also served as co-chair in 1986-87 of the Alaska Federation of Natives during the battle to win ANCSA's 1991 amendments in the U.S. Congress in the 1980s.


YOUNG, DON. Alaska's only member of the U.S. House of Representatives. Rep. Don Young of Fort Yukon was born June 9, 1933, in Meridian, Calif. He holds an associate's degree from Yuba Junior College in Yuba, Calif., and a bachelor's degree from Chico State College in California.

Young is a former school teacher and riverboat captain. He also was in the U.S. Army's 41st Tank Battalion, a member of the Fort Yukon City Council from 1960-64, and mayor of Fort Yukon from 1964-68. Young was a state representative from 1966-70 and a state senator from 1970-73. He first ran for the U.S. Congress as a Republican in 1972, losing to Democrat Nick Begich in the November general election. Begich, however, had been missing in a lost aircraft during his re-election campaign since October, and was eventually presumed dead. Young won the special election held the following March 6. As Alaska's longest-serving member of the House of Representatives, Young has beaten opponents in every election since 1973.

In the U.S. House of Representatives, Young vice-chairs the House Interior Committee, is the senior Republican on the Merchant Marine and Fisheries Committee, and is a member of the Post Office and Civil Service Committee as well as the Executive Committee on Committees. Young is in the top 25 percent seniority in Congress. He is married to Lu Young. They have two children, Joni and Dawn.

As Alaska’s lone member of the U.S. House of Representatives since the early 1970s, Republican Don Young has been involved in every amendment to the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act and was the prime sponsor of the 1991 amendments bill in the U.S. House of Representatives.


Our Land, Our Future: Students

Student chaperone STEPHEN CATHERS grew up in South America and has been an English teacher in the NANA Region of Northwest Alaska for seven years. He is married with three daughters.

CARTER, GLENDA (IVIVIQ) When Glenda "Iviviq" Carter traveled to Washington in 1988 as part of the Close-up program and to ask Alaska's congressional delegation about the 1991 amendments to the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, she was a 16-year-old sophomore at Kotzebue High School. Glenda Carter, an Inupiaq Eskimo and Blackfoot Indian, is a New Native. That is, she was born after ANCSA was passed in l971 and currently inheritance is one of the few ways she can become a Native corporation shareholder.


CHAPPEL, NAOMI (MUNICK). When this videotape series was recorded, Naomi "Munick" Chappel was a 17-year-old junior at Kiana High School in Northwest Alaska. She is an Inupiaq Eskimo enrolled in Kikiktagruk Inupiat Corporation and NANA Regional Corporation.


FRANKLIN, KIM (QILAQ). Kim "Qilaq" Franklin of Kotzebue High School was a sophomore at Kotzebue High School when she traveled to Washington, D.C., to see how the federal government works. A non-Native, she is half-Korean and half Caucasian.


HENRY, CLARA (NUDVAQ). Clara "Nudvaq" Henry was a 17-year-old junior at Kotzebue High School at the time of this series. An Inupiaq Eskimo from Northwest Arctic Alaska, she is enrolled in Kikiktagruk Inupiat Corporation and NANA Regional Corporation.


SAMPSON, JUDY (UTUAYUK). Judy "Utuayuk" Sampson was a 17-year-old junior at Noorvik Aqqaluk High School when she visited the nation’s capital with her fellow students. An Inupiaq Eskimo, she is a shareholder in NANA Regional Corp.



Our Land, Our Future: The Creators

ANDREWS, SUSAN. Director, Center for Alaska Native Studies, Northwest Arctic Borough School District. Susan Baldwin Andrews is the writer, director and producer of Our Land, Our Future, the editor of the Native studies bibliography New Paths, Old Ways, and editor of this teacher’s guide. She completed these projects with the Assistant Director Dixie Dayo from January to June 1988.

Andrews first came to Alaska on a family trip at 12 years old, returning in adulthood after a graduate degree from the University of Oregon School of Journalism. She also is a cum laude graduate of Smith College in Massachusetts and a graduate of the Academy of the Washington Ballet in the nation’s capital. She has studied French at the Universite de Paris.

