Meghan Sullivan, Indian Country Today

Meghan Sullivan, Indian Country Today
A black and white photo of barracks near mountains and water

Berries, wildlife and toxic land: The continuing push to clean up contamination in rural Alaska

When a string of Yup'ik elders from St. Lawrence Island, Alaska, all received the same cancer diagnoses, officials initially shrugged it off as a bizarre medical mystery. But not long after, a different village reported an increase in unusual cancer symptoms as well.

ANCSA at 50: Who will be included in the next generation of shareholders?

Video: Corporations formed under ANCSA are slowly opening up to new generations of shareholders, allowing younger Alaska Native people to have a voice in shaping the future.

‘Being good relatives’: New program aims to increase collaboration between Alaska Native tribes and corporations

There is a phrase that Iñupiaq elder Vernita Sitaktun Qutquq Herdman likes to say: “When Natives fight Natives, someone else is winning.”
A photo shows a village on the water.

Alaska without ANCSA? Look to Metlakatla.

At first glance, Metlakatla looks similar to many of the other villages in Southeast Alaska: glacier-cut coastlines, dense temperate rainforests, dramatic mountains in the backdrop. But locals know better — there is something distinctly different about the place. 
logo says ANCSA50

Cheat sheet: Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act 101

It can be confusing to keep track of the various Native organizations and layers of tribal enrollment options within Alaska, so we put together a list of definitions that explain some of the basics.
A woman rowing a boat with mountains behind her.

Can Indigenous subsistence rights still be protected in Alaska?

As the 50th anniversary of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act approaches, the question still remains: What can be done to protect subsistence rights today? 

The modern treaty: protecting Alaska Native land, values

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.
children and adults gathered in an audience

The next generation of Alaska Native shareholders

When the Alaska Native Claims Settlement passed it inadvertently created another system of Indigenous grouping and belonging, much like one sees in tribes. It also meant that those born after the date, like Boerner’s future children, would be left out of the act.
Child with ulu

Alaska Native identity ‘weighs heavily’ on friends and a future

Throughout discussions on subsistence rights, education access, and other policy matters, blood quantum has consistently loomed in the background.

Alaska Natives’ complicated identities

Depending on different factors, an Alaska Native could be an enrolled citizen of their tribe, village corporation, and regional corporation. They could be enrolled in their regional corporation, but not their tribe. They could be enrolled in different corporations or tribes than their siblings are.