AHS Blog

Guide to Primary Sources on the 1971 Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act

Date Posted: December 17, 2021       Categories: News

December 18, 2021 marks the 50th anniversary of the signing of the landmark Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) by President Richard Nixon. The Alaska Historical Society wanted to recognize the movement that led to ANCSA and its evolving significance, and provide an opportunity to reflect on the accomplishments and struggles of those who made this happen. The result is the “Guide to Sources for the Study of the 1971 Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act“ (edited by Karen Brewster), which presents primary archival, published and on-line sources that will be useful to anyone interested in learning about ANCSA.

The guide is presented in three-volumes and the current draft (as of 12/15/21) can be downloaded at the Resources for the Study of the 1971 Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act webpage in the Discover Alaska’s History section of the Alaska Historical Society website.

Volume 1: “Guide to Sources for the Study of the 1971 Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act”

  • Introduction to the Guide by William Schneider, Karen Brewster, Joan Antonson
  • Brief Interpretive History of ANCSA by William Schneider
  • Description of Collections By Location and Detailed Inventories of Collections by Karen Brewster
  • ANCSA Timeline by Joan Antonson
  • List of Key Participants in ANCSA by Sue Sherif and Ron Inouye

Volume 2: ANCSA Bibliography by Sue Sherif and Joan Antonson

Volume 3: Resources For Teaching ANCSA at 50 by Michael Hawfield (PDF’s of items mentioned in this list of resources is available at the PDF Resources for Teaching ANCSA at 50 webpage in the Discover Alaska’s History section of the Alaska Historical Society website)

The three volumes are also available through the University of Alaska’s Scholarworks database at: https://scholarworks.alaska.edu/handle/11122/12594

This project was supported by a grant from the Rasmuson Foundation, and contributions from  the following Native corporations: Doyon Limited, Sealaska, Bering Straits, Calista, and
Koniag. Additional support was provided by the Atwood Foundation through a grant to
the UAA Consortium Library.

Native American Heritage Month Lecture Series

Date Posted: November 15, 2021       Categories: News

Save the SS NENANA

Date Posted: November 11, 2021       Categories: News

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: bryce.ward@fnsb.gov  Or Write to Mayor Bryce Ward: PO Box 71267 Fairbanks, AK 99707


Alaska History Day 2022

Date Posted: November 11, 2021       Categories: News

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!

Please send in your topic suggestions no later than NOVEMBER 30, 2021 to: Pennelope Goforth (AHS)  seacat@cybrrcat.com  or Ian Hartman (CIHS) ichartman@alaska.edu



Cultural Heritage Tourism National Survey

Date Posted: November 9, 2021       Categories: News

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 carole@meritage-consulting.com