Alaska History Day Needs Your Help!
We ask your help to recommend Alaska history topics related to the theme of this year’s competition— Debate & Diplomacy in History: Successes, Failures, Consequences. And if you can add accompanying source or archive or museum collection where students can research deeper, so much the better!
National History Day—known as Alaska History Day in the state—sprang from a program created by Case Western University professor David Van Tassel. He envisioned a history competition based on the science-fair model to encourage students to create a project that would take them through the process of research, analysis, drawing conclusions, and presenting their findings.
From those humble beginnings arose a national non-profit education program. Today’s NHD offers guidance and resources for teachers to strengthen their history curriculum. The competition, while engages a half a million middle and high school students around the world in researching historical topics over the course of the academic year. Hundreds of Alaska students participate through the coordination of the Alaska Humanities Forum (AHF).
Student projects can take the form of a documentary, exhibit, research paper, performance, or website; they can compete individually or as part of a group of up to five members. Students compete at local school district levels, and selected regional winners advance to the national contest. Due to continuing public-health concerns, this year’s competition will be conducted virtually.
The Alaska Historical Society (AHS) and the Cook Inlet Historical Society (CIHS) in conjunction with the AHF, see Alaska History Day as a perfect opportunity to build on their missions of promoting the study of Alaska and Alaska’s archives. They encourage students throughout the state to choose research topics on Alaska history for their projects.
What do you think is an important Alaska subject students should research? Topics can be cultural, economic, social, or political events or people that relate the history of Alaska with the theme of Debate and Diplomacy.
For example, the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, which was enacted 50 years ago, is a timely topic. Some sources of information for students about this act are online at:
In the library: A book written by William (Willie) Hensley, “What Rights to Land Have the Alaska Natives: The Primary Issue”
Another example is the U.S/Canada border dispute. Online at: https://sovereignlimits.com/blog/u-s-canada-border-history-disputes
We want to read your ideas! For some inspiration, check out this National History Day video on debate and diplomacy with Ken Burns.
Alaska History Day is an exciting and rewarding way to see young people discover the deeper stories behind the history in their textbooks. Your suggestions will be compiled and made available to social studies teachers across Alaska who are participating in the competition.
With your help, Alaska History Day will truly be about Alaska this year!
The SS NENANA Needs Your Voice Again!
The letters and emails to the Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly and Fairbanks Borough Mayor saved the SS NENANA from being cut up into pieces. You not only saved her from this fate, but your voices were so loud that the Fairbanks North Star Borough stepped up to overtake the SS NENANA Phase I repairs on the cargo deck.
The Fairbanks North Star Borough’s Capital Improvement Program, FY 2021-30, is coming up, and the SS NENANA Restoration Phase II is listed as a possible project to adopt. Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly Members will be voting on which projects to address. The SS NENANA Phase II will focus repairs on the decks above the cargo deck, which are what we need in order to get the NENANA opened to the public again!
Your support is very important for the continued repairs of the vessel. Currently, the Fairbanks North Star Borough has only approved repairs to the cargo deck in Phase I starting the summer of 2022. Without the approval of Phase II repairs, she will remain closed to the public and will continue to deteriorate.
These projects are scored by public input; the assembly hearing from our community to save the SS NENANA is essential. Please send those letters and emails to our Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly members and mayor:
CIP Nominations for 2021 to 2030 are listed here: https://www.fnsb.gov/967/See-the-Nominations-2021
Email the FNSB Assembly members individually: https://www.fnsb.gov/Directory.aspx?DID=64
Email FNSB Mayor Bryce Ward: email@example.com Or Write to Mayor Bryce Ward: PO Box 71267 Fairbanks, AK 99707
Have you participated in heritage tours and activities?
The Educational Travel Consortium, Hargrove International, and the research firm, Young Strategies, is conducting a national survey to establish a detailed profile of heritage visitors and to gain a better understanding of the cultural heritage tourism market (post COVID-19). From this research, they hope to obtain information regarding travel activities, travel frequency, and motivations for travel – data to better inform the development of museums, programs, and other destination experiences.
According to the National Trust, cultural heritage travel is “traveling to experience the places, artifacts and activities that authentically represent the stories and people of the past and present. It includes historic, cultural and natural resources.”
If you have participated in heritage tours and activities, please click on the link below to take a brief survey about your travel planning and preferences and most recent travel experience. Complete the survey and register to WIN a $100 VISA gift card.
The survey is simple and will take about 10 minutes to complete. Thank you for your valuable time and input!
Click here to begin survey:
For more information about the research project or the survey, contact Carole Summers Morris at firstname.lastname@example.org
ANNOUNCING ANCSA@50: THE JOURNEY CONTINUES, A SERIES OF BROADCASTS TO COMMEMORATE THE 50th ANNIVERSARY OF THE LANDMARK LEGISLATION
From the earliest days of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA), cameras were rolling, capturing
a high-stakes drama that changed Alaska forever. The Alaska Native Media Group (ANMG) felt these were moments in time that needed to be shared on the 50th anniversary of the settlement, and invited other organizations to help them find films and video—new and old—that best tell the story of ANCSA.
