Committee looks ahead to 40th anniversary of ANCSA

The 40th anniversary of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) is fast approaching. Dec. 18, 2011 will mark 40 years since the landmark legislation was passed on Dec. 18, 1971. An ad-hoc committee called ANCSA @ 40 has formed in anticipation of this milestone.

The committee is affiliated with the Alaska Humanities Forum and is funded by a mini-grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. It is made up of diverse group of Alaskans, including CIRI shareholder Willy Templeton, Director of Native Student Services at the University of Alaska, Anchorage (UAA), who helped form the committee with Irene Rowan. The committee plans to conduct a series of forums throughout the year to inform people, particularly young people, about this landmark legislation.  In addition, the ANCSA @ 40 Committee will gather stories, photographs and other documentation to create additional publications.

The committee held its first forum in Fairbanks on Sept. 16. On Nov. 16, the committee held a forum in Anchorage that discussed events leading up to the passage of ANCSA, including the events and efforts that led to the creation of the Alaska Federation of Natives (AFN).  CIRI shareholder Don Wright was the chairman of AFN when ANCSA was passed and was recognized by the committee at the Nov. 16th forum for his early leadership role.

CIRI and Tyonek shareholder Seraphim “Slim” Stephan, former chief of the Tyonek Tribal Council, was also recognized for the Tyonek’s role in providing desperately-needed funding for the newly-founded AFN. CIRI Directors Roy Huhndorf and B. Agnes Brown represented CIRI at the event. 

On March 4, the committee will hold a forum titled ‘The Missing Chapter’ about Alaska Native women’s role in the passage of the ANCSA legislation. The forum will take place in room 101 at Rasmuson Hall on the UAA campus from 7-9 p.m. CIRI Director B. Agnes Brown will represent CIRI at this event.

To learn more about ANCSA @ 40 visit