ANCSA: A complete or incomplete story of sovereignty


Shortly after the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act passed into law in 1971, headlines started appearing in local newspapers that hinted at a growing confusion among Alaska Native communities: “Indian Country hard to define,” stated one Tundra Times edition. “ANCSA and tribalism?” asked another.

The articles were referring to the new, unusual Indigenous legal landscape that ANCSA had established, and the ambiguity surrounding tribes’ jurisdiction going forward.

“Exactly what authority might tribes exercise? ” asked one Tundra Times op-ed. Many were confused about how this legislation would affect tribal sovereignty in Alaska.

Fifty years later, there are still parts of this question that remain unanswered.

Resource Type

Sullivan, Meghan. ANCSA: A complete or incomplete story of sovereignty. January 22, 2022. Indian Country Today. Retrieved from:

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