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As special correspondent Meghan Sullivan wrote, “The Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, in its simplest terms, provided Alaska Natives with $962.5 million and title to 44 million acres of land in exchange for the extinguishment of aboriginal land claims.”

On Dec. 18, it will be 50 years since the legislation was signed into law by President Richard Nixon. It continues to impact all aspects of Alaska Native life today.

So far, we’ve covered ANCSA’s effect on subsistence rights, Indigenous identity, federal Indian policy, and more. We’ll be releasing the remaining articles over the next few weeks.

In the meantime, dive into an overview of the settlement: The modern treaty: protecting Alaska Native land, values.

And check out other stories of the series below:

Find the entire ANCSA at 50 coverage here


The last decade has mostly been amazing for the Native Americans who ran for public office. Recite the names and it’s an easy answer as to the, “why.” Deb. Yvette. Sharice. Ruth. Such amazing people and stories. And each shared a legacy: They campaigned in a district where they could win.

That’s not the case for some 390 or so House seats (out of 435 districts). Most congressional districts tip toward the Republicans or Democrats in a way that makes competition tough. It’s like running a mile uphill. A task that’s much easier on flat ground (or even downhill).

The story of Indigenous participation in elections has largely been a success story. Helen Peterson, Oglala, wrote about the transformation of pueblos that had zero voters in 1952. “But in 1956, after a voter education program, only two pueblos still clung to their traditional conservative attitude toward voting while achieving 100 percent registration.”

Peterson wrote an article on voting for The Annals of the American Academy in May of 1957. She found that the Navajo vote, for example, was dependent on geography. More than 80 percent of the Navajo vote was from New Mexico because in Arizona county and state officials went out of their way to discourage participation. Plus, she wrote, “New Mexico, unlike Arizona, does not require a literacy test for voting eligibility.” READ MORE.Mark Trahant, Indian Country Today

NDN Collective, an Indigenous-led nonprofit organization dedicated to building Indigenous power, announces a Bush Foundation award of $50 million.

“The purpose of this grant is to close the racial wealth gap,” said Nick Tilsen, Lakota, director and CEO of the collective. “This is the largest amount of money we’ve received from a single funder; it’s very unusual.”

The Bush Foundation, based in St. Paul, Minnesota, announced its creation in March of two community trust funds in the amount of $100 million to address wealth disparities in both the Native American and Black communities in the tri-state areas that includes Minnesota, South Dakota and North Dakota.

NDN Collective, based in Rapid City, South Dakota, was chosen to be a steward of funding for Native American communities; Nexus Community Partners, a nonprofit community development initiative based in Minneapolis was chosen as steward of $50 million in funds for the Black community. READ MORE. Mary Annette Pember, Indian Country Today

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From an Ojibwe puppet to rising young leaders, meet extraordinary Indigenous people making a difference in their communities.

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Heidi Holton remembers the day Ojibwe puppeteer Michael Lyons called in to the radio station where she worked.

She’d been following his puppets, Nanaboozhoo and Natasha, on YouTube, and commenting about their use of the Ojibwe language and culture.

“He said, ‘How about ‘Boozhoo Nanaboozhoo’ on the radio?’” she recalls. She stopped a moment to think.

“Hmm. Puppets on the radio? That might just work!”

And it has. A five-minute radio show, “The Boozhoo Nanaboozhoo Podcast,” is now featured regularly on the morning show at KAXE/KBXE community radio in Bemidji, Minnesota, where Holton is news and public affairs director. It’s one of a growing number of platforms for Lyons and his puppets to reach new audiences. READ MORE.Dan Ninham, special to Indian Country Today


It’s a simple post on Sterlin Harjo’s Instagram account, “Congrats Rez Dogs team!” that indicates a historic achievement by a Native director that has created an Indigenous comedy series, with an all-Native writer’s room and topics of reservation life.

Reservation Dogs” the FX and HULU series, co-executive produced by Sterlin Harjo and Taika Waititi, has just received a Golden Globe nomination for “Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy.”

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association — which has been under fire since last year’s controversial Golden Globes due to a lack of diversity and the complete absence of any Black members as noted by the #TimesUpGlobes hashtag — announced their nominations Monday morning. READ MORE.Vincent Schilling, Indian Country Today

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