Alaska Native Communities in Context: Women’s Leadership Through ANCSA
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The Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971 (ANCSA) marked a new and unique Congressional approach to Federal Indian policy. In an effort to resolve land claims, ANCSA mandated the creation of regional corporate entities that Congress termed “Alaska Native corporations.” While corporations by name, these entities had a purpose beyond profit: promoting the social, cultural, and economic advancement of their Alaska Native shareholders and communities in perpetuity. This summer, an U.S. Supreme Court case on CARES Act funding reaffirmed that the difference between Alaska Native corporations and Tribes was one of nomenclature rather than rights.
Over the last 50 years, Alaska Native women have played an integral role in ANCSA’s implementation and evolution, guiding their communities and organizations through times of challenge, change, and triumph. Today, Alaska Native women work in all levels of Alaska Native corporation leadership, including nearly half of the 12 regional corporations’ president and CEO roles.
Please join the Wilson Center’s Polar Institute, along with ANCSA Regional Association and Alaska Native Village Corporation Association, to hear from Alaska Native women leaders how they guided ANCs through their early years and how the organizations evolved to serve the needs of their Alaska Native communities.
Since its inception in 2017, the Polar Institute has become a premier forum for discussion and policy analysis of Arctic and Antarctic issues, and is known in Washington, DC and elsewhere as the Arctic Public Square. The Institute holistically studies the central policy issues facing these regions—with an emphasis on Arctic governance, climate change, economic development, scientific research, security, and Indigenous communities—and communicates trusted analysis to policymakers and other stakeholders. Read more