PROFILE OF AN ALASKA LEADER||
| Byron Mallott - Helping to Shape Alaska |
It has been argued that
there is no more instrumental document in shaping Alaska's modern-day culture
than that passed by Congress and signed into law by President Nixon in 1971,
the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA). LitSite Alaska
provides an opportunity to connect Alaskans - and the world - with one another,
offering a window into literacy, cultural diversity and life in the state.
Because of Alaska's relatively young age and the developments surrounding its
maturity, readers are privileged to hear directly from those involved in the
trials and tribulations associated with issues involving statehood.
Byron Mallot is one Alaskan
leader who has been intimately involved in decisions that have shaped the state. He's been actively involved in the development
of the State's future since he was elected mayor at the age of 22 in Yakutat,
In one interview on LitSite,
Mallott reflects on the opportunity he received as a young man working for the
state, "...We used to say back in those days that having a 'TR' book was power."
(The 'TR' book was a state travel request form where one could approach an
airline counter and essentially fill out a piece of paper and the agent would
provide a ticket). The ability to exercise this privilege in the mid-60s as
Mallott did when air travel was prohibitively expensive and nowhere near as
reliable as it is today, was incredibly rare. "...There I was, this young person, having an opportunity to
travel, to go to Fairbanks, to go to Anchorage, to go to Bethel..."
In the piece, Mallott poignantly
discusses the significance of ANSCA from his perspective as a young-man
listening to elders in communities and villages across the state, and
witnessing first-hand the unique conditions associated with their respective
environments. Read on...
| DIGITAL ARCHIVES GALLERY||
|Library Programs - What's Going on in Libraries Throughout Alaska?|
Jumbled books at Anchorage's Loussac Library after the 1964 earthquake. View more images at LitSite. earthquake.
Years ago, librarians were responsible for nurturing a deep knowledge
of informational resources contained within a building, the library.
Now, this responsibility extends beyond the walls of a traditional
Find out what is happening in libraries
throughout Alaska and how librarians and curators are promoting literacy
in their communities. Visit LitSite's Libraries & Booksellers section for Alaska library and bookseller profiles and photo galleries as well as a librarian-submitted list of online resources and tools found on the Web.
For a list of programs and events happening in libraries near you visit LitSite's Library Programs page.
WHERE ARE THEY NOW?||
|Helping to Shape Alaska - continued from top|
A follow-up post authored
by Mallott, Unfinished Business: The Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act,
30th year anniversary of the landmark legislation. In the article, Mallott describes the thought
and energy that went into initial drafts and their evolution, as well as the
legislation's impact on Native people. "...As we look to the future and search
for the path of our journey, we need to sit down and say, 'Who are we?' 'Where
are we going?' 'What do we want?'..."
almost ten years later, as we celebrate the 40th anniversary of the
passage of the landmark legislation, Mallott reflects on this significant issue
once again: "I think as Alaskans, we need to make more personal efforts to
understand one another - socially, economically regionally. Even in a place this intimate, people
can be misperceived, marginalized or misunderstood. We tend to concentrate on the mantra that 'all politics are
local' but in Alaska, all politics are
personal. We tend to look
through filters. It is especially important we try to understand one another.
We have a small population and there are consequences to knowing one another
Mallott notes there have
been many changes to ANCSA since its adoption and more changes are necessary.
"Sometimes there is a perception that if Native corporations are doing well,
then Native people are doing well, and vice-versa, but the reality is, that is
often far from accurate." He notes too, that ANCSA has largely succeeded in the
progression of economic development across corporations but there are still 44
million acres that have been preserved for other uses of the land -
subsistence, spirituality, Native identity, history and tradition. He suggests
a long-term review of all ANCSA lands to determine the best overall value -
going well beyond economic - to the benefit of the people. "In Native Alaska, the notion of ties
to lands, lifestyles, traditions, languages, values - is incredibly valuable."
Mallott says he is excited about the development
and of what is still possible. "Alaska is still a very small place, huge with
spiritual and material wealth.
It has a huge sense of
place that shapes us. Alaska is on a potential destiny that will carve a place
in history that would shine forever."
Read Byron Mallot's original ANCSA at 30 interview here...
Read Mallot's article, Unfinished Business here...