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The Corporate Whale: ANCSA, The First 10 Years Program

Program 7 of 10
McPherson, Karen Michel 1982

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5...4...3...2...1. LADIES AND GENTLEMEN OF THE AFN, THIS IS THE WHITE HOUSE IN WASHINGTON CALLING. I PRESENT THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES...

[President Nixon] I APPRECIATE THIS OPPORTUNITY TO EXTEND MY GREETINGS AND BEST WISHES TO THE CONVENTION OF THE ALASKA FEDERATION OF NATIVES. I WANT YOU TO BE AMONG THE FIRST TO KNOW THAT I HAVE JUST SIGNED THE ALASKA NATIVE CLAIMS SETTLEMENT ACT. THIS IS A MILESTONE IN ALASKA'S HISTORY.

[Narrator] THE CORPORATE WHALE: ANCSA, THE FIRST 10 YEARS.

[] The Reverend Merculieff of St. George Island...

This land of Alaska, which thou gave to our ancestors, who have come and gone before us, is now being handed to us a second time, by the Act of the United States Congress and our untiring efforts. A second chance is given to us by thee to be the new custodians and caretakers.

OF THE 13 REGIONAL NATIVE CORPORATIONS WHOSE TASK IT IS TO MANAGE THE MONEY AND LAND GRANTED UNDER THE TERMS OF THE ALASKA NATIVE LAND CLAIMS SETTLEMENT ACT, ANCSA, ALL BUT THE SEATTLE-BASED 13TH REGIONAL CORPORATION HAVE LAND ENTITLEMENT. SIX OF THOSE TWELVE, AHTNA, CHUGACH, COOK INLET, NANA, DOYON, AND ARCTIC SLOPE, SHARE 16 MILLION OF THE 44 MILLION ACRE TOTAL UNDER A COMPLEX PROVISION UNDER THE ACT CALLED THE "LAND LOSS FORMULA". THESE REGIONAL LAND ALLOCATIONS ARE BASED ON THE SIZE OF THE LAND AREA INITIALLY CLAIMED RATHER THAN THE SIZE OF THE NATIVE POPULATION LIVING IN THE CLAIMED AREA. THE PROVISION WAS INCLUDED IN ANCSA LARGELY AT THE URGING OF THE ARCTIC SLOPE WHOSE OIL-RICH LANDS WERE A MAJOR IMPETUS IN GETTING CONGRESS TO MOVE ON A SETTLEMENT, SINCE OIL COMPANIES NEEDED TO MOVE THE NORTH SLOPE OIL TO MARKET.

THE ARCTIC SLOPE CLAIMED A LARGE AREA BUT HAD A SMALL POPULATION. UNDER THE LAND LOSS FORMULA, ENTITLEMENTS RANGE FROM ABOUT 336,000 ACRES FOR CHUGACH CORPORATION TO 8.5 MILLION ACRES FOR DOYON LIMITED. THE ARCTIC SLOPE REGIONAL CORPORATION'S SHARE IS A LITTLE OVER 4 MILLION ACRES. OWNERSHIP IS OF BOTH THE SURFACE AND SUBSURFACE ESTATE. A MATTER OF NO SMALL CONSEQUENCE GIVEN THE DEVELOPABLE RESOURCES ON OR UNDER MANY OF THOSE LANDS.

AND THE ACT FURTHER STATES, IN ONE OF ITS MOST CONTROVERSIAL PROVISIONS, 7(i), THAT 70% OF ALL REVENUES DERIVED FROM RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT MUST BE SHARE AMONG ALL 12 IN-STATE ANCSA CORPORATIONS. THAT ONE PARAGRAPH HAS CAUSED ALL 12 TO GO TO COURT AGAINST EACH OTHER, A CASE THAT'S BEEN PENDING FOR MOST OF THE YEARS SINCE ANCSA WAS SIGNED INTO LAW, BY THEN PRESIDENT RICHARD NIXON, ON DECEMBER 18, 1971.

