Alaska's original native races--Eskimos, Indians and Aleuts--are going to be compensated by the United States Government for land appropriated from their forefathers when the white man colonised the country.
TGV PAN Town
SVs Street scenes in town (4 shots)
CU Map of Alaska showing areas under Federal control and areas sot aside for "natives".
AERIAL Vs Mountainous countryside and villages (6 shots)
SVs Men on Snow-mobile through villages (3 shots).
"In area, Alaska is two-and-a-half times the size of Texas...but it has fewer people than Fort Worth. Most of them live in cities like Anchorage of Fairbanks. Quite a few were born here. That doesn't necessarily mean they are "natives".
"The Natives are the original Alaskans...the Eskimos, Indians and Aleuts who were here thousands of years before the white man came along. They amount to about a fifty for the population now, and in terms of power, they don't have much. Over the years they have sued to get compensation for land or minerals taken from them but nothing was ever settled. Then, last December, Congress tried to rectify this by passing the Native Claims Act.
Out of Alaska's 365-million area, most of it stayed under Federal Control, one way or another.
"The State was given control of ???zeable amount. Then this remaining land, 40 million acres, ??? set said for the Natives.....
"That land was not particularly valuable land. It includes mountaintops, glaciers, bogs and such. But the law compensated for this. The natives will get a cash settlement of almost a billion dollars for the land that has been taken away from them. As for the land they keep, this will be parcelled up among two-hundred native villages. Each village becomes a corporation, and each resident a shareholder in the land and the money. On paper that sounds fairly simple.
"But in the villages, it isn't. The airplane has brought civilisation to them to some extent. The snowmobile has phased out the dogsled, but the principal ways of making a living--hunting, fishing and trapping-haven't changed. They could do that where they pleased.
"So they're little leary of a paper that draws township lines even if it gives them title to the land within those lines. Then there's the cash settlement part of the law....they don't know when or now they get that. What they really are is confused."
Initials BB/1740 WLW/PN/BB/1800
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Alaska's original native races--Eskimos, Indians and Aleuts--are going to be compensated by the United States Government for land appropriated from their forefathers when the white man colonised the country. For although the native inhabitants have about one-ninth of Alaska's land set aside for them, they number one-fifth of the population. Most of their land is not very valuable--mountains, glaciers and bogs.
A cash settlement of about one billion U.S. dollars (about GBP250 million sterling) is linked to a scheme to turn villages into corporations, and to parcelling out the natives' existing land among these corporations. Each resident would become a shareholder in the land and money.
BUT the villagers aren't happy with the scheme. They fear it would restrict their traditional rights to move about freely in pursuit of their livelihoods--hunting, fishing and trapping, Recently, a National Broadcasting Company of America television crew went to Alaska to investigate the situation--and this film is what they brought back. It's accompanied by a voice-on-film narration in English, for use by English, for use by English subscribers. For translation purposes for other subscribers, a transcript of the narration is provided below.