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Land claims at the grass roots:
1966 letters and village newsletters

Vol. I Issue 1                            September 23, 1966                 Noorvik, Alaska


     Noorvik City Council met with the two Headstart teachers to pick five people from Noorvik to work five days a week for six months. The jobs to be filled are:

I.   Two Teachers Aides who will work 5 hours @ day. The salary will be $2.00 @ hour.

2.   One COOK who will work 4 hours @ day. The salary will be $3.60 @ hour.

3.   One JANITOR who will work 4 hours @ day. Salary is $2.00 @ hour.

4.   One BOOK KEEPER who will work 3 hours @ day. Salary is $2.50 @ hour.

     The City Council gave serious thought in choosing people from Noorvik for the five job openings. The coucil [sic] decided for a long time before they made their final decision. The council figured that the best way to get people for the jobs would be to have anyone who is interested in any of these jobs to sign up for them at the Native Store. The deadline for signing your name for these five jobs will be at 7:00 PM, Saturday 24, 1966. No names will be taken after this time.

     When all the names are in the council will choose the people from the lists that they think need the jobs the most. Viola Sheldon and Vivian Sampson our two Headstart teachers will work with the council on this.

     If you are interested please sign up at the Native Store on Friday 23 or Saturday 24, which is today and tomorrow.


   On August 20, 1966 at 7:30 PM in Kotzebue, N.A.N.A. held a general meeting open to the public. Previous to this there was a meeting with 6 villages attending. At this time, officers were elected. They are:

   John Schaeffer Jr. – President

   Harvey Vestal ------ 1st Vice. Pres.

   Dick Curtis -------- 2nd Vice. Pres.

   Willie Hensley -------Exec. Director

   Margaret Russell --- Secretary

   John Nelson Jr. ---- Treasurer

   Ernest Norton ------ Historian

   Percy Appollot Jr. – Board Member

   Ronald Brown ------- Board Member

At this August 20 meeting seven new temporary board members were enstated from:

   Kivalina ----------- Bobby Hawley

   Selawik ------------ Jonas Ramoth

   Point Hope --------- Andrew Frankson

   Kiana -------------- Eugene Geffe

   Noorvik ------------ Robert Newlin

   Buckland ----------- Daniel Kirk

   Ambler ------------- Clarence Wood

The purpose of forming the N.A.N.A. are:

1. A united land claim of 38,000,000 acres of land from Point Hope – all of Noatak River, Kobuk River, Selawik River, Buckland and as far south to Goodhope River, which is approx. 20 miles west of Deering.

2. The government can work through N.A.N.A. and the Natives would speak as an organized group.

There were speakers at this meeting, O.E.O. Coordinators Charlie Edwardson and Don Perkins. Charlie Edwardson explained how the Arctic Slope Native Assoc. was organized and how they did it.

   A. They talked to local men who were interested in an organization.

   B. Held a general meeting.

1. Had temporary officers elected.
2. Backed the Democratic ticket for publicity
3. Made their land claim after the villages turned in their maps and tapes.

   C. He explained that A.S.N.A. was a success because the villages supported it. This is a must for N.A.N.A. for villages support.

Don Perkins was the next speaker:

A. O.E.O. backs N.A.N.A. and will work thru N.A.N.A.

B. The Public Health Service will help villages if they organize and file a complaint (P.H.S, Bill #181)

C. Noorvik is not eligible for F.H.A. loan mortgages because it is a reservation. Reservation status forbids private ownership of the land.

      Arthur Nagazruk Jr. was the next speaker. He is the Tribal Relations Officer for B.I.A.

      1. He will look into the I.R.A. constitutions in regard to the land claim.

      2. He will assist N.A.N.A. in setting up the Constitution and by-laws.

      John Schaeffer Jr. stated that the association is strictly for Eskimos that line in the 12 villages of the Northwest area. Non-natives can attend meetings, give assistance but they will not have a vote. Membership is obtained by living in the villages. When the Constitution and by-laws are prepared they will be sent to the villages to be accepted or changed.

      A representative from each of the 12 villages will be chosen by the village people.

      Willie Hensley explained that the land claim was the main reason for N.A.N.A. Some of the other problems mentioned were:

      1. Lack of electricity.

      2. High living costs.

3. Lack of Vocational school in the Kotzebue area.

4. Law and order enforcement.

5. Teenage drinking and lack of recreational facilities for students home from school.

      August 21, review of the meeting on August 20 was discussed.

      N.A.N.A. will have to have your support, especially the older folks as we are going to make tape recordings of each fish camps and hunting camps used by Eskimo people as far back as 1884. We will have to record this on a map. We will have to have a General Meeting sometime in October to explain to the people more of the purpose of the N.A.N.A. organization.

by temporary representative from Noorvik ROBERT NEWLIN




      August 23, 1966 we had a meeting with the village organized leaders of which these members attended:

CITY COUNCIL Ivan Field, Leo Geffe
I.R.A. COUNCIL Thomas Pungalik, Raymond George
MOTHER’S CLUB Violet Pungalik, Minnie Morris, Mildred Sampson, Pina Jackson, Helen Kagoona
SPORTS CLUB Alfred Wells, Walter Pungalik, Douglas Brown
HEADSTART Viola Sheldon, Vivian Sampson
VISTA Tim Kennedy, Rosaire Kennedy
N.A.N.A Robert Newlin

      At this meeting we discussed how would make a donation to A.S.C.A.P. fund. Then we agreed that each family would donate $1.00 to be sent to Ralph Perdue, President A.S.C.A.P., Box 1152, Fairbanks, Alaska.