BOTH THE LAND LOSS FORMULA AND 7(i), THE REVENUE SHARING PROVISION, WERE INTENDED TO BE EQUALIZERS IN THE SETTLEMENT PROVIDING RESOURCE REVENUES TO REGIONS WITHOUT RICH LANDS AND ADDITIONAL LAND TO THOSE WITHOUT LARGE POPULATIONS. THIS PROGRAM, THE SEVENTH IN A TEN PART SERIES, THE CORPORATE WHALE, WILL EXAMINE TWO REGIONAL CORPORATIONS PARTICULARLY AFFECTED BY THE PROVISIONS, THE ARCTIC SLOPE REGIONAL CORPORATION IN THE NORTH AND DOYON LIMITED IN THE INTERIOR.

ØDividin' the maktak is they way it's always been
Dividin' the maktak between family and friends
We're sailin' toward to future, we're anchored in the past
Rich in our tradition, our ways will surely last Ø

Those messages once again: [??] of Wainwright call 4831 this afternoon. To the Wainwright people: anyone picking up two boxes by accident at the airport, please return Mabel [??]'s residence or to the school.To Robert, [Fergie, and ??]: you have a green [soda] bag coming in on the flight from Barrow today.

BARROW'S ALASKA'S NORTHERN MOST COMMUNITY. THIS LAND OF CONTRAST OF LIGHT AND DARKNESS, SEA MAMMAL HUNTING AND OIL DEVELOPMENT, IS A REGIONAL CENTER FOR NORTH SLOPE ESKIMOS; SEAT OF THE NORTH SLOPE BOROUGH AND HEADQUARTERS FOR THE ARCTIC SLOPE REGIONAL CORPORATION, ASRC.

IN 1979, ASRC'S NET WORTH WAS $14 MILLION. IN 1980, THAT INCREASED TO 24 AND A THIRD MILLION. THAT'S WITHOUT THE VALUE OF THE LAND ENTITLEMENT, 4,615,000 ACRES.

It's a pretty large area. It's anything just about above the Brooks Range. So we're talking about probably 84,000 square miles, which is like a..a large state in the Lower 48.

OLIVER LEAVITT IS A WHALING CAPTAIN AND TREASURER OF THE ARCTIC SLOPE REGIONAL CORPORATION, A POSITION HE HAS HELD SINCE THE CORPORATION STARTED IN JULY 1972. THERE ARE LESS THAN 4,000 SHAREHOLDERS; MOST OF THEM IN BARROW, THE REST IN EIGHT VILLAGES SCATTERED ON THE TUNDRA...

[Laughing] There's really no bushes or anything like that. It's ..uh.. a vast amount of land that really has nothing on it except like grazing grounds. It's really nothing there, and ..uh.. barren ground, and ..uh..windswept. But there is game, and we've managed to survive up there over the years.

ASRC IS SURVIVING AS WELL. SHAREHOLDERS RECEIVED DIVIDENDS FOR THE PAST THREE YEARS, AND THE CORPORATION IS OPERATING IN THE BLACK. AND IT'S THE "BLACK GOLD", OIL, THAT IS LARGELY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE FINANCIAL WELL-BEING. CHEVRON, MOBIL, AND UNION AMICO HAVE LEASES ON NEARLY ALL OF THE CORPORATION'S LAND; MOST OF THEM ADJACENT TO THE WESTERN AND SOUTHERN BOUNDARIES OF NPRA, NATIONAL PETROLEUM RESERVE ALASKA. NPRA, FORMERLY CALLED [PET FOUR] IS A 34,000 SQUARE MILE AREA OF THE NORTH SLOPE, CREATED IN 1923 BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT...

