The Alaska Native regional corporation for the North Slope collected $22.5 million from a pair of oil companies after Congress opened the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge’s coastal plain to drilling in 2017, according to corporate documents.

Chinook Indian Nation goes to court to regain federal recognition

Jan 21, 2020

The decades-long quest of Chinook Tribal members to regain federal recognition got another airing in court.

A U.S. District Court judge heard oral arguments on cross-claims for summary judgment in a lawsuit brought by the Tribe against the Department of the Interior. According to the Chinook Indian Nation's Facebook page, the judge said he would make a ruling in 10-14 days.

Alaska State Troopers correct court filing errors in Ketchikan arson case

Jan 10, 2020

Alaska State Troopers in Ketchikan are offering new details in the Dec. 31 arson investigation in which a trooper left a woman at her ex-boyfriend’s home. The woman is accused of intentionally setting fire to the property a few hours later.

Initially, Alaska State Troopers wrote in a court filing that Kami D. Riley had used Trooper Joey Beaudoin’s cellphone to leave a voicemail for her ex-boyfriend threatening to burn his house down.

One of the biggest stories of 2019 was the display of passion that two young Indigenous women had for their environment.

“It’s our life. It’s our future.” said Quannah Chasing Horse – she’s a Lakota Sioux and Hans Gwich’in from Fairbanks. She’s also 17. “It is not just about us either. It’s about the world. The Arctic is feeling twice as much as the entire world. We are thawing twice as fast as anywhere else in the world. And it is right now.”

The only tribal gaming casino in the state is in Metlakatla, on the Annette Island Indian Reserve. But a federally recognized tribe near Anchorage wants to change that.

In the state’s early history, a federal law -- the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act -- parceled out land to 12 regional corporations, Native Village corporations and thousands of tribal allotments. In exchange Alaska Natives gave up further claims to land and most of the resources on and under the ground. 

Alaska also considers most gambling -- outside of state-licensed gaming -- illegal.

There’s $3.2B dollars at stake in the 2020 Census

Jan 8, 2020

Every 10 years, the U.S. Census Bureau starts the year-long process of counting every American, and it begins right here in Alaska. Surveyors will start work in Toksook Bay on January 21.

Gabe Layman is chair of the Alaska Census Working Group. He explains why a complete count of all Alaskans is important to the state as a whole.

Sen. Olson calls for REAL ID extension to benefit rural Alaska residents

Jan 6, 2020

One Alaska representative wants Gov. Mike Dunleavy to ask President Donald Trump for an extension of the REAL ID deadline and additional funding for outreach in rural communities.

Olson wrote Tuesday to the governor that both Dunleavy and Trump have a responsibility to ensure the ID mandate is implemented properly so that Alaskans’ rights to travel are not infringed upon.

Last year, a company asked the Trump administration for permission to take the first steps toward oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge: running a convoy of special oil-detecting trucks along the refuge’s coastal plain, to determine how much petroleum lies below. But the Trump administration never gave the go-ahead, with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service saying that the initial proposal didn’t comply with federal rules under the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

Chinook salmon, also known as king salmon, are getting smaller, and a team of scientists at the University of Washington think they know why. A new study says killer whales might be behind chinook’s declining size.

Chinook salmon are an important part of life in Southeast Alaska. Part of the prized fish’s value is its size. Chinook are the largest Pacific salmon.

Mel Sather, Alaska broadcasting pioneer, dies at 75

Dec 30, 2019

The reach and reliability of statewide public broadcasting in Alaska owes much to a man many have never heard of: Mel Sather, who died Dec. 4 after a long illness.