"AFN Changes Distribution of Claims Money"

Anchorage Daily News, January 25, 1971, p.2

The Alaska Federation of Natives (AFN) executive board at a weekend meeting in Anchorage effected a major change in its planned distribution of the bulk of the hoped for $500 million land claims settlement.

The board agreed to distribute some $404 million of the proposed settlement on a population basis assuring each Native an equal share of the money.

Earlier proposals called for distribution of the money to each of 12 regional corporations. Their shares would have been proportionate to the amount of the corporation’s original claim given up in the settlement.

Under the rejected land-based method of distribution the Arctic Slope Native Association (ASNA), with few people and much land, would have received 30% of the $404 million.

Both methods provided an initial payment of $8 million to each of the 12 regional corporations.

The decision was reached after an evening discussion Friday and a full day’s work Saturday.

The outcome was understood to have displeased representatives of the ASNA and the Tanana Chiefs.

Members of the AFN board, including AFN President Don Wright, refused to discuss details of the meeting.

Charlie Edwardsen of the ASNA said he "might go to Washington to lobby independently."

Another board member said the AFN agreed any native association representative could lobby in Washington as long as the AFN was aware of his activities.

The board members insisted no AFN split was in the offing.

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