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Richard Frank

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Richard Frank was born 2 August 1927 in Old Minto. He and his wife, Anna, have four children, Roxan, Darrel, Parker, and Robbin. He lives in Fairbanks, where he is a youth coordinator for Tanana Chiefs Conference.

This is an interview with Richard Frank on the Alaska Native Land Claims. Richard was instrumental in the land claims activities of the 1960s. On this tape, he traces the history back to the 1915 Tanana Chiefs meeting, and he talks about some of the old chiefs and the people who influenced him. He also provides details on the revival of the Tanana Chiefs at Nuchalawoyya and the land claims leaders of the 1960s. Details on the formation of the FNA are also given. The recording was done in the sound studio at UAF with Bernice Joseph and Bill Schneider on 2 October 1991.

This interview is housed on tape at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Rasmuson Library, Oral History Collection, Tape H92-05-03

Background and Personal History
Land claims - history/ placenames/ Fairbanks Native Association - history/ Minto/ Rampart/ Athabascan - dialects

Land Issues to the 1960's
Minto - community hall/ land claims - meeting/ Frank, Justin/ Indian Services/ Bureau of Indian Affairs/ Titus, George/ Minto/ maps - land claims/ land claims - recognition/ Washington, D.C./ San Francisco/ Juneau/ Denver/ Chicago

Instrumental Native Leaders and concerns about Land Issues
Minto Flats/ hunting - territories/ Nenana/ Outsiders/ Titus, George/ Native leaders/ Land Ethic/ money/ land - stewardship/ Wickersham, James/ Fairbanks Native Association/ Alaska Natives

Specific Land Issues - Minto
Minto/ Tanana Valley Sportsman's Assoc./ Minto Flats Road/ Nenana/ fundraising/ Fairbanks - meeting/ Rock, Howard/ Alaska Sportsman's Association/ game - abundance/ Tundra Times/ hunting/ muskrats/ moose/ bear/ caribou/ fur-bearers/ waterfowl/ fish/ berries/ subsistence issues/ unemployment/ land - dependence on/ Outsiders

Roads to Minto - Reaction
New Minto/ hearings/ due process/ legislators/ road maintenance/ responsibility - state/ travel and transport - river

New Minto - Reasons for Move
erosion/ floods/ townsites/ river - access/ airfields/ road - access/ hunting/ fishing/ Murphy Dome Road/ Chatanika/ permafrost/ Old Minto/ New Minto/ resources - access/ education - young people/ Fish and Game/ Nenana

Control over Development
development/ natural resources - exploration/ hunting/ outsiders/ expansion/ utilities/ health/ hunting season/ moose

Historic Native Leaders
Chief Charlie/ Chief Thomas/ Chief Evan/ Wickersham, James/ chiefs/ medicine men/ Chief Andrew Isaac/ Chief Peter John/ Tanana Chiefs/ Chief Alexander/ potlatches/ Frank family/ Tolovana - potlatch/ religious gathering/ sharing ethic/ potlatch - memorial/ Baker Creek - potlatch/ Tanana/ Rampart/ Kantishna/ Koschagat/ Tolovana/ Minto/ Nenana/ Wood River area

Leaders who influenced him on land issues
Frank, Justin/ Athabascan - dialects/ Minto/ Jimmie, William/ Nenana/ John, Roosevelt/ Kantishna/ Tanana/ Chief Matthew/ Joseph, Elijah/ Starr, John/ Albert/ Solomon, Peter/ land ethic

Key Events leading to ANCSA (Alaskan Native Land Claims Act)
outsiders/ miners/ population - increase/ development/ mining industry/ oil industry/ Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act/ Frank, Justin/ Paul, William/ Alaska Territory - leaders/ land selections - State of Alaska/ Fairbanks Borough - expansion/ Old Minto/ taxation

Revival of Tanana Chiefs meetings in 1960
Minto/ Nenana/ Demientieff, Al/ Tanana Chiefs - revival/ Fairbanks/ Tanana/ Nuchalowoyya/ land/ education/ health/ employment/ Perdue, Ralph/ Native unity

Early attempts at resolving land issues
Native leaders/ language barriers/ law - Territorial/ law - Federal/ reservation status/ regulation

Native Leaders in Fairbanks Area
Click here for part 2 of this section

Perdue, Ralph/ Fairbanks Native Association/ Gray, Nick/ Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act/ Fairbanks/ health/ education/ employment/ Rock, Howard/ Fate, Mary Jane/ Carlo, Poldine/ Wright, Jules/ Alaska Federation of Natives/ Minto/ blanket claims