This paper, Looking Back to Go Forward, addresses the topic “The Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act and The Future of Tribal Jurisdiction in Alaska.” It begins with a brief introduction to ANCSA, turning next to a discussion of Alaska Native nationhood and aboriginal title. It then provides an overview of the three foundational American acts that discussed Alaska Native aboriginal title: the Treaty of Cession, the Organic Act, and the Statehood Act. From there, it introduces the Alaska reservation era, the Indian Reorganization and Allotment Acts as applied in Alaska, and post- ANCSA tribal jurisdiction. Finally, it presents concepts and questions for legal practitioners to reflect upon in light of the legal foundation of the Alaska Native corporate and tribal jurisdictional worlds, the developments over the past forty-five years, and as we move forward into the future.
Read Looking Back to Go Forward (pdf).