Why Did ANCSA Happen? 

  • The discovery of oil on Alaska’s North Slope, along with other natural resources the government sought to develop, led to an urgency on the part of state and federal lawmakers to secure land ownership. But aboriginal land claims had to be resolved first.  
  • Pressure for access to resources resulted in quick legislative solution. The negotiations around ANCSA started in 1968 and legislation was signed into law in December of 1971.
Richard Frank Emil Notti AFN (Photo 1966-1968 University Alaska Anchorage uaa-hmc-1148-b1-f50-31)

Why the Regional Corporation Model? 

  • Based on some negative results from the reservation policies, Congress and Alaska Natives sought a different model. 
  • Unlike some arrangements with Lower 48 tribes in the past, Alaska Native Corporations owned the land and everything on it outright. Lands were not held in trust by the federal government, a patriarchal approach applied to some tribal lands in the Lower 48.  
  • The goal was for more economic purpose and self-sufficiency – “to meet the economic and social needs of Alaska Natives.” 
  • Corporations governed by and for Alaska Natives was thought to be a better alternative.