We were precluded from ever ..uh.. selecting land from NPRA, which was the subsurface. We can select the surface for the village corporations, and..but the subsurface was retained because the petro..the petroleum reserves..was reserved for the federal government. And so, in all the lands that we had for the villages, we have four villages in..[in cut four]. We had..we had to what's call "in lieu selection" which was subsurface selections outside of NPRA. But in light of that, after the Settlement, the D2 legislation, the Alaska lands legislation came on. We're able to..to float an amendment that was called ..uh.. "severed estate amendment" where we have the right to go back into NPRA once they open it up for lease sales. And so we do have that amendment with..if..if there is a strike, let's say, within 75 mile radius of any village. We have the right to..to go back in and pick up the subsurface within 40 years, but only under the village lands.

A 1977 SURVEY OF NORTH SLOPE ESKIMOS, CONDUCTED BY THE INSTITUTE OF SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC RESEARCH OF THE UNIVERSITY OF ALASKA, SHOWED NEARLY EQUAL NUMBERS SAYING THAT THERE WERE GOOD EFFECTS DUE TO OIL DEVELOPMENT, AND THAT MORE JOBS WERE AVAILABLE, AS THOSE STATING THAT THERE WERE BAD EFFECTS ON GAME AND THE ENVIRONMENT. LEAVITT ESTIMATES THAT THE OIL INDUSTRY HAS SPENT A QUARTER OF A MILLION DOLLARS IN EXPLORATION. MOST OF THAT HAS INVOLVED ASRC'S SUBSIDARIES, PARTNERSHIPS, AND JOINT VENTURES, INCLUDING CONSTRUCTION COMPANIES, ONE UNION ANOTHER NON-UNION, TECHNICAL AND ENGINEERING SERVICES, AND A COMPANY THAT OWNS AND OPERATES OIL RIGS. COOK INLET REGION, INCORPORATED, IS A PARTNER IN THAT FIRM. IN ADDITION, ASRC OWNS A MEDIA PRODUCTION FACILITY, BARROW CABLE T.V., A HOTEL IN BARROW, AND A SCHOOL BUS SYSTEM. BUT MOST OF THE INVESTMENTS ARE OIL-RELATED AND DEVELOPMENT DIRECTED.

Well, sure, because Congress, in its wisdom ..uh.. said that you, Corporations, shall be profit-motive organizations. And..and one of..one of the things that we do in..in having these large construction companies is..is keeping our people working. And at the same time looking for the ..uh.. for oil and gas in our own land. And ..uh.. we are continually looking. And I'm sure that one day that we will find one. It'll be a great benefit to all of Alaska Natives, not for just Arctic Slope.

IT'LL BE A BENEFIT DUE TO THE 7(i) REVENUE SHARING PROVISION OF ANCSA. ALREADY, BY THE END OF 1979, ASRC DISTRIBUTED $9.5 MILLION TO THE OTHER IN-STATE REGIONAL NATIVE CORPORATIONS AS REQUIRED, AND RECEIVED DURING THE SAME PERIOD OF TIME $171,000 FROM ALL THE OTHER REGIONS COMBINED. WITH 95% OF THEIR LAND CONVEYED, SIGNIFICANT DEPOSITS OF COAL, OIL, AND GAS, AND AN AGRESSIVE DEVELOPMENT POSTURE. THE ARCTIC SLOPE REGIONAL CORPORATION IS LIKELY TO CONTINUE TO MAKING SIGNIFICANT PAYMENTS UNDER 7(i). TREASURER OLIVER LEAVITT...

I would think, they would like to believe the..that Arctic Slope is one of the..the top ones up there. Uh ..we.. we have ..uh.. how we jumped in probably a lot faster than..than..than some of the regions because of our ability to [dream] up. That [??] whether we should decide or not. We've always been able to have that confidence among each other as directors. If we're going to decide something, we better it pretty fast or the world's going to go right by us.

Ø

We're playing high stakes games and to move too fast sometimes can be real dangerous.

DAVE WILLIAMS IS VICE PRESIDENT OF LANDS FOR DOYON, LIMITED, THE REGIONAL NATIVE CORPORATION FOR THE INTERIOR. "DOYON" IS THE ATHABASCAN INDIAN WORD FOR "CHIEF OR LEADER" AND DOYON LEADS ALL OTHERS IN LAND ENTITLEMENT. NINE MILLION ACRES OF SURFACE AND SUBSURFACE RIGHTS, MOST OF IT FROM THE LAND LOSS PROVISION, PLUS 3.5 MILLION ACRES OF SURFACE ESTATE; MAKING DOYON, ONCE THE LAND IS ALL CONVEYED, THE STATE'S LARGEST PRIVATE LAND OWNER.

