UAA hosts 2016 Alaska Native Law Conference

by Michelle Saport  |   

32nd annual Alaska Native Law Conference / Adapting for the Next Generation: The Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) at 45 Friday, Oct. 14, 8:30 a.m.-4:45 p.m. UAA/APU Consortium Library, Room 307 Free registration and parking

The Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA), which was enacted on December 18, 1971, was passed with the hope that it would address "the real economic and social need of Natives, without litigation, with maximum participation by Natives in decisions affecting their rights and property." 43 U.S.C. §1601(b). It has now been 45 years since the passage of ANCSA, and accomplishing this goal remains an ongoing challenge. The litigation and legislation arising from ANCSA have touched all aspects of the Alaska Native tribes that existed before ANCSA, as well as the regional and village corporations that were created by ANCSA.

Though many legal and business issues have been at least partially resolved, a variety of questions still remain, ranging from jurisdiction to land ownership and use to shareholder rights. And as the generation of Alaska Native leaders integral to the passage of ANCSA and who faced its early challenges passes on, a new generation of leaders must take up this mantle and shape the future of ANCSA and the future of Alaska Natives.

This symposium provides a space for that conversation. The hope is that the symposium will be grounded in the history of the last forty-five years but also a look forward to the many opportunities that ANCSA continues to create.

This free, day-long symposium is geared for lawyers, members of the judiciary, employees and leaders of Alaska Native corporations, representatives of Alaska Native organizations, state government officials, and UAA students, faculty and staff. The Alaska Law Review will be publishing an issue at a later date with the articles prepared for this symposium.

The keynote speaker is Raina Thiele, former associate director of intergovernmental affairs and public engagement for the White House. Topics include:

  • ANCSA and the future of tribal jurisdiction in Alaska
  • Challenges and opportunities for Alaska Native corporations
  • Federal and state legislative updates
  • Case law updates
  • Protection of the attorney-client privilege in the joint representation of parent companies and their subsidiaries (approved for 1 MCLE ethics credit)

This event is co-sponsored by the UAA Justice Center, Alaska Law Review and Alaska Native Law Section of the Alaska Bar Association. Registration is free. Parking at UAA is free on Fridays.

This event has been approved for 6.25 MCLE credits (including 1 ethics credit) by the Alaska Bar Association.

Professor Ryan Forston, J.D., Ph.D., is the Justice Center faculty coordinator for this event. Questions? Call (907) 786-1810 or email

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