AHS Blog | 49 History
Alaska Women’s Hall of Fame Nominations Open Now
Call for Nominations!
The Alaska Women’s Hall of Fame invites Alaskans to nominate outstanding women to be considered for induction into the Alaska Women’s Hall of Fame.
Nominations close May 29, 2023. Additional details can be found at alaskawomenshalloffame.com Nominations must be submitted electronically.
Save the Date!
The Class of 2023 will be inducted on Alaska Day, October 18th, 2023. The ceremony is open to the public and will be broadcast live on our website.
Alaska History Day is Coming up in April
Alaska History Day is coming up in April – please consider volunteering a few hours of your time as a judge!
What is Alaska History Day?
It is the Alaska statewide contest for National History Day. NHD is a year-long academic program focused on historical research, interpretation and creative expression for 6th- to 12th-grade students. By participating in NHD, students become writers, filmmakers, web designers, playwrights and artists as they create unique contemporary expressions of history.
When is it?
Judging for Alaska History Day will be April 3-10, with results announced April 14, 2023.
Who can be a judge?
You! We are looking for educators, historians, librarians, and others interested in serving as judges for our online contest. You don’t need to be an expert in a topic to be a judge! And since this contest is virtual, you can volunteer from anywhere you can connect to the internet. Why be a judge? Volunteering as a judge is an excellent way to support education in Alaska. You are helping our students gain crucial skills: problem solving, critical thinking, research and reading skills, self-confidence, and more.
What does an AHD judge do?
After a judging orientation, you will review student projects and offer constructive feedback; then, work with your fellow judging team members to rank the entries.
How to sign up?
Fill out the judges’ information form here.
You will also need to register as a judge here so you can access student entries.
Keep an eye out in your email for additional updates and scheduling.
Comprehensive Guide to Landmark Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act
The first-ever comprehensive guide to historical sources about the landmark Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) has been completed by the Alaska Historical Society (AHS).
The three-volume, nearly 1,200-page Guide to Sources for the Study of the 1971 Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act identifies the vast majority of documents in existence about the historic claims act legislation located in archives, libraries, personal collections and online from Alaska to Washington, D.C. It serves as the premier information gateway for researchers, historians and those interested in the fascinating history of how the largest land claims settlement in U.S. history became law.
The AHS spent more than two years identifying documents about the act and detailing where they are located and how they can be accessed. The project unearthed numerous fascinating “gems” leading to passage of the act, such as:
- A 20-page report about the first statewide meeting of Alaska Native leaders in Anchorage in 1966 that laid the groundwork for establishment of the Alaska Federation of Natives.
- A 1970 speech by President Nixon on Indian policy in which he called for a new approach to the federal treatment of Native Americans, a historic change from termination to self-determination.
- A speech by Dr. Henry Forbes, whose financial backing helped establish the Tundra Times and who worked with Howard Rock, the newspaper’s founder and editor.
PRAISE FOR THE GUIDE
“The Alaska Historical Society has produced a valuable resource guide to the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act,” said Tlingit elder and land claims activist Irene Rowan, who also served in Washington, D.C., in the 1970s as special assistant for Alaska programs to the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs in the U.S. Department of the Interior. “This tool is important to those wishing to learn who was involved—why, how and who benefited. The guide will be useful in so many ways for so many people for many years to come. I commend and thank the AHS for taking on this mammoth and important project.”
“ANCSA was a major turning point in the history of Alaska Natives and their relationships to local, state and federal governments,” said Chuck Smythe, senior ethnologist with the Sealaska Heritage Institute. “This invaluable sourcebook provides a guide to primary and secondary sources for understanding what led to this act and its aftermath, which is still unfolding across the state.”
EXPLORING THE GUIDE
The project is organized into three separate documents for ease of use:
- VOLUME 1 – HISTORY AND ARCHIVAL COLLECTIONS is an inventory of primary sources about the act detailing where specific historic documents are housed and how to view them. Sites include university, state and national archives, presidential libraries, museums, on-line data bases and agencies such as the National Park Service.
