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 GEORGIANA LINCOLN, ON BEHALF OF KATHRYN HARWOOD (read written statement)

I am Georgiana Lincoln. I would like to testify on behalf of my mother, Kathryn Harwood.

First of all, I will tell you a little bit about my mother. Of course I think she is quite remarkable. She was the first woman U.S. Commissioner in Alaska, and received a certificate from former President Roosevelt of appreciation. She married and buried and did numerous things in this position. She is the secretary of mount McKinley School on Fort Wainwright and attendance reporter of five Fort Wainwright schools. She was the manager of a Rampart store in the late 1940ís.

I would like to read a portion of her testimony here:

Picture yourselves for a while in the moccasins of my grandmother and even my mother.

For centuries they and their forebears had lived in this country happily gaining their livelihood from to the land. Suddenly an intruder, who spoke a foreign language, arrived and proceeded to give orders and pretend to be a superior. Maybe because he had a weapon that was more effective than their bows and arrows, my people began to fear him and obey his orders. Gradually more of his kind arrived until there were enough of them to have an effect over all of Alaska. We no longer hunted and fished for our entire diet, our clothing was changed, and copied at times, their more desirable women were taken from the tribes, and there were many undesirable additions to their daily lives.

This was a few generations removed. Think of what the situation is like at the present.

You may say, "Well, let them get jobs." Does it occur to you that the present way of living is not primarily our culture? Many of us have conformed to the white manís way of living but there are many who still prefer to hunt, fish, and trap. Can you blame them for not wanting to join in the rush of finding housing, punching a time clock, et cetera?

At the present there are several families living at Rampart who have had their hunting, fishing, and trapping grounds encroached upon. The man, and sometimes an entire family, used to leave the village and travel miles by boat, dog team, and sometimes by airplane. There they would settle down for the winter trapping and hunting. In the spring they would return to the village, sell their furs; pay for human consumption and for the dog teams. The surplus was sold and traded for supplies, consisting mostly of food and clothing. The families who remained in the village foraged a livelihood from the immediate area in the same manner. In addition to the aforementioned, they cut wood in the surrounding area for their own use and for sale to those who needed it.

As you must have gathered by now, most of these privileges are threatened by the influx of strangers, due to the easy access by planes or speedboats. Anyone can now go in and kill off our game, fish, and even set fires to burn our much-needed timber. We no longer have the security of knowing our land is for the exclusive use of our own people whose very lives are dependent upon the land.

The small acreage we are requesting means nothing more than a place of recreation or destruction for those who donít actually need it. To us it means at least in part a continuation of retaining our culture and heritage.

 

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.


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