OCTOBER 18, 1966


The AFN was the first statewide group organized to advocate for Native land claims.  It was organized largely in response to the Alaska land claims issue that re-emerged after Alaska Statehood in 1958.  The Statehood Act, in 1959, did not recognize aboriginal title to Native lands.  Prior to AFN, various Native groups lobbied separately for rights to their aboriginal lands.  In June 1966, then-President of the Cook Inlet Native Association, Emil Notti, called for the first statewide meeting of Alaska Natives and their organizations.  On October 18, 1966, 17 Native organizations and over 250 people attended the 1st meeting of what became AFN.  Key assistance was provided by Chief of Tyonek village, Albert Kaloa Jr.  Tyonek, recently-awarded $13 million from oil leases on its reserve, funded most of the meeting. 

Source:  “History,” Alaska Federation of Natives website.  Retrieved 7/26/2020, https://www.nativefederation.org/history/
Photo:  Author unknown, 1970.  Secretary of the Interior meeting with people with Native Alaskan land claims including members of AFN.  Source: https://library.alaska.gov/vilda_rights.html.  Courtesy of Alaska State Library, Alaska Native Organizations Photograph Collection, ASL-P33-05; Alaska State Library Photo Collection, ASL-P01-4686.

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