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 DR. FREDERICK P. MCGINNIS, PRESIDENT, ALASKA METHODIST UNIVERSITY (spoken)
I have a statement which I will file. I am Dr. Frederick McGinnis, president of Alaska Methodist University. I have been a resident of Alaska for 20 years. I represent no one except myself, and all of the convictions that I have accumulated over 20 years in observing the plight of the Natives of Alaska.
I will be very brief in my statement, realizing the time limitation, knowing that the testimony will be printed in the record.
I have been up and down Alaska for 20 years in educational and social work. I have been in and out of villages of Alaska for 20 years. I have studied the proposals of the Alaska Federation of Natives in action with the various bills which are pending before the Congress. There is no doubt in my mind but what the settlement that should be made should be done by Congress, should be done by legislative action, should be generous, should be equitable, and should contain some provision for revenue sharing.
I realize that there are tables and tables of materials with regard to position of Governors, legislators, Federal field committees, Interior bills, Senate bills, House bills, and I donít wish to get involved in the individual provisions except to say that in the main it seems to me that the people most deeply involved are the Natives of Alaska. They are the ones who have, indeed, been deprived of equality of access to opportunity for decades and now for centuries under U.S. ownership.
I would tend to lean very, very heavily on the best judgement of these people who are far wiser than most of us know, who have far more tremendous abilities than most of us dream. If we err, I should certainly think the Nation should err out of generosity rather than penury in the settlement of these claims.
This constitutes my statement.
Question: Dr. McGinnis, you say revenue sharing; would you care to enlarge a little on that?
It seems to me at any time that we are talking about a settlement involving land of a given number of acres and money of an exact amount in quantity, which would deflate or inflate as the years go by, that there should be some provision built in by which certain revenues from the land on a continuing basis ought to be a part of the settlement. Whether or not it should be 2 percent or 1 Ĺ percent or 15 percent, to me, is a matter of very careful analysis and for determination by the Congress. The 2 percent may even be very, very small; perhaps it should be 10 percent.
Question: When you talk about revenue sharing, you mean the land bearing some portion of the settlement of the claim?
Question: When was the college organized?
1957 it was chartered and opened for classes in 1960.
Question: What is the name of the college?
Alaska Methodist University, consisting of three colleges.
Question: What is the present enrollment?
Last year about 1,600 students, this year about 1,700 different students.
Question: And how many of the enrollees are Natives? I use the word "enrollees"rather than students.
Approximately 52 or 54 this year, the reason being that it is only 2 years ago when the Federal Government removed the restrictions about Natives of America with the Bureau of Indian Affairsí assistance could attend church-related colleges in America, so we have doubled each of the 2 years since that new provision has been in existence.
Question: How is the tuition taken care of for the Natives?
It is done three ways. They get some assistance from the Bureau of Indians Affairs, our own university underwrites anywhere from $500 to $1,000 per Native, and then, if they are in a position to pay some of the tuition, then they pay some small portion, say, for books or rooms, but it is generally a three-way program, partly BIA, partly institution, and partly the Native families.
Question: Yours is a 4-year institution?
Four or five years. We have a graduate program for teachers.
Question: And you give out many M.A. degrees and B.A. degrees?
Masterís degree only in the field of teaching.
Question: Do many of your enrollees go back to Fort Louis in Durango, Colorado?
No; it would be incidental. Of course most of them start here and remain here. We feel that the program we have here in Anchorage is of tremendous interest from the viewpoint of the practical application of education for these Natives in the field of economics and business and in the field of law, in the field of teaching, and in the field of nursing. We opened a college of nursing for the first time last year and about half of the enrollees in the college of nursing are the Native young people.
Question: Since the formation of your university, has there been any lessening of the number of enrollees in the University of Alaska?
No; there hasnít been.
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.