Spring 2018

Alaska’s Conflicting Objectives

Rosita Kaaháni Worl and Heather Kendall-Miller
The treaty-making period between the U.S. government and Native peoples ended in 1871, four years after the United States purchased Alaska from Russia. Thus, Alaska Natives did not enter into treaties recognizing their political authority or land rights, nor were they granted the same land rights as other federally recognized tribes. Rather, Congress created the Alaska Native Corporations to manage reserved lands in 1971. Rosita Kaaháni Worl and Heather Kendall-Miller explore the unique legal status of these corporations: though created to settle land claims and assimilate Alaska Natives, Alaska Native cultures and governance structures persisted and evolved and, today, many are reasserting the inherent authority of sovereign governments.
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