Alaska Native leader Don Wright has died. He was 84 when he passed away at home on July 5.
Wright was instrumental in developing the tribal lands compensation legislation, Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, signed by President Richard Nixon in 1971. Wright was leader of the Alaska Federation of Natives that year.
Wright helped organize AFN during the 1960s, and fought to get the best settlement possible for Alaska Natives. Wright and other Native leaders traveled to Washington, DC to lobby for the law, even though funds were scarce. Wright often used his own money for airfare and expenses, since AFN in its early days had no funds at all. Despite the odds, Wright was successful in getting Nixon administration backing for the settlement.
ANCSA compensated Alaska Natives for loss of lands and established regional and village Native corporations with the right to select 44 million acres of land and appropriated $962.5 million to them.
Wright was born in Nenana in 1929. He became a pilot and established his own air service. He later formed a construction company, and helped build airstrips and roads in the Interior. He also helped build the first oil field camp at Prudhoe Bay.
Wright’s family says he was a champion for Alaska. His funeral will take place July 26th in Nenana.
- The gap is about $200 million less than it was before state officials updated their forecast last week.
- In Wrangell, recycling isn’t as simple as wheeling a plastic container out to the curb each week...not to mention trying to get rid of large items like old TVs, computers and printers.
- A $20,000 bail arrest warrant charges Joshua Levi Brown with first-degree assault in the stabbing of a 24-year-old Juneau man late April 22, a Juneau Police Department news release said.
- Across the metrics, Juneau was No. 1 in one area: federal arts grant dollars per capita. That could become moot in the next ranking if President Donald Trump’s proposed federal budget goes through.