Return to Part III – Current land, villages corporation issues and events

Unit 12 – Textbook review

Your text for this course was written by an author who had extensive firsthand experience with the ANCSA negotiations. An impressive amount of research went into the writing of the book and its companion volume, “Sold American.’   Some of Mitchell’s views are quite controversial but the historical information in the book is sound and it is an excellent resource for anyone interested in the events leading up to ANCSA.

Learning Objectives:
Upon the completion of Module 12 a student will be able to

  1. Discuss in detail the book, Take My Land, Take My Life by Donald Craig Mitchell.
  2. Develop an opinion on whether the book is a fair representation of ANCSA and its implementation.
  3. Formulate a comparison of this book with other books on ANCSA and what you thought you already knew about ANCSA.

Reading Assignment:

  1. Ryan Olson’s letter to the editor, Anchorage Daily News December 2004. Online at
  2. Unit readings: Mitchell Epilogue pp. 495-541

Lecture Notes:
As you finish your review of this reading compare the views expressed by this author on ANCSA with those of the various speakers you have heard throughout the course.

Remember that ANCSA altered the lives of a very large number of Alaskans, both Native and non-Native and there as many opinions as there are people! Some are based on years of experience with, study of and involvement in ANCSA… others on pure perception and even misinformation. While you may not always agree with the view held by a specific commentator you can always learn something from them. ANCSA continues to evolve and change as those whose lives have been changed work to make it work for them and the way that someone thought about ANCSA during the 1970s may be dramatically different from how they view it today!

You have reviewed a variety of different readings for this course all of which contribute to a better understanding of just how broad the scope of the legislation really is. It has affected everyone in the state and no two people have had an identical experience of those effects. ANCSA has reached beyond the borders of Alaska, showing up in land claims discussion all over the world. Because the Act is under continuing implementation there is always something new to learn and events take place under the ANCSA umbrella that sometimes radically alter opinions.

Study Questions:
Unit 12 brings you to the close of your primary text for this course. Did you like the book? Did it help you to learn more about ANCSA? Would you recommend it to others? Did you prefer one of the other texts? Why?

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