An Alaska Native's Perspective

By Armstrong, Fred, Jr. | Endangered Species Bulletin, March 1999 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

An Alaska Native's Perspective


Armstrong, Fred, Jr., Endangered Species Bulletin


How does the Endangered Species Act (ESA) affect tribes in Alaska? What are the benefits of tribal involvement in the ESA? Will the ESA impact subsistence activities in Alaska? Will it impede the cultural and traditional lifestyle Alaska Natives cherish? These are some of the questions that came to me when I first heard of the ESA. To answer some of these questions, one must first understand the unique laws that affect the livelihoods of Alaska Natives and determine the course that resource managers must take to implement wildlife conservation regulations.

When oil was discovered on the North Slope, the State of Alaska needed to settle a land claims issue with Alaska Natives in order for the trans-Alaska pipeline to be built. It looked to .Congress to settle the issue. In hopes of changing the way the Federal Government worked with Native Americans, Congress wanted an alternate solution to creating reservations throughout Alaska. At the same time, Congress wanted Alaska Natives to forge their own destiny and become self-reliant. Hearings were conducted and legislation acceptable to both Alaska Natives and the State of Alaska slowly developed. In 1971, Congress passed the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA). This law provided for the creation of 13 Native regional, for-profit corporations. The corporation boundaries were created along cultural diversity lines, with the exception of one corporation that represents Alaska Natives living outside of Alaska. (That corporation did not receive a land entitlement but instead received a cash settlement.) Congress authorized the 12 remaining corporations to select land from 44 million acres (18 million hectares). This land, along with a cash settlement, would be used to pursue economic development ventures to sustain and support their shareholders. Congress also increased the number and size of national parks, preserves, and refuges in Alaska, and the Secretary of the Interior selected a total of 227 million acres (92 million ha) for these purposes. The authority for this was the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA). ANILCA also provided for the protection of subsistence hunting and fishing activities by rural residents of Alaska. Title VIII of ANILCA gives authority for the Federal Government to implement a subsistence hunting and fishing program for rural residents on Federal lands.

One important aspect of ANILCA for tribes in Alaska was the extinguishment of aboriginal hunting and fishing rights. This action paved the way for the State of Alaska to manage fish and wildlife resources throughout Alaska. The passage of ANCSA also revoked the Alaska Native Allotment Act and all reserves for Native purposes, except for one at Annette Island (Metlakatla). Tribes within reservations were given the option of receiving title to their land, but without reservation status. The 44 million acres that the regional corporations selected were based on traditional use and occupancy patterns within each geographic area. These 12 regional corporations represent the diverse cultures within the three ethnic races: Indian, Eskimo, and Aleut.

In 1993, Ada Deer, then Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Indian Affairs, announced the recognition of 226 Alaskan tribes by the Federal Government.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

An Alaska Native's Perspective
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?