Arctic Yearbook 2015 - Page 72

72 Arctic Yearbook 2015 layering builds a useful ideal-type for understanding intra-jurisdictional relations once regional institutions of Indigenous governance are in place and in operation. When we attempt to export this model outside of Inuit northern Canada and into the rest of Arctic North America, the prospect of the ‘completeness’ of regional development becomes complicated. Throughout the Arctic, and even within Arctic North America, regionalization is a largely unfinished project. By looking beyond the ideal-types of regional institutional development, we can begin to build a more comprehensive understanding of how regional organizations interact in dynamic models. In particular, the inclusion of Alaska’s experience in the framework strongly disrupts the notion that strong models of regional development are a common or even an expected outcome. The next section of the paper will expand on Alcantara and Wilson’s typology of intra-jurisdictional dynamics by exploring how regions were constructed across the northern United States (Alaska) and northern Canada (particularly in the Northwest Territories). It will consider how the factors of timing and institutional identity have shaped organizational development and the policy scope practiced by regional Indigenous governing authorities. Constructing regions in Alaska and northern Canada Despite the fact that the native regional corporations (NRCs) became a central component of modern land claims in both the Alaska and Northern Canada, differences in how land claims were settled have led to distinctly different outcomes throughout the North American Arctic. The land claim process was settled quickly for Alaska—over a period of three years—through a process of Congressional hearings and political lobbying. By comparison, northern Canada has adopted a much more prolonged process of negotiation (Scholtz 2006). These differences have structured the outcomes of regional development throughout the north. The idea for NRCs was first introduced in a 1968 report from the Governor’s Task Force on Native Land Claims in Alaska (Governor’s Task Force 1968). The idea of the NRCs to hold and manage Native lands advanced a distinctly regional template through which native claims would be implemented. Many rallied around this new venue for political and economic development, including the Alaska Federation of Natives (AFN), which was the main body through which Alaska Natives were represented in negotiations. In particular, the AFN threw its weight behind the development of twelve Alaska Native Corporations, to be divided along the lines of common geographic, economic, and cultural interests.6 Yet despite the creation of regional boundaries along common interests, the regions themselves were constructs of geographic and historical convenience, and blurred the lines between many more distinct Indigenous groups. Prior to beginning negotiation on the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA), 39 separate native protests had been made laying clai \