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<v Speaker>Five, four, three, two, one. <v Speaker>Ladies and gentlemen, of the AFN this is the White House in Washington <v Speaker>calling. I present the President of the United States. <v President Richard Nixon>I appreciate this opportunity to extend my greetings and best wishes to the convention of <v President Richard Nixon>the Alaska Federation of Natives. <v President Richard Nixon>I want you to be among the first to know that I have just signed the Alaska Native <v President Richard Nixon>Claims Settlement Act. This is a milestone in the lives of history. <v President Richard Nixon>[music] <v Speaker>The Corporate Whale: ANCSA: The First 10 years. <v Speaker>The Reverend McCauliffe, St. George Island. <v Reverend McCauliffe>This land of Alaska, which thou gave to our ancestors who had come <v Reverend McCauliffe>and gone before us, is now being handed to us a second <v Reverend McCauliffe>time by the Act of the United States Congress and our
<v Reverend McCauliffe>untiring efforts, a second chance is given to us <v Reverend McCauliffe>by thee to be the new custodians and caretakers. <v Host>On December 16, 1981, several hundred Indian, Eskimo, <v Host>and Aleut leaders gathered in a university cafeteria in Anchorage, Alaska, <v Host>to consider the Alaska Native Land Claims Settlement Act, ANCSA. <v Host>For three days, they met and discussed the bill, a bill that offered compensation <v Host>of nearly half a billion dollars and close to one ninth of the state's total land <v Host>in exchange for relinquishing all further Aboriginal claims to that land. <v Host>The dollar amount and the vastness of the territory impressed many. <v Host>Some predicted that Alaska Natives would become the sheiks of the North, comparing the <v Host>imminent financial windfall and potential gain for resource development with <v Host>the Middle East. Others, especially residents of Alaska's oil rich Arctic slope, <v Host>felt the settlement was not a just exchange for claims to land that their ancestors
<v Host>occupied and used from, as they said, time immemorial. <v Host>Now, 10 years after convention delegates agreed to the bill hammered out by Congress <v Host>and its signing into law by President Richard Nixon on December 18, 1971, <v Host>Alaska Natives have received the money, but are custodians and caretakers of less <v Host>than one half of the expected lands. <v Host>This 10 part series, The Corporate Whale, will listen to some of the events leading <v Host>to the land claims settlement, the mechanisms that were employed to manage the Act, <v Host>government agencies and native corporations, hear how leaders assess the first 10 <v Host>years and predictions for 1991. <v Host>[music]
<v Host>In 1971, the year ANSCA became law, Alaska was represented <v Host>in Congress by the late Nick Begich in the House and Mike Revelle and Ted Stevens <v Host>in the Senate. <v Ted Stevens>Ted Stevens, and I'm still a United States senator. <v Ted Stevens>I think one of the key questions was the amount of land in the settlement. <v Ted Stevens>In the beginning, that had been listed about 10, <v Ted Stevens>11 million acres and there were a series <v Ted Stevens>of Native leaders involved at that time who were <v Ted Stevens>insisting that there had to be 40 million acres <v Ted Stevens>at least, and they- members <v Ted Stevens>of the House and the Senate on both political parties kept saying, <v Ted Stevens>you know, here- you people must come up with our state recommendation <v Ted Stevens>on these various issues. And we're not going to decide whether the state of Alaska is <v Ted Stevens>right or the Native groups to the AFN or the members of Congress, You
<v Ted Stevens>just cannot present this case to us for a settlement, a unique legislative <v Ted Stevens>settlement, without some unanimity. <v Ted Stevens>And we finally did get together and worked out a series of, uh, positions <v Ted Stevens>which reflected, uh, a I think <v Ted Stevens>a fairly unified approach. <v Ted Stevens>And that was when the bill finally moved. <v Host>Willy Hensley is now president of NANA Development Corporation, a Native corporation <v Host>subsidiary and chairman of a Native owned bank, United Bank, Alaska. <v Host>He has been a state legislator and president of the Alaska Federation of Natives, and <v Host>he's been very active lobbying Congress in Washington, DC. <v Willy Hensley>We had us a lot of <v Willy Hensley>trouble with the ideas that were involved in and <v Willy Hensley>in the approaches that Congress was <v Willy Hensley>trying to impose because frankly, they wanted to make the settlement like <v Willy Hensley>a sieve. You know that as you put all the land and money up here in this big funnel and
<v Willy Hensley>all of a sudden swoosh it- it's you know, it gets passed out throughout the society and <v Willy Hensley>basically, again, into non-native hands through business. <v Host>Business interests were, in fact, powerful influences and moving Congress and the <v Host>executive branch toward a settlement. <v Host>In 1968, Arco announced that significant amounts of oil had been discovered <v Host>on the North Slope on lands traditionally used by the Inupiaq Eskimos. <v Host>On December 17, 1971, Joe Upicksoun of Barrow, President <v Host>of the Arctic Slope Native Association addressed the delegates assembled in Anchorage. <v Joe Upicksoun>The Congress is making this settlement for just one reason, because <v Joe Upicksoun>the oil of the North Slope is owned by the Inupiaq Eskimos of the <v Joe Upicksoun>Arctic Slope. <v Joe Upicksoun>As it turns out, the pressure the pipeline simply has required the Congress <v Joe Upicksoun>to move. <v Host>Don Wright, president of the Alaska Federation of Natives and lobbyist for the <v Host>settlement, wanted to capitalize on that congressional movement. <v Host>He knew the long history, the years of struggle to obtain that document.
