The Promises of ANCSA
ANCSA promised to return 44 million acres of land to Alaska Natives, and authorized the creation of Regional, Urban and Village Corporations. Alaska Natives of the Southeast region, through Sealaska, were entitled to up to 375,000 acres through the act.
Yet today, over 35 years later, only 290,000 acres have been conveyed to Sealaska. Under
current law, Sealaska must choose its remaining 85,000 acres from areas designated
by the federal government.
Doing What’s Best for Our Culture, Our Land and Our People
While Sealaska could choose to take ownership of lands in the federally mandated areas defined by ANCSA, 85 percent of the lands in these “withdrawal” areas are inventoried roadless areas. Further, 60,000 acres are productive old-growth Sitka spruce, Douglas fir, western red cedar, yellow cedar, and hemlock forests that provide habitat for fish, birds, deer, moose, wolves and bear.
We believe those lands are better suited to public ownership than economic development.
The bill would make available to Sealaska 85,000 acres of land with great cultural and historic value, as well as acreage that is mostly roaded and home to areas that have already been logged and thus far are better suited to economic development.
For Shareholders Sealaska has worked for years with Native communities and numerous interest groups to shape an appropriate solution to the problems posed by the government’s unfulfilled promise to the Native people of Southeast Alaska. To view the PowerPoint presentation that Sealaska has prepared for shareholders at various community meetings around Southeast Alaska, please click here [PDF].
Sealaska has developed maps in order to clarify the complexities of the bill and make the information readily available to shareholders.
ANCSA’s requirements that Sealaska select land within the 10 withdrawal
areas do not make environmental or economic sense.