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 LOU JACQUOT, ANCHORAGE COMMUNITY COLLEGE, ANCHORAGE (read written statement)
I am Lou Jacquot. I am an instructor of Alaska History at the Anchorage Community College, which is a branch of the University of Alaska. I also am a past president of the Anchorage Tlingit-Haida Association, which I represent.
I submit that the use of the land and all of the natural resources of the land by the Native peoples of Alaska is a historical fact. From the time that man first set foot on this continent, our people used the wood, the waters, the animals, and the minerals of the land to the best of their abilities to do this.
In some areas less land was needed than in others. The Tlingit of southeastern and the Aleut from the chain may not have used as much of the land as would be required by the Athabascan of the interior or the Eskimo of the Bering Sea and Arctic. This was due to the nature of the food supply. Fish and sea mammals in the milder coastal regions were more readily available than the food animals found in the vastness of the other regions. But regardless of where they lived, the people used everything available from the land to clothe, feed, transport, and house themselves, and to make life just a bit more comfortable.
When the Russians came in 1741 they didn't ask if they could live among the people. They just moved in, established themselves on a few acres along the coast, and forthwith claimed that it was they, really, who owned the land. And in 1867 the Russians managed to foist this concept onto the U.S. Government. The purchase of 1867 was probably the greatest political hoax perpetrated since the Manhattan Island incident, for the Russian managed to sell something they didn't own to a nation who didn't know what they were buying.
The people who actually lived on the land and used the land were not consulted at the time, nor were they consulted later when other events took place through the years.
Today, finally, the people are being consulted, and what they suggest may be found in the bill submitted through the Alaska Federation of Natives to the Congress of the United States. In brief, what the people are offering is a quitclaim deed to this vast territory. All they ask in return, to make the transaction legal, are the following:
Retention of 40 million acres;
A 2-percent share of the resources of their land; and
A $500 million down payment.
In closing, gentlemen, I would like to quote Winston Churchill. "Just give us the tools and we will do the job."
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.