Some of the leaders who worked on the original ANCSA settlement are now either very elderly, or have passed over. In this final unit you will hear from five different Alaska Native leaders who have lived with ANCSA from the very beginning, some of whom have changed the way they look at its many different features over the years. You may find it interesting to compare their views with those of Don Mitchell in the epilogue to “Take My Land Take My Life.’
Upon the completion of Module 15 a student will be able to
- Recite the names of at least 10 Alaska Native leaders who worked on getting ANCSA passed by Congress of worked on implementing ANCSA.
- Discuss at least two major differences in viewpoints on ANCSA.
- Make a prediction on the future of ANCSA corporations.
- Mitchell: “Epilogue,’ pp. 495-541
ANCSA brought many of the trappings of an alien culture into the lives of Alaska Natives, and not all agree that it has been beneficial. A significant number do not know very much about how ANCSA works, and many younger Natives do not realize any tangible benefits from it. About 60% of Alaska Natives are not ANCSA shareholders in 2010. Nobody who worked on ANCSA did so with anything other than the best motives and a hope that things would be better for their children, but today not all agree that those children have benefited.
Subsistence is the center piece of Native communities and ANCSA shot an arrow through the heart of subsistence in §4(b) with the extinguishment of aboriginal hunting and fishing rights. While there have been significant efforts to correct this, and these efforts continue, many of those who worked on ANCSA agree today that this was a serious failing of the legislation.
Land claims and settlements are ongoing around the world as Indigenous Peoples attempt to regain control of lands and lives and ANCSA has often been looked at as example on which to fashion future settlements. You may want to look at some later settlements in Canada to see how they compare with ANCSA.
The regional corporations and several of the village corporations have been very successful in the traditional sense of corporate success, that is they have increased in value, expanded, and in some cases increased shareholder dividends. These corporations are tied to the global economy and their continued success may well depend on the success of the market world-wide. Whether or not this will translate into long-term improvements for Alaska Native communities remains to be seen. Unit 15 speakers provide opinions on the success of ANCSA, and some of the directions they would like to see future implementation take.
Video & Audio files for this unit are located here
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