The following are public statements provided at hearings held in Fairbanks and Anchorage the 17th and 18th of October 1969 prior to the passage of ANCSA. They provide the reader with some of the issues and concerns discussed prior to the passage of ANCSA.
STATEMENT OF WILLIAM OQUILLUK (spoken)
My name is William Oquilluk. I was born in Point Hope, Alaska, in 1896. I was from Marys Igloo, but have recently moved to Nome for reasons of health. I am grateful to be here at this hearing before your committee. I would like to thank Mr. Jerome Trigg, president of the Arctic Native Brotherhood.
Our ancestors have been in this land for many, many years. For many, many generations before the coming of the white man, the Eskimo was born in Alaska, so we have always been citizens of Alaska and now we are happy to be citizens of the United States. My people were members of the Kowaruk nation of Eskimos. A very long time ago there were often wars in our area caused by raids from the south Norton Sound Indians and raids by the Siberian Eskimo.
For many centuries our ancestors also had a rule about fishing sites. Generation and generation of Eskimos would put his nets at the same place just as his ancestors did. Today many generations still have the same fishing sites as their ancestors. This is the same way for other villages, too. They all have their own fishing sites in the summer months. Villages have their squirrel hunting grounds as well as caribou hunting areas. Each village would have a special place to go for the caribou fawn in the spring.
Source: Alaska Native Land Claims Part II, "Hearings before the Subcommittee on Indian Affairs of the Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs, House of Representatives, Ninety-first Congress First Session on H.R. 13142, H.R. 10193, and H.R. 14212, Bills to Provide for the Settlement of Certain Land Claims of Alaska Natives, and for Other Purposes. U.S. Government Printing Office, 1970.