Alaska Chronology






The smaller Canadian herds are gradually put together into one large herd, a process that takes 30 years.


The Bering Straits Native Association is formed.


The Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) is passed, establishing Native-owned corporations that are to receive title to 44 million acres of Aboriginal lands and seed capital for economic self-determination.


The Sami Convention guarantees the Swedish Sami summer passage to Norway for 40,000 reindeer, and the Norwegian Sami winter passage to Sweden for 10,000 reindeer.


The first official meeting of Arctic Peoples organizations from Scandinavia and North America is held in Copenhagen.

Kawerak, Inc. is established as the non-profit arm of the Bering Straits Native Association. It advocates for the provisions of ANCSA and provides services to Bering Straits Region residents. The Kawerak Reindeer Herders Association (RHA) is formed to offer support services to private Native herd owners and tribal councils in the Bering Sea Region.

The Finnish Sami Parliament is formed and meets with 21 elected members.


Silas Kanagegana purchases the Canadian reindeer. Together with another Inuvialuit, William Nasogaluak, and business advisor Douglas Billingsley, Kanagegana forms Canadian Reindeer Ltd., which soon grows into a million dollar industry.


There are 30,000 reindeer in Alaska, mostly on the Seward Peninsula, Unalaska, Nunivak and St. Lawrence Island.


The Northwest Alaska Native Association (NANA) begins a herd at Candle and briefly uses horses to assist in herding. By 1981 there are nearly 8,000 reindeer there, but many are later lost to the caribou.


There are fifteen large herds on the Seward Peninsula.


Sami people unite to oppose the building of a huge hydroelectric dam on the Alta River in northern Norway in what becomes known as “The Alta Conflict.” The dam eventually is completed in 1987. It puts some traditional Sami villages under water and disrupts reindeer migration routes. Large protests are staged in Oslo, including a hunger strike by Sami university students. A lavvu is erected in front of the Norwegian Parliament building to dramatize Sami environmental concerns. The Sami protests receive worldwide coverage in the press.

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