It runs from the top of mountains to ..uh.. river bottoms with big trees on it. It's a very fruitful land in a lot of ways. Let me see, the solar basins with ..uh.. all of the game and water fowl. Uh..this land, it's got a lot of promise.

ACCORDING TO WILLIAMS, DOYON'S APPROACH IS CAREFUL, NOT DEVELOPMENTAL. TIM WALLACE IS DOYON'S PRESIDENT...

Development does not take in ..uh.. all really but a small percentage of the..of the land that we're dealing with. None of the activities ..uh.. to date have been within the 25 townships surrounding the villages. Uh..whenever we go into ..uh.. plan to go into ..uh.. those areas, we will be consulting with the villages and ..uh.. and we will ..uh.. plan with extreme care, so that we do not disturb any of the ..uh..traditions or ..uh..uh..uh.. traplines or..or existing fishcamps or what have you.

This is the Doyon region.. (DAVE WILLIAMS) ..superimposed on the state of Alaska, uh.. 1:1,000,000 scale. Uh..it's about 122 million acres encompassed within the region.

...SOME OF THAT VAST ACREAGE HAS BEEN EXPLORED FOR DEVELOPMENT POTENTIAL FOR MAJOR MINERALS...

We ran a..a big program from '75 through '80 exploring the land...the [deficiency] lands within the region to ..uh.. see what mineralization was out there and..and to get an idea what lands we should eventually end up with. And, you know, some of that stuff be asbestos.

THE TANANA ASBESTOS CORPORATION, A WHOLLY OWNED SUBSIDARY OF DOYON, [IS EVALUATING] THE POTENTIAL OF AN ASBESTOS DEPOSIT 45 MILES SOUTHWEST OF THE VILLAGE OF EAGLE. ANALYSIS INDICATES THE QUALITY IS EXCELLENT AND TIM WALLACE ANTICIPATES THE MINE WILL BE ONE OF THE LARGEST IN THE WORLD. THERE ARE OTHER INVESTMENTS AS WELL...

...are there any questions?
Arctic resource [??]

IN 1980, DOYON HAD A NET WORTH OF $54 MILLION AND MADE A NET PROFIT OF CLOSE TO HALF A MILLION DOLLARS. IN 1979 THE CORPORATION HAD MORE THAN A MILLION DOLLARS IN PROFIT. DOYON RECENTLY INVESTED $20 MILLION TO ACQUIRE A 40% INTEREST IN AN AIRLINE AND IS PURSUING THE POSSIBILITY OF BUILDING OR BUYING AN OIL REFINERY IN THE INTERIOR. THE CORPORATION INVESTED IN A FEATURE FILM ON THE LIFE OF A CHAMPION DOG MUSHER AND DOYON SHAREHOLDER GEORGE ATTLA; IS A STOCKHOLDER IN UNITED BANK ALASKA; THERE'S TWO JOINT VENTURE CONSTRUCTION COMPANIES, ONE HEAVILY INVOLVED IN OIL FIELD AND PIPELINE WORK; OWNS A HOTEL ON MAUI; HAS PERCENTAGES IN OIL LEASE TRACKS IN THE BEAUFORT SEA; AND ALSO HAS INTEREST IN FIRMS INVOLVED WITH LAND SURVEYING AND NON-RENEWABLE RESOURCE RECOGNIZANCE. ALONG WITH THE ASBESTOS NEAR EAGLE, ONE OF DOYON LIMITED'S 28 VILLAGES, SIGNIFICANT AMOUNTS OF GOLD AND ZINC HAVE BEEN FOUND ELSEWHERE AND EXPLORATION WORK CONTINUES FOR OTHER HARD ROCK MINERALS, AND OIL AND GAS.

