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His first college year was at Ohio University. He graduated from the University of Alaska Fairbanks in 1972 with a major in Business Admistration (Accounting) and a minor in Political Science.
In the mid-1960s he became involved with the Fairbanks Native Association and the Tanana Chiefs Conference. In 1966 when he was 21, he ran for the Alaska State House of Representatives. He is the youngest member ever elected to the Alaska State Legislature. He began an 18-year career in the House and Senate on all the Finance Committee and as a memeber of the Majority.
For ten years, he served as the chairman and co-chair of the Finance Committees. He was one of the most powerful members of the legislature. He accomplished much for his constituents and the entire state through the formation of infrastructure and social programs and he endowed the educational, social, and economic development of rural Alaska.