Federal policies that affect Alaska Native regional corporations, village corporations, regional nonprofit organizations, and the general well-being of the Alaska Native people have been a reoccurring subject in Congress since the passage of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA). Indigenous peoples have long had a special relationship with the federal government, independent of state authority. As established through ANCSA and other legislation, the relationship between the federal government and Alaska Natives in particular is even more unique and complex. Though often changing because of new legislation, administrative actions, and court decisions; the relationship also provides opportunities for success in economic development and self-determination.
*image courtesy of Frank Kovalchek
In the Senate, issues affecting Native peoples are most often considered by the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs and the Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee, Both of Alaska’s senators—Senator Lisa Murkowski and Senator Mark Begich—are members of the Indian Affairs Committee, and Senator Murkowski is the Ranking Member on the E&NR Committee.
In the House, the most relevant committee is the House Subcommittee on Indian & Alaska Native Affairs, which Alaska Representative Don Young chairs.