Andrews began her television career in Fairbanks as a reporter and then producer and morning anchor for the Alaska Television Network's KATN-Channel 2. She later moved to KTVF-Channel 11, Fairbanks' CBS affiliate, where she was promoted to news director and evening news co-anchor. Andrews also teaches writing for the University of Alaska Fairbanks.


DAYO, DIXIE. Assistant Director, Center for Alaska Native Studies. Dixie Dayo (Maasak) conducted the research for New Paths, Old Ways: An Alaska Native Studies Catalog for Teachers. She also compiled material for this teacher's guide and assisted with the video instructional series, Our Land, Our Future.

An Inupiaq Eskimo, Dayo was born in Fairbanks and is a shareholder in Doyon, Ltd. (regional corporation) and Bean Ridge (village) Corporation. She attends the University of Alaska Fairbanks, Chukchi Campus (Kotzebue). In 1975, Dayo became the first female member of Operating Engineers Local 302, a Fairbanks trade union, and worked on construction of the trans-Alaska pipeline. In 1978, Dayo traveled around the world on an ocean liner studying other cultures and governments and exploring international issues through the University of Colorado's Semester-at-Sea Program.

From 1979-85, Dayo was president and executive manager for Bean Ridge Corporation in Manley Hot Springs, and today is board secretary and consultant. From 1981 -82, Dayo attended the Kellogg Foundation's Alaska Native Leadership Project. In 1986, she completed a land management technician’s course at Kotzebue Technical Center. Dayo has been a regional board member of the Yukon-Koyukuk School District and a member of the Manley Village Council. She is married with one child, Frank Dayo.


CREED, JOHN. Author, Teacher’s Guide. John Creed first lived in Alaska in 1974 and made it his permanent home in 1979.

Creed holds a master's degree in journalism from the University of Oregon, where he taught writing as a graduate teaching fellow. He holds a secondary teaching certificate from the University of Montana, and is a magna cum laude graduate of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He has studied in the Republic of Ireland and in Norway, where he also worked the North Sea oil rigs.

Creed has taught secondary school in Massachusetts and in Noatak, an Inupiat Eskimo village in Northwest Alaska. He is the former editor/photographer of the Tusraayugaat, a state and national award-winning bilingual newspaper based in Kotzebue. Creed also has been a reporter for the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.

Creed teaches English and journalism at Kotzebue-based Chukchi College, a branch campus of the University of Alaska Fairbanks.





Adams, Al, 42
biography of, 57
Afterborns, 40
Alaska Federation of Natives
convention, 32, 33
definition of, 25
leaders in, 58,60,62,63,66
1991 effort, 22, 30
publications, 16
year founded, 4
Alaska National Interest Conservation Act, 5
Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act
compared with 1991, 37-38
definition of, 24
history of, 5-6
provisions of, 21-24
Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, The, 16
Alaska Native Coalition, 6, 18, 43
definition of, 33
leaders in, 59, 63
lobbying efforts of, 45,46
Alaska Natives
definition of, 26

Andrews, Susan

biography of, 69
Ashcraft-Sundgren, Billie 17,21,27
biography of, 58


Berger, Thomas, 43,38
definition of, 25,31
Bill of Rights, 47
Borbridge, John, 33, 48
as quoted, 52-53
biography of, 58-59
lobbying effort, 46


Capitol Hill, 6, 30
definition of, 25
Carter, Glenda 42
biography of, 68
as new Native, 36,40
Cathers, Stephen
biography of, 68
Caught in the Act, 15
Chappel, Naomi
biography of, 68
Committees, 30-31
definition of, 31
definition of, 32
Congress, U.S., 7, 8, 29, 31
definition of, 26
Constitution, US, 45-46
Cowper, Steve, 41
as quoted, 52
biography of, 59-60
Creed, John
biography of, 70
Cut-off date
for new Natives, 36, 40


