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 DONALD R. WRIGHT, ALASKA AREA VICE PRESIDENT, NATIONAL CONGRESS OF AMERICAN INDIANS
Members of the committee. My name is Donald R. Wright. I am the Alaska area vice president to the National Congress of American Indians. I am a board member of the Alaska Federation of Natives and I was a member of the task force when we drew up this proposed legislation.
Question: Do you have a written statement?
I do not.
Question: Where are you from, sir?
I was born on the Atka and I now reside in Anchorage.
Comment: You may proceed. If you have some written remarks that you are not able to finish, you may turn them over to the reporter and they will be made a part of the record.
I would like to request at this time that a set of maps that I presented last year during testimony in Washington be included in this record. These maps show the Native villages, show the various use and occupation areas for fishing, for hunting. It showed the locatable minerals that are known today and the oil reserves and the villages that are in the Federal withdrawn areas. I would like that submitted for the record if possible.
I would like to make it clear that, as I recall as a member of the board of directors of the Alaska Federation of Natives, it was not the intent to establish villages outside of the State of Alaska since it was inferred here awhile back, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, and such.
It was my interpretation of the document drawn here that those people residing outside of the State of Alaska will, in fact, be enrolled back to the village from whence they came or their parents came in Alaska.
I would like to also make it clear that the many, many villages do exist within Federal reserves, between the national forest areas, within the wildlife refuges, within the petroleum reserve areas, and within areas that have been withdrawn for other purposes.
I would like to say that we did exclude the national monuments such as Mount McKinley National Park, and others in this legislation, but it is our intent that the Native villages in some of these reserves be granted title to the land in and around those villages. I think that it is very important and I think it is a clear understanding of all of the board of directors of the federation that these villages, regardless of their location, be granted fee title to land in and around the villages.
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.