Award Date

8-1-2015

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

History

First Committee Member

William J. Bauer

Second Committee Member

Marcia Gallo

Third Committee Member

Deirdre Clemente

Fourth Committee Member

Jane Hafen

Number of Pages

125

Abstract

In 1867, the United States purchased Alaska from Russia. Americans viewed Alaska as a source of natural resources, at first engaging in the dwindling fur trade and then expanding to mining and the commercial salmon fishery by the turn of the century. For Alaska’s Indigenous people, these tumultuous times resulted in the loss of Indigenous land and resources. Although Natives attempted to solve land disputes through diplomacy, Americans rarely listened and often ignored aboriginal land title. In 1912, young Alaska Native leaders formed the Alaska Native Brotherhood (ANB), an organization committed to helping Alaska Natives adjust to the changes brought by the Americans and fighting for social justice. By 1929, fed up with loss of land and the intrusion on ancestral lands, the ANB launched a land claims fight that culminated with the Tlingit and Haida Indians of Alaska v. United States. Although faced with considerable opposition along the way, Alaska Native leaders persistently fought for their ancestral rights and title to their land. This thesis examines how and why the ANB launched the effort to reclaim land in Southeast Alaska.

Keywords

Alaska; Alaska Native; Alaska Native Brotherhood; Land Claims; Tlingit and Haida Indians of Southeast Alaska v. the United States; William Paul

Disciplines

History | Indigenous Studies | United States History

Language

English


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