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 RICHARD A. MILLER (oral)
My name is Richard Miller, I am a 20-year resident of Alaska, presently, having lived in the city of Anchorage for 2 months. I represent myself.
Mr. Chairman, you and others on this committee in Congress have been very generous with Alaska. Ten years ago when Alaska achieved statehood you made it possible for us to become a State by your generosity in writing certain provisions into the statehood bill. I would certainly hope that this committee would continue its generosity to Alaska. It has been a fair and generous settlement in many ways.
However, it appears to me that we in Alaska ought to be realistic also, inasmuch as the congress wrote into some of the bills that were passed at the time of statehood the sharing of Federal revenues in Alaska, whereby the State of Alaska received 90 percent of the funds and the Federal Government 10 percent. In the light of the September 10 sale, I assume that Congressmen from Mississippi, my native home State, New York, and others, might think that it is time for a readjustment of this ration in the light of other States.
I want to state publicly that I believe this is an opportunity where the Congress can make an adjustment and at the same time arrive at maybe some contribution toward the settlement of the Native land claim.
Alaskans do not want a State where we have no taxation and where other States contribute to our economy, but I believe we will be generous and just in settlement of the Native land claims, and I would hope that this might be just one avenue of approach that might be considered. I certainly favor, above all, a revenue share of some sort on a continuing basis.
Question: Mr. Chairman, I would like to note with interest the statement of the gentleman the September 10 oil and gas lease sale by the State of Alaska may indicate that it is time to readjust the percentage of Federal-State share of revenues from Federal lands and leases. Do you have any suggestions as to what a percentage might be?
Mr. Congressman, I would not be in a position to suggest to you gentlemen this, but I think that other States do not and have never shared this generously, and I see the injustice put into the statehood bill in order that we might become a State and we might have the means to support statehood. Now in the light of the very bright economic picture. I do not object to the Congress reassessing this, and this would appear to me to be an excellent opportunity wherein the Native people of our State could do this. After all, this was their land and Congress and others have recognized it, I believe, in the courts.
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.