Alaska Native Connection

Alaskan Native Roots

Like the Native Americans of the 48 contiguous states, Alaska Natives were granted claims to ancestral lands, but had no citizenship rights. When Alaskan statehood was granted in 1959, the Federal government claimed most of the land. In response, Native Alaskans began to dispute government claims, making “who owns Alaska” a national issue—particularly after oil was discovered on the North Slope of the Brooks Range. The Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) was signed into law on December 18, 1971. ANCSA’s intent was to settle all aboriginal land claims by Alaska’s indigenous peoples. Under ANCSA, Alaska’s aboriginal land was divided into 13 regional corporations. Within the regional corporations, individual villages were given the right to establish “village corporations.” In the Arctic Slope region, eight village corporations were established.

 

Our Parent Company: Ukpeaġvik Iñupiat Corporation

As a result of the ANCSA, the Iñupiat people of Barrow, Alaska, established the Ukpeaġvik Iñupiat Corporation (UIC). Ukpeaġvik, or “place to hunt snowy owls,” is another name for the town of Barrow. The town is the largest community on the North Slope and more than two-thirds of its 4,600 people are Iñupiat. In 2013, UIC was recognized as the nation’s 11th largest Alaskan-owned corporation by Alaska Business Monthly.