Guide to Sources for the Study of the 1971 Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act

The first-ever comprehensive guide to historical sources about the landmark Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA), that marked its 50th anniversary last year, is now available from the Alaska Historical Society.

The three-volume, nearly 1,200-page guide identifies the vast majority of documents in existence about the historic claims act legislation located in libraries, archives and personal collections from Alaska to Washington, D.C., presents published, unpublished and and on-line secondary sources, and offers resources for teaching about ANCSA. 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 legislation, which passed Congress and was signed into law by President Richard Nixon in 1971, resolved long-standing issues surrounding aboriginal land claims in Alaska and stimulated long-lasting economic development through allocation of 44 million acres of land and nearly $1 billion to Alaska Native organizations. ANCSA transformed the social, political and economic landscape of Alaska. However, it extinguished Aboriginal title to the land and Aboriginal hunting and fishing rights, severely restricting the extent of Native control over the land ceded to them.

The fully searchable and navigable electronic PDF document “Guide to Sources for the Study of the 1971 Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act” is presented in three-volumes:

Volume 1: History and Archival Collections edited by Karen Brewster

  • 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 edited by Karen Brewster
  • ANCSA Timeline by Joan Antonson
  • List of Key Participants in ANCSA by Sue Sherif and Ron Inouye

Volume 2: Annotated 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)

All three volumes can also be accessed at Scholarworks, a digital repository for University of Alaska research.

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/APU Consortium Library.