      Leo Geffe, Viola Sheldon, Vivian Sampson and Willard Outwater went to each home to collect donations. Donations are as follows:

1. Ivan Field -- $1.00

2. Alfred Wells -- $1.00

3. Douglas Brown -- $1.00

4. Thomas Pungalik -- $1.00

5. Vivian Sampson -- $1.00

6. Tim Kennedy -- $4.56

7. Raymond George -- $1.00

8. Walter Pungalik -- $1.00

9. Leo Geffe -- $1.00

10. Cora Pungalik -- $1.00

11. Dorcas Jackson -- $1.00

12. Viola Sheldon -- $1.00

13. Minnie K. Sheldon -- $1.00

14. Billy Sheldon -- $1.00

15. Harold Curtis -- $1.00

16. Irene Tebbit -- $1.00

17. Earl Perisho -- $1.00

18. Patricia Melton -- $1.00

19. Bessie Coffin -- $1.00

20. Isaac Smith -- $1.00

21. Daniel Foster -- $1.00

22. Oscar Ballot -- $1.00

23. Wilbur Sampson -- $1.00

24. Mercy Foster -- $1.00

25. Annie Commack -- $1.00

26. Katherine Jack -- $1.00

27. Mary Brown -- $1.00

28. Billy Hasway -- $1.00

29. Tommie Snyder -- $1.00

30. Aggie Black -- $1.00

31. Pina Jackson -- $1.00

32. Nellie Melton -- $1.00

33. Flora Carter -- $1.00

34. Skin Sewers -- $4.00

35. Helen Kagoona -- $1.00

36. Nora Thomas -- $1.00

37. Mildred Snell -- $1.00

38. Willard Outwater -- $10.00

39. Mildred Sampson -- $2.00

40. Mary Garfield -- $1.00

41. Margaret Ballot -- $1.00

42. Clifton Jackson -- $1.00

43. Alta Jack -- $1.00

44. Minnie Morris -- $1.00

45. Maggie Newlin -- $1.00

46. Charlie Harvey -- $1.00

47. Agnes Coffin -- $1.00

48. Ronald Barr -- $1.00

49. Noorvik Medical Fund -- $90.00

50. Noorvik Sports Club -- $60.00

51. I.R.A. Council -- $40.00

52. Mother’s Club Sale -- $82.45

53. Mother’s Club -- $16.00

54. Morris Trading Post -- $50.00

      We are very thankful for this donation.

            by ROBERT NEWLIN



            by Joe Field


      Men made backfires, dug trenches and watched for jump fires.

      Crew bosses Walter Morris and Robert Patterson (Fire 34) gave the straw bosses their orders every morning. The straw bosses then showed their crew what to do that day.

Crew bosses:    Walter Morris, Robert Patterson
Straw bosses: Charlie Harvey
Fire 33    Joe Field, George Kagoona, Steve Sampson, Raymod George
Straw bosses: Albert Sheldon
Fire 34  Leslie Coffin, Levi Coffin

     The B.L.M. people were good to us. They were very friendly. B.L.M. is thanked for giving our village men jobs in this territory. B.L.M. told us we did a real fine job and we would be called up again next summer.



     First four weeks we took observing at Elementary school from 8:00AM to 12 noon. When we went back at 1 P.M. to 4 P.M. we took English class. At evenings 7P.M. to 10P.M. we were taught to be teacher’s aide. On fifth week we went to Community College attending school with experience teachers, teachers to be, and we instructional aides.

     And we enjoyed our stay at Anchorage, for we get to meet lots of nice people. Almost every weekend, we went on sight seeing tour, like going to Palmer, Seward, Whittier, and all the others, which we enjoyed.

     But, what got us scared was the earthquake that lasted three to four minutes few days before we left Anchorage.

     Our great thanks to our English teacher Miss Sally Monserud, and our evening instructor Dr. Troy Sullivan.


                by MRS. BEULAH GEFFE

                   MRS. FRANCES BALLOT




     Bobby Snyder and Maggie Pungalik took the big step last weekend. The newlyweds will be at camp until freeze-up. We wish them much happiness in the future.




     Too-sah-you-ahk is our name right now but if anyone in Noorvik can think of a name that would be better rip the entry blank out and fill it in. The name can be in Eskimo or English. $5.00 in cash goes to the winner. Bring the entry blank to any City Council member or Tim and Rosaire Kennedy.




     The Noorvik City Council has started this weekly newspaper so that the people of Noorvik can be better informed. This is the first issue and more information will be added each week to keep Noorvik a better informed village.

     The paper will be given house to house so everyone will find out the news.

     The articles will be written by the Noorvik people, and there will be articles from time to time about state news.

     If you have a story, legend, interesting thing happen to you, or anything you want the village to know about just bring your article to any of the City Council members.





My choice for a name to be used is:




                     Walter Morris