AHS Blog  |  49 History

Call for Papers: Alaska Historical Society Annual Conference

Date Posted: April 20, 2023       Categories: 49 History News

OCTOBER 5-8, 2023

Deadline Extended: Call for papers

The theme for the Alaska Historical Society’s fall 2023 conference is “Connections and Disconnections in Alaska History,” which speaks broadly to how colonialism, industrialization and global conflict have shaped Alaska history. These historical processes have created wealth and opportunity for some, while causing profound losses of land and livelihood for others.
As the Alaska Railroad marks its centennial this year, this theme allows us to explore transportation connections—dogsleds, boats, trains, vehicles and airplanes—which have linked Alaskans to one another and to the rest of the world, but have sometimes created daunting obstacles within the state. The building of the Alaska Highway connected Alaska to the rest of the U.S., but did so with the labor of a racially segregated work force, with the least favorable working conditions assigned to African-American soldiers. Alaska’s connection with Russia has changed from the colonization of Alaska through the cooperation of the Lend-Lease pilots during WWII to today’s re-emergence of the Cold War. The Gold Rush, the rise of commercial fisheries and the oil boom brought new settlers and opportunities for some, but displaced Alaska Natives and took food and economic opportunities from them.

There’s no starker example of disconnection than the history of Alaska Native education policy. Many Alaska Native youth went, some forcibly, from their homes to boarding schools, which had the goal of separating them from their Native identity. The callous and abusive treatment many children received continues to have consequences today. This year’s theme includes the history of reconnections achieved by Alaska Native people in regaining lands, rights and resources, notably through the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, and around issues of sovereignty and integration of Native cultures and languages into public education.

Our keynote speaker is Diane Hirshberg, director of the University of Alaska’s Institute of Social and Economic Research, an 18-year veteran of UAA and a specialist in education policy, especially Indigenous education, circumpolar education issues and the role of education in sustainable development.

Please join us in the Central Kenai Peninsula this October. The conference will be mostly in-person, with an an option for remote participation. As always, presentations on all Alaska history topics are welcome. Talks are limited to 20 minutes, and all presenters must be registered for the conference. TO SUBMIT A PROPOSAL, please send your presentation title, an abstract of no more than 100 words, and two sen-tences about yourself to Rachel Mason, program chair, at rachel_mason@nps.gov. Proposals are due by Thursday, June 8.

Alaska Historical Society’s Logo Redesign and Brand Guidelines

Date Posted: April 5, 2023       Categories: 49 History

Request for Proposals
Alaska Historical Society’s logo redesign and brand guidelines

Project Information
The Alaska Historical Society is a non-profit, educational institution dedicated to encouraging
creative inquiry into our past, facilitating and advocating for the sharing of information, ideas
and resources related to Alaska history, and promoting the value of history in contemporary life.
We believe the history of Alaska is the history of many groups and peoples who have shaped this
place, including Alaska Native peoples as the first Alaskans, and those from every continent and
population group. Governed by a 15-member board of directors, the Society provides numerous
opportunities to achieve these goals, including a semi-annual scholarly journal, a quarterly
newsletter, website and frequent social media communications with our members and the public.
We are in the process of redesigning our journal and want to use the opportunity to redesign our
long-time logo and develop brand guidelines. The new logo and guidelines will be used in all our
publications, on social media, on our letterhead and to help convey to members and the public
our values. Those values include inclusivity, wisdom, integrity, enlightened civil discourse and
factual storytelling in both the written and oral forms.

There is confusion and criticism of our current logo, which many perceive to be reflective of the
Russian tzarist-era double-headed eagle rather than the broad diversity of Alaska history we
strive to represent. At the same time, we want advice from a designer about the use of typeface
and colors in all our publications, website and social media materials.

We are seeking an experienced designer to help us develop a new logo which meets the
following criteria:
• Is easily identifiable as representing the Alaska Historical Society;
• Better reflects Alaska’s Indigenous history and contributions;
• Can be used in various sizes and colors and is in a shape which fits our publications;
• Is simple and clean in appearance.

Scope of Services
The AHS is seeking proposals for a redesign of the logo and brand guidelines, including:
• Meeting the above criteria;
• Providing options for use of the logo in different colors;
• Suggesting typefaces and a color palette for use throughout our materials;
• Will meet the test of time and is not gimmicky.
The AHS hopes to have a new logo ready for use for our 2023 conference in early October. The
contractor should expect to meet via Zoom several times with a committee of Society members.
The first meeting is to suggest ideas, followed by two or three meetings to review draft logos and

Proposal Content
Proposers submitting a response to the RFP are to provide:
• Business background/resume,
• Several samples of work,
• 2-3 references,
• Budget/costs – our goal is no more than $2,000 (paid hourly or at a flat fee).

Responses to this RFP are due April 28, 2023, and should be sent to:

Images of the Society’s publications and social media are on AHS website,

Questions regarding this request for proposals should be directed to

Alaska Women’s Hall of Fame Nominations Open Now

Date Posted: March 8, 2023       Categories: 49 History

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

Date Posted: February 17, 2023       Categories: 49 History

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

Date Posted: August 25, 2022       Categories: 49 History News

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.


“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.”

Tundra Times newspaper, December 22, 1971. Courtesy of Ukpeagvik Iñupiat Corporation and Tuzzy Consortium Library of Utqiaġvik, Alaska.


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.


The guide is a fully searchable and navigable electronic PDF document available online.


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.


Contact William Schneider, project director, at wsschneider@alaska.edu

Download Project’s Informational Flyer

Download AHS Press Release, August 22, 2022