<v Host>He knew that the Arctic Slope would not accept its conditions. <v Host>And Congress and the president were waiting to hear from the delegates, many of them <v Host>having their first close look at ANSC 29 crowded pages. <v Don Wright>The Congress of the United States has acted on a <v Don Wright>piece of legislation that will make history not <v Don Wright>only for the state of Alaska, but for the United States <v Don Wright>and for the world. <v Don Wright>To the best of my knowledge, a land <v Don Wright>transaction such as this has never taken place <v Don Wright>anywhere in the world before. <v Don Wright>It's been the history of most nations to deal <v Don Wright>in total with other nations, each recognizing <v Don Wright>sovereignty that was gained by force of arms. <v Don Wright>The Congress of the United States at this time has truly recognized
<v Don Wright>Aboriginal title that is vested <v Don Wright>in you people and left to you as <v Don Wright>an inheritance by your forefathers. <v Don Wright>Some of us individually may have thoughts <v Don Wright>about the fairness of this legislation. <v Don Wright>Some of us no doubt are not satisfied totally. <v Don Wright>The wording in this document is very complex and difficult. <v Don Wright>It says things that will be interpreted by lawyers <v Don Wright>in different ways. <v Don Wright>It was intended to be a total settlement. <v Don Wright>[Recording Attendance] <v Host>The room was divided into 13 areas, corresponding to the 12 regional corporations <v Host>set out in the act, plus the potential 13th Regional Corporation for
<v Host>Alaska Natives living outside of the state. <v Host>The group's caucused, discussing pros and cons in the vote they would cast, <v Host>votes that could prompt a Presidential veto and more years of claiming not getting <v Host>title to land. <v Representative>There are some things, you know, granted that we don't like about it that we <v Representative>would rather have folks on the Senate and the House side. <v Representative>The fact of the matter is that we live with this bill as- <v Representative>I personally wouldn't want to take the chance of having a bill vote ?inaudible? <v Representative 2> My recommendation would be based on everything we have heard, <v Representative 2>that we go ahead and prepare to accept <v Representative 2>and that we also, as a part of this recommendation, <v Representative 2>start to line out the improvements we want to make in the bill. <v Representative 2>And obviously the bill requires some clarifications, some improvements. <v Representative 2>And I'm the first to concede we're not perfectly happy with the bill. <v George Miller>I'm George Miller. I represent the Cook Inlet region, the biggest city
<v George Miller>Indian village in Alaska, Anchorage, Kenai, Tyonek, <v George Miller>Ninilchik, Iliamna, Seldovia, and the region <v George Miller>of Cook Inlet recommends the signature <v George Miller>of the President of the United States to signed the bill. <v Don Wright>Are there any other regional chairmen that wish to comment? <v Cecil Barnes>My name is Cecil Barnes. I represent Region 11, the Chugach Native Association. <v Cecil Barnes>And it is recommendation of the Delegation of the Chugach Native Association that the <v Cecil Barnes>President sign the bill into law. <v Don Wright>Are there any other regions that wish to speak? <v Don Wright>?inaudible? ?chief? <v Host> The general feeling of region after region <v Host>was that while the Alaskan Native Land Claims Settlement Act was an imperfect instrument, <v Host>it could be worked with and fine tuned later. <v Host>Amidst all the positive sentiment, an elderly Tlingit man came to the podium, <v Host>William Paul, senior attorney and first Native member of the Territorial House
<v Host>of Representatives. <v William Paul>My theme right now is this. <v William Paul>As I said long time ago, the land is ours. <v William Paul>What are you afraid? <v William Paul>No we've gone through a struggle, it seems to be terminating at this time. <v William Paul>And it seems to me that you are going to approve of this. <v William Paul>But I want <v William Paul>to tell you today that you ought not being guided by your fear. <v William Paul>The United States Congress admits that we have a legal right to the land. <v William Paul>It is ours. In order to satisfy our legal rights, they are <v William Paul>offering us the turkey buzzard. <v William Paul>[music]
<v Don Wright>Would the secretary please read the motion? <v Secretary>Motion made by ?inaudible? is to recommend that the President- President's signature <v Secretary>be put on the Land Claims bill and was seconded by Harvey Samuelson. <v Don Wright>Uh, the question was called last evening and we're to take the vote at this time. <v Don Wright>So, the secretary will call the roll. <v Don Wright>A yes vote will be approving for the President of the United States <v Don Wright>to sign the bill into law. <v Secretary>This will be a yes or no vote. <v Secretary>Tlingit and Haida, A and B. <v Central Council of Southeast Alaska Representative>Central Council of Southeast Alaska votes yes. <v Secretary>Central Council Southeast Alaska votes yes. <v Secretary>?inaudible? Fairbanks Native Association.
