50th Anniversary of Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act

December 18, 2021 marks the 50th Anniversary of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA). In honor of this momentous event, and to recognize Senator Ted Stevens’ work in crafting and passing this landmark legislation, the Ted Stevens Foundation released a historical documentary on the founding of ANCSA.

We’d like to thank Cale Green and Sockeye Red Services for his excellent work in directing, shooting, editing, and writing 50 Years of Promise: The Beginning of ANCSA.

Special thank you to the Atwood Foundation for their grant and to Arctic Slope Regional Corporation for their donation that allowed us to pursue such an excellent documentary.

And thank you to all of the interviewees for helping us tell the history of ANCSA and without whom this project would not be what it is:
Ron Birch
Julie Fate-Sullivan
Dr.  William “Willie” Iġġiaġruk Hensley
Marlene Johnson
Oliver Leavitt
Guy Martin
Senator Lisa Murkowski
Marie Matsuno Nash
Ben Stevens
Congressman Don Young

And thank you to our fantastic narrator – Tara Sweeney.

We’d like to recognize the following Alaska institutions for their help in providing archival source material for the documentary:
Alaska Film Archive and University of Alaska – Fairbanks
University of Alaska – Anchorage
Alaska State Library and Archives
SummitDay Media

The Ted Stevens Foundation is also proud to announce the donation of the Ted Stevens Papers’ ANCSA Papers sub-collection to the University of Alaska Anchorage/Alaska Pacific University (UAA/APU) Consortium Library’s Archives and Special Collections. This sub-collection of archival materials is comprised of papers and photographs created and collected by Stevens’ office during the period of the original ANCSA drafting and eventual bill passage. These materials are now available onsite by appointment at the UAA/APU Archives and Special Collections, more information and the collection’s finding aid can be found here.

On December 16, 2021 the Ted Stevens Foundation partnered with the University of Alaska Anchorage to host a panel on ANCSA’s 50th Anniversary. Panelists Willie Hensley (former state legislator, key advocate for ANCSA, and professor of public policy at UAA); Guy Martin (legislative aide to late Congressman Nick Begich); and Bobbie Kilberg (former White House Fellow on President Nixon’s Domestic Policy Council) joined together to discuss the history and formation of ANCSA.
Thank you to the University for hosting this panel and for providing the following recording.

You can learn more about Senator Ted Stevens and his role in ANCSA, as well as view some of the Stevens Papers archival materials at: Ted Stevens and the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act.