- VOLUME 2 – ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY is a bibliography of published and unpublished sources of information about the act including books, articles, films, websites, major archival collections and even college theses and term papers. For example, it includes the college research paper Iñupiaq leader Willie Hensley wrote in 1966 which brought to light the legal reasons Natives had a claim to land.
- VOLUME 3 – RESOURCES FOR THE TEACHING OF ANCSA AT 50 is a guide for educators wanting to teach about ANCSA and features curriculum approaches and key questions to pursue with their students.
ACCESSING THE GUIDE ONLINE
The guide is a fully searchable and navigable electronic PDF document available online.
- Access the complete guide at the Alaska Historical Society’s webpage: www.tinyurl.com/ANCSAguide
- Access the complete guide at Scholarworks, a digital repository for University of Alaska research: www.tinyurl.com/ANCSAguideUA
OUR FUNDING PARTNERS
Essential funding for the project came from Alaska Native regional corporations including Doyon, Sealaska, Calista, Bering Straits and Koniag, as well as from the Rasmuson Foundation and the Atwood Foundation.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Contact William Schneider, project director, at email@example.com
Download Project’s Informational Flyer
Download AHS Press Release, August 22, 2022
Eyewitness Booklet Series
Chris Allan has compiled five booklets of what he calls the “Eyewitness Series.” They are being made available on the Alaska Historical Society’s website. Chris’s intent with the first four booklets is to showcase voices of the past: “I wanted to get away from the traditional historian’s narrative form where primary sources play a secondary or tertiary role behind the historian’s voice and analysis. I like the idea of people hearing history from the eyewitnesses. In each case, I was so impressed with what was available in digitized newspapers that I wanted to share it.” His booklet about mining operations at Coal Creek and Woodchopper Creek does the same as the others but allows photographers from the 1930s to tell the story. Each booklet includes advertisements, early maps, paintings, drawings and photographs previously unpublished or never collected in the same place.
Hoping to stimulate others to undertake new investigations, Chris also prepared a guide called “The Newspaper Bonanza: How to Discover Alaska’s Past in Newspaper Databases.”
The booklets are:
Eyewitness Series #1: American Side of the Line: Eagle City’s Origins as an Alaskan Gold Rush Town as Seen in Newspapers and Letters, 1897-1899, a collection from the town’s first year during the Klondike Gold Rush.
Eyewitness Series #2: As the Old Flag Came Down: Eyewitness Accounts of the October 18, 1867 Alaska Transfer Ceremony, a collection of sources describing the ceremony at Sitka after the United States purchased Alaska from Russia.
Eyewitness Series #3: A Rough and Tumble Country: Juneau’s Origins as Alaska’s First Gold Mining Boomtown as Described by Eyewitnesses, 1880-1881, a collaboration with Mark Kirchhoff about the discovery of gold in Gastineau Channel and the evolution of what would become Alaska’s capital city.
Eyewitness Series #4: Of Gold and Gravel: A Pictorial History of Mining Operations at Coal Creek and Woodchopper Creek, 1934-1938, Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve, a collection of seventy-five photographs illustrating the construction of two mining camps and two gold dredges in Alaska’s backcountry.
Eyewitness Series #5: A River’s Many Faces: Depictions of Life on the Yukon River by Charles O. Farciot and Willis E. Everette, 1882-1885, a collection of photographs and drawings offering glimpses of an Indigenous world shaped by fur trading companies and, increasingly, by outsiders searching for gold.
Denali Park Road History
The Year Everything Changed: The 1972 Shuttle Bus Decision in Mount McKinley National Park.
Tourism numbers at Denali National Park dropped this last summer due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The park projected between 50-60 thousand visitors. The last time Denali had so few tourists the park had a different name, private automobiles could still drive the length of the road, and Richard Nixon was President—it was the early 1970s. It was an era of big change in Denali.
Read more about the history of Denali National Park’s shuttle bus system in an article by Erik Johnson, Historian at Denali National Park.