"AFN Board Elects Eben Hopson Executive Director in Reshuffle"

Tundra Times, April 1, 1970, p.1.


The new executive director of the Alaska Federation of Natives said Saturday that he is quite excited about his new job with its "enormous" responsibilities.

On April 15, Eben Hopson will officially become the principal administrative officer of the statewide native association as the result of a three-day board meeting in Anchorage last week.

At the meeting the overall structure of the organization was revamped.

Hopson was elected following the resignation of the present director, Willie Hensley. As a representative from Kotzebue, much of Hensley's time was required in Juneau on legislative matters.

Also, the office of the president, now filled by Emil Notti, took on a new look. The administrative responsibilities previously held by Notti were turned over to the executive director. In addition, the president will no longer receive the $18,000 a year previously allocated to him.

The present deputy director, Al Ketzler, who was appointed by Hensley, will be taken off the payroll May 1.

Hopson said that he will select a new deputy director when funds are available.

All of these changes came in the wake of the termination of the organization's public relations office by Ketzler the middle of March. At that time, Jim Thomas was relieved of his duties as public relations director.

Hopson, who currently lives in Barrow, will move to Anchorage by April 15.

In Barrow, he will give up the position of executive director of the Arctic Slope Native Association.

The small-built, middle-aged man said that he is not aware of any drastic changes to be made in the administration of the AFN.

"I will have to take a close look at the entire organization," he added, "and plan to make changes necessary to improve it."

When asked about the public relations office, he said that he intends to reactivate it if the funds are available.

Thomas, he added, has accepted another job and, thus, will not be available. Thomas was hired as the public relations director of the National Congress of American Indians.

Concerning a weekly newsletter, called the AFN Press, which Ketzler began in March, Hopson said that he did not know whether it would be continued.

He explained that before making a decision, he would evaluate the cost of publishing it.

In other areas, John Borbridge, first vice-president of the AFN, reported from Washington that the Senate committee on Interior and Insular Affairs, which is drafting a bill to settle the land claims issue, will be meeting on that issue April 1, 2, and 7.

The board voted to send as many AFN representatives as possible to Washington to lobby for the AFN position.

According to Tim Wallis, president of the Fairbanks Native Association and AFN board member, the board reaffirmed its stand on the land claims issue.

It discussed, he added, the need for the bill to include an amendment that would make the debts of the AFN pertaining to land claims effort, the responsibility of the receiving body of the land claims cash settlement.

The board also discussed a contract that the agency has with the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System.

TAPS contracted the AFN to conduct a survey of the labor force in each village.

Following the initial survey, the AFN was to update the information as required by TAPS. The AFN subcontracted the job to Alaska Village Consultants, Inc.

The initial completion date was Feb. 15—a date which the Alaska Village Consultants did not meet. And, Hopson explained, the survey has still not been completed.

TAPS forwarded $30,000 to AFN for the initial survey. AFN gave $25,000 of this to Alaska Village Consultants and kept $5,000 for administrative expenses.

Upon completion of the initial survey, Hopson said, the AFN was to receive $5,000 a month from TAPS for updating the report.

TAPS, he added, has refused to pay any beyond the $30,000 because the initial survey has not been delivered to them.

According to Hopson, the board voted to have the deputy director Al Ketzler meet with the subcontractors and determine if they can complete the survey so that the AFN can begin receiving the rest of the money.

At any rate, he added, the AFN intends to meet the terms of the contract.

Present at the meeting were Willie Hensley, Al Ketzler, Eben Hopson, Margaret Nick, secretary of the AFN; Flore Lekanof, Aleut League; Jerome Trigg, Arctic Native Brotherhood; Edward Hopson, Arctic Slope Native Association; Edwin Anderson, Cook Inlet; Roy Ewan, Copper River Indian Association; Tim Wallis, Fairbanks Native Association; Harry Carter, Kodiak Area Native Association; Fred Bismarck, Native Village of Tyonek; Philip Guy, Village Council Presidents Association; George Ondola, Eklutna; Byron Mallot, Alaska Native Brotherhood; Larry Oskolkoff, Kenai Peninsula Native Association; and Jim Thomas, Tlingit and Haida Indians.

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