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The Arctic Gateway

When: Wednesday, December 8, 2021 2:00pm - 4:00pm EST

The Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971 (ANCSA) marked a new and unique Congressional approach to Federal Indian policy. In an effort to resolve land claims, ANCSA mandated the creation of regional corporate entities that Congress termed “Alaska Native corporations.” While corporations by name, these entities had a purpose beyond profit: promoting the social, cultural, and economic advancement of their Alaska Native shareholders and communities in perpetuity. This summer, an U.S. Supreme Court case on CARES Act funding reaffirmed that the difference between Alaska Native corporations and Tribes was one of nomenclature rather than rights.

Over the last 50 years, Alaska Native women have played an integral role in ANCSA’s implementation and evolution, guiding their communities and organizations through times of challenge, change, and triumph. Today, Alaska Native women work in all levels of Alaska Native corporation leadership, including nearly half of the 12 regional corporations’ president and CEO roles.

Please join the Wilson Center’s Polar Institute, along with ANCSA Regional Association and Alaska Native Village Corporation Association, to hear from Alaska Native women leaders how they guided ANCs through their early years and how the organizations evolved to serve the needs of their Alaska Native communities.




  • U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski, U.S. Senator for Alaska


  • Michael Sfraga, Chair & Distinguished Fellow, Polar Institute // Chair, US Arctic Research Commission
  • Kim Reitmeier, Executive Director, ANCSA Regional Association


  • Gail Schubert, President & CEO, Bering Straits Native Corporation
  • Liz Qaulluq Cravalho, Vice President of Lands, NANA Regional Corporation; Commissioner, U.S. Arctic Research Commission
  • Rosita Worl, Ph.D., President, Sealaska Heritage Institute