LANDS VICE PRESIDENT WILLIAMS DOESN'T FEEL ALL THIS EXPLORATION WILL SIGNIFICANTLY ALTER THE LAND...

Gee, you know, you have to put your..put your far seen goggles on. Uh..in my life time, a lot of the land looks just like it looks right now. The..the rigs and the pits will be on an insignificant acreage.

DOYON LIMITED PRESIDENT TIM WALLACE...

To secure. .uh.. the fact that we're going to be able to continue ..uh..out way of life is going to have a lot of encroachments. Uh..and in order to have ..uh.. strength ..uh.. we need the economic strength to help combat it.

YOU'VE BEEN LISTENING TO THE CORPORATE WHALE: ANCSA, THE FIRST 10 YEARS. THE SEVENTH PROGRAM IN A TEN PART SERIES WRITTEN AND PRODUCED BY KAREN MICHEL MCPHERSON, WITH TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE FROM PHILLIP KAKOWSKI (sp?). FUNDING WAS PROVIDED BY KUAC SPONSORS AND THE ALASKA NATIVE HUMAN RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM OF THE COOPERATIVE EXTENSION SERVICE OF THE UNIVERSITY OF ALASKA.

SPECIAL THANKS TO MUSICIANS HERBIE VENT, BUDDY TABOR, [??] SEBASTIAN MCGINTY AND GEORGE SILAS, AND THE POINT HOPE EPISOCPAL CHURCH CONGREGATION.

 

 

Part 1
"This 10 part series, The Corporate Whale, will listen to some of the events leading to the Land Claims Settlement, the mechanisms that were employed to manage the Act, government agencies, and Native corporations, hear how leaders assess the first 10 years, and predictions for 1991."

Part 2
"Both restrictive provisions included in the Act, what the Alaska Native Land Claims Settlement is, and how it divides up the land and the money will be discussed in this program, the second in a ten part series: The Corporate Whale."

Part 3
"In this program, the third in a ten part series, The Corporate Whale, Native leaders and others involved with the framing of the Land Claims Settlement give some of their thoughts on the corporate concept and how well that mechanism works for dividing the benefits of ANCSA: The Whale."

Part 4
"This program is the fourth in a ten part series, The Corporate Whale: ANCSA, The First Ten Years. Agency representatives and Native corporation leaders will give their perspectives on the land's aspect of the Land Claims Settlement."

Part 5
"In this program, the fifth in a ten part series, The Corporate Whale, leaders of Sealaska and Cook Inlet Region, Inc., will profile their activities in dividing the benefits of ANCSA into profits for shareholders."

Part 6
"In this program, the sixth in a ten part series, The Corporate Whale, leaders from NANA, the Northwest Alaska Native Association region, and Calista Corporation will profile their corporation's activities in managing ANCSA's benefit."

Part 7
"Both the Land Loss Formula and 7(i), the revenue sharing provision, were intended to be equalizers in the Settlement providing resource revenues to regions without rich lands and additional land to those without large populations. This program, the seventh in a ten part series, The Corporate Whale, will examine two regional corporations particularly affected by the provisions, the Arctic Slope Regional Corporation in the north and Doyon Limited in the interior."

Part 8
"In this program, the eighth in a ten part series, The Corporate Whale, village and regional corporation leaders will discuss centered approaches to managing ANCSA's land and money entitlements, and impact."

Part 9
"This program, a ninth in a ten part series, The Corporate Whale, will examine the role of the Alaska Federation of Natives and its efforts to survive and continue to be a unifying body for the corporations who manage ANCSA's benefits."

Part 10
"In this program, the last in a ten part series, The Corporate Whale, leaders involved in land claims implementation assess the bill that Barrow activist Charlie Edwardsen, Jr., Etok, once referred to as 'a new harpoon.'"

Alaska Native Knowledge Network is responsible for the transcription of this series. We would like to humbly apologize for any misspellings in advance.

 

 

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