Wanda Culp, of the Chookeneidí clan of Glacier Bay, has battled for the rights of Indigenous people all of her adult life.
For decades, she’s been an outspoken critic of the Alaska Native regional corporations system, borne out of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971. She believes the system wrests direct power from Indigenous people, clans and tribes, and places it in the hands of a third-party, for-profit organization, whose interests may not necessarily lie with the peoples’.
“Our battles for sovereignty have been compromised by ANCSA,” she said. “They have turned our land over to these corporations that have nothing to do with tribes and clans. And I’m not shy about talking about it.”