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UNIT TWO: Overview of the Act

Unit Overview

Unit Two in the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act Instructional Series outlines the terms of ANCSA. It follows the five major players or principal parties introduced in Video One and identifies what each group gained through the settlement.

The major focus for instruction, in addition to the terms of ANCSA, should be that each of the principal parties came to consensus and supported an acceptable compromise.

Unit Goals

Upon completion of this unit the student will:

  1. Identify the key terms of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act.
  2. Explain why ANCSA can be considered a compromise.
  3. Define terms introduced in the lesson. (Optional)

Video Program Summary

The second program in the video series, Overview of the Act, focuses on the general terms of the settlement. ANCSA, in the eyes of Congress, settled the 200-year-old question of land ownership in Alaska. All five groups involved in negotiating the Act benefitted in some way from its passage. Program Two takes the viewer through a list of what the federal and state governments, the oil companies, conservationists and the Natives got through ANCSA.

While each of these groups celebrated a victory, what did Natives gain on December 18, 1971? They would eventually get title to 44 million acres of land, almost a billion dollars, and a complicated system of business corporations designed to help them deal with their own future. In exchange, Natives gave up their claim to the rest of Alaska; the Native Allotment Act of 1906 was voided; and, except for the one at Metlakatla, all Native reservations were extinguished.

This program, Overview of the Act, leads naturally into a detailed look at some of the Act's specific provisions. What was written into the fine print? We'll take a closer look at that fine print in our third program, Specific Provisions of ANCSA.