With support from the Alaska Native Village Corporation Association (ANVCA), several organizations teamed up with ANMG, including KTOO, the Alaska Moving Image Preservation Association (AMIPA), and the UAA/APU Consortium Library, to produce, ANCSA@50: The Journey Continues, a series of programs to be aired over seven weeks, starting on Thursday, November 4 through Thursday, December 16, 2021 culminating in a marathon re-broadcast on the actual date of the anniversary— Saturday, December 18, 2021. See the schedule below.
The series will air on the statewide KTOO 360TV channel on broadcast, cable, streaming services and satellite television statewide. The service is broadcast over-the-air on digital TV channels, including KAKM 7.3 in Anchorage, KUAC 9.9 in Fairbanks, KYUK 15.3 in Bethel and KTOO 3.3 in Juneau. Home viewers with basic cable service see KTOO 360TV in 38 markets, mostly on channel 15. The channel is also on Dish Network and AT&T’s DirecTV and on a full-time channel on the
transmitters of the state’s rural television network, ARCS. You can also stream KTOO 360TV online at ktoo.org/360tv.
For a list of channel information, please visit:
For additional information about the series, please contact:
Kevin Tripp, AMIPA
NOV. 4, 8:00–10:00 PM
“The Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act” (1986)
A 5-part series, hosted by Nellie Moore, that outlines the history of ANCSA, the challenges of implementing the legislation, early impacts, and an overview of future challenges.
NOV. 11, 8:00–10:00 PM
“The Missing Chapter: Women Behind the Act” (2011)
Panel discussion: Nellie Moore, moderator, with Brenda Itta, Marlene Johnson, and Frances Degnan, tell of the important role women played in ANCSA.
NOV. 18, 8:00–10:00 PM
“The Early Days – Doyon, Limited” (2021)
Doyon, Limited, an ANCSA regional corporation, produced a history video to highlight the significant achievements and struggles leadership faced as they fought for Alaska Native land claims and the formation of Doyon as the Native regional corporation for Interior Alaska. Athaspascan leaders Emil Notti, Tim Wallis, Patrick Frank, Jules Wright, Melvin Charley, Georgianna Lincoln, Mike Harper, Sam Demientieff, and others share the importance of land, subsistence, early corporate investments, and the continuous process of learning.
“ANCSA: Diversity of Village Corporations” (2018)
Panel discussion: Hallie Bissett, moderator, with Gerad Godfrey, Afognak Corporation; Nathan McGowan, St. George Corporation; and Jeane Breinig, Kavilco, Inc., discuss how each corporation has its own unique story to tell of operations, investments, and relationship with shareholders.
NOV. 25, 8:00–10:00 PM
“A Matter of Trust” (1984)
Oscar Kawagley and other Yupik leaders express their concern about how ANCSA will impact their way of life, and whether the federal government can be trusted to hold up their end of the bargain.
“Thoughts on ‘A Matter of Trust’” (2021)
Panel discussion: Hallie Bissett, moderator, with Sam Kito II, former AFN President; John Shively, former NANA executive; Nathan McGowan, CEO St. George Corporation; and Melissa Kookesh, CEO of Kootznoowoo, Inc., reflect on the concerns expressed by the Yupik leaders, how the issues were addressed, and the challenges still to come.
DEC. 2, 8:00–10:00 PM
“Ten Years of ANCSA: Frank Berry Looks Back” (1982)
Frank Berry, President of the Alaska Native Foundation, reflects on ANCSA following the 1981 AFN Convention, which marked the tenth anniversary of ANCSA. Includes excerpts from several speeches made at AFN, by: Frank Ferguson, Gov. Jay Hammond, Lloyd Meads (delivering a speech on behalf of Sen. Henry M. “Scoop” Jackson), Emil Notti, Willie Hensley, William “Spud” Williams, Sen. Ted Stevens, and Rep. Don Young. Program ends with Berry in conversation with a group of men and women, in Nome. (Appears to be a draft form of a program that may never have been completed, or perhaps is otherwise “lost” at this point; title not original).
“Alaska Native Corporations in Context: Advancing Alaska Natives and Communities” (2021)
Mike Sfraga, Director of the Wilson Center, a non-partisan policy forum, and co-host Kim Reitmeier, ANCSA Regional Association, talk with Nathan McGowan, CEO of St. George Corporation; Jaeleen Kookesh, Secretary of Sealaska Corporation; and Jason Metrokin, CEO of Bristol Bay Native Corporation, on how the corporations serve their shareholders today.
DEC. 9, 8:00–10:00 PM
“ANCSA Moments from the Archives” (1968-2001)
Historic film & video documenting ANCSA from the Alaska Moving Image Preservation Association (AMIPA). Includes film from a US Senate committee hearing on land claims in Anchorage, and other recently discovered footage.
DEC. 16, 8:00–10:00 PM
“ANCSA: Caught in the Act – The Struggle” (1987)
An Alaska Native Foundation production with Diane Benson talking of the struggles of the Alaska Natives in the fight for ownership of their traditional land.
“Thoughts on ‘The Struggle’” (2021)
Diane Benson and Alice Glenn in conversation.
“Paddle Hard: ANCSA, Unity, and the Future” (2021)
Willie Hensley addresses the 2021 Youth and Elders Conference.
DEC. 18, (times TBA)
A re-broadcast of ANCSA@50: The Journey Continues
On the occasion of the December 18, 2021, 50th anniversary of ANCSA, a marathon of all of the ANCSA@50: The Journey Continues programming presented from Nov. 4 through Dec. 16.