Dayo, Dixie
biography of, 69-70
definition of, 32
Demientieff, Mitch
as quoted, 49-50,53
biography of, 60-61
Department of Interior, US, 18, 43
opposition to 1991, 45-46
Developed lands
definition of, 38
questions about, 50-51
Dilution of Stock, 36
definition of, 40
Disenfranchised, 36
definition of, 40-41
Dissenters’ rights, 44, 45-46
definition of, 47
Doyon, Ltd., 33
definition of regional corporation, 26
leader in, 66
shareholder in, 60,69
Drafting a bill
definition of, 31


definition of special stock, 41
special stock for,36,37
questions about special stock, 51-52


First Amendment, 47
definition of, 39
Floor of the House/Senate, 30
definition of, 32
Franklin, Kim
biography of, 68


Group rights, 44, 45


Henry, Clara, 42
biography of, 68
as shareholder, 36, 40
Hensley, Willie, 27, 42
as quoted, 53
biography of, 61-63
Hodel, Donald, 7, 48
opposition to 1991, 44,45
Holding Our Ground, 16
House Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs, 31
House of Representatives, U.S., 31, 67


Indian Reorganization Act, 44
Individual rights, 44, 45
Involuntary dissolved
definition of, 47


Kasayulie, Willie, 48
biography of, 63
1991 lobbying effort, 46
paraphrased, 47


Land bank, 35,37,51
definition of, 39
Land freeze, 4, 27
Land protection, 18,35,36,37
background on, 9
Leask, Janie, 33, 41
biography of, 63-64
Lobbyist, 30
definition of, 32


Murkowski, Frank, 33,41,48,66
as quoted on neutrality, 47
biography of, 64-65
1991 legislation, 31


NANA Regional Corporation
developed lands, 38
keaders in, 57,62
Neutrality, 18,43,44
definition of, 46-47
New enrollees
definition of, 41
questions about, 51-52
New Natives, 18,35-36, 41
definition of, 40
questions about, 38, 51-52
New Paths, Old Ways, 11-12, 16
1991 Amendments, compared with ANCSA, 37-38
definition of, 22, 23, 25
history of, 8-10
main objective of, 36-37
new Natives provision, 38
Nixon, Richard, 5, 26
Non-Native takeover, 8, 35-36
Non-Natives, 39
definition of, 26


Oil, 50
role in ANCSA, 4, 21
Open market,
sale of stock on, 8, 39
questions about, 51


Public Testimony,
definition of, 31-32


Reagan, Ronald, 6, 45
signed 1991 bill, 7, 30
Regional corporations, 5
definition of, 26


Sampson, Judy
biography of, 68
Secretary of the Interior,
Hodel, Donald, 44, 45
impossed land freeze, 4
Udall, Stewart, 27
Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, 64
Senate, U.S., 29, 31, 32
leaders in, 64.65
Shareholders, 8
cut-off date for, 36, 40
new Natives as, 38, 41
options for 37,39, 40
questions about, 51-52
Sovereignty, 18, 43
compromise on, 32
definition of, 46
neutrality on, 44, 46-47
questions about, 45
Statehood, 4
definition of, 25
Stevens, Ted, 33, 42, 48
biography of, 65-66
1991 legislation, 31
paraphrased, 43
Stock, 15
ANCSA provisions for,7-8,23
1991 provisions for, 37-38
options, 39
questions about, 51
definitions of, 31
Subsistence, 9, 38
Supreme Court, U.S., 18, 43
on sovereignty, 44, 45, 46


Tanana Chiefs Conference, 49,53
leader in, 60-61
Thompson, Morris, 33,42
as quoted, 52
biography of, 66-67
Tribal Governments, 44
definition of, 46
Tribal Option, 44
compromise on, 32
definition of, 46
Tyranny of the majority
definition of, 47


Udall, Stewart, 27
Undeveloped lands,
definition of, 38-39
1991 provisions for, 23
questions about, 51
definition of, 39


definition of, 33
Village corporations, 5
definition of, 27
Village Journey, 43, 48


Young, Don, 29, 33, 42
biography of, 67
1991 legislation, 31



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Alaska Native Knowledge Network
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PO Box 756730
Fairbanks  AK 99775-6730
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Last modified August 17, 2006