<v Canada Fairbanks Native Association Representative>The Canada Fairbanks Native Association votes yes. <v Secretary>Fairbanks Native Association votes yes. <v Secretary>Arctic Slope. <v Artic Slope Representative>No. <v Secretary>Arctic Slope votes no. Kotzebue NANA. <v Kotzebue NANA Representative>Yes. <v Secretary>Kotzebue NANA votes yes. Tyonek. <v Tyonek Representative>Tyonek votes yes. <v Secretary>Tyonek votes yes. <v Secretary>Washington Chapter. <v Washington Chapter Representative>Washington Chapter votes no ?inaudible?. <v Secretary>Washington Chapter votes no. The total number of votes is 567. <v Secretary>A total of 511 yes <v Secretary>and 56 no. [music]
<v Host>With only the Artic Slope and Washington regions dissenting, the delegates to <v Host>the December 1971 Alaska Federation of Natives convention overwhelmingly <v Host>accepted public law 92- 203 AFN President <v Host>Don Wright. <v Don Wright>We're starting on a new era, the post settlement era. <v Don Wright>[music] <v Host>You have been listening to the Corporate Whale: ANCA, The First 10 years, <v Host>the first program in a 10 part series written and produced by Karen Michel <v Host>McPherson with technical assistance from Phil Falkowski. <v Host>Funding was provided by KUAC sponsors and the Alaska Native Human Resources <v Host>Development Program of the Cooperative Extension Service of the University of Alaska. <v Host>Special thanks to the historical tape collection of the University of Alaska Archives <v Host>and musicians Hurby Vent, Buddy Tabor and Fred Westermann. <v Host>Cassette copies of this program are available for $5 from Educational <v Host>Media Services Star Route Box 20155 Fairbanks,
The Corporate Whale: ANCSA: Ten Years Later
The History
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Media Educational Services (Firm)
KUAC (Radio station : Fairbanks, Alaska)
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The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia (Athens, Georgia)
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Episode Description
The program features commentary from Don Wright, president of the Alaska Federation of Natives, Reverend McCauliffe, Ted Stevens, former United States Senator, Willy Hensley, former president of the NANA Development Corporation, Joe Upicksoun, former president of the Arctic Slope Native Association, George Miller, representative of the Cook Inlet region, Cencil Barnes, representative of the Chugach Native Association, and William Paul, prominent Tlingit attorney.
Series Description
"'The Corporate Whale: ANCSA The First Ten Years' is a ten-part series of 15 minute radio programs. The programs focus on the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, called ANCSA: deliberations concerning the Act, the provisions of the Act itself and the mechanisms it creates to distribute the land and money granted, profiles of village and regional native corporations, issues and predictions for the next ten years of ANCSA's implementation. The programs are intended for statewide distribution in Alaska, for the general listening public. The entry for this competition is the first program in the series: the deliberations of delegates to the December 1971 convention of the Alaska Federation of Natives. First heard is the countdown to the President Richard Nixon's call to the convention, announcing that he has just signed the historic bill, a bill that offered greater compensation in exchange for relinquishing aboriginal land claims than any previous settlement in this country -- or any other. Following a narration setting time and place, Eskimo, Indian and Aleut leaders are heard deliberating the land claims settlement, determining whether they should vote to accept its signing into law, whether to recommend Nixon's signature. Original music guides listeners through segments as people voice their reservations about the historic bill, and ultimately vote to recommend an ending of hundreds of years of claiming, not getting a share of Alaska's monetary and land wealth. A bill that promised to usher Alaska's native people into a new era of corporations and paper title to land used since time immemorial, a bill that promised to alter the political and cultural structure and to have ultimate global impacts. The first program prepares the listener for future programs that examine the Act itself and its provisions, the corporations created by the Act, issues and predictions for the next ten years of its implementation."--1981 Peabody Awards entry form.
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Producing Organization: Media Educational Services (Firm)
Producing Organization: KUAC (Radio station : Fairbanks, Alaska)
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The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia
Identifier: cpb-aacip-5332acadeeb (Filename)
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Duration: 0:16:00
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Chicago: “The Corporate Whale: ANCSA: Ten Years Later; The History,” 1981-11-25, The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 28, 2022,
MLA: “The Corporate Whale: ANCSA: Ten Years Later; The History.” 1981-11-25. The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 28, 2022. <>.
APA: The Corporate Whale: ANCSA: Ten Years Later; The History. Boston, MA: The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from