Kyle Scherer published “Alaska's Tribal Trust Lands: A Forgotten History” in the June 2021 issue of Duke Law School’s Alaska Law Review. The following is an excerpt:
Since the enactment of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act in 1971, there has been significant debate over whether the Secretary of the Interior should accept land in trust for the benefit of federally recognized tribes in Alaska. A number of legal opinions have considered the issue and have reached starkly different conclusions. In 2017, the United States accepted in trust a small parcel of land in Craig, Alaska. This affirmative decision drew strong reactions from both sides of the argument. Notably absent from the conversation, however, was any mention or discussion of Alaska’s existing trust parcels. Hidden in plain sight, their stories reflect the complicated history of federal Indian policy in Alaska, and inform the debate over the consequences of any future acquisitions.
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