This thirty-nine collection consists of the official records documenting the Alaska Native Brotherhood (ANB) and Sisterhood (ANS) for nearly a century of its operation. This collection’s papers, the bulk those of the organization’s Grand Camp, its top administrative branch, begin in 1915 and consist of extensive correspondence, meeting minutes, and working files documenting a wide array of Alaska Native issues. Various ANB and ANS Camps (chapters) are also represented by correspondence and meeting minutes. While the bulk of the collection concerns the three tribes of Southeast Alaska, the Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian, many Alaska Native groups are represented with ANB Camps (chapters) forming across Alaska during the 1930s and 1940s. Some of the issues, though not all, documented in the collection concern ANB and ANS addressing U.S. Federal Indian policy, boarding schools, fisheries legislation, aboriginal title/land tenure, subsistence, social issues, and civil rights. The collection also contains legal papers or those addressing Federal Indian policy, including the papers of William L. Paul Sr., such as concerning his work to have the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 amended to allow Alaska Natives to create IRA governments and papers concerning Paul’s work toward various cases, including Supreme Court case Tee-Hit-Ton v. United States.
The collection has been organized into three series; Series 1: Correspondence (13 boxes), Series 2: Meeting Minutes, Resolutions, and Programs (20 boxes), and Series 3: Working Files (6 boxes). Some files have been organized chronologically and topically, such as in Series 2, while in some portions of the collection the original order kept by ANB was retained, such as with Series 1, Boxes 7-10. It should also be noted that the materials in Series 1, Boxes 11-13 are primarily papers of a legal nature, being the correspondence and papers of ANB’s lawyers.
Researcher Note: Researchers should see other ANB and ANS collections held by SHI that connect to this collection, including the Curry-Weissbrodt Papers and the Hope/Hayes Papers. Researchers should also note that the William L. Paul Sr. Papers are archived at University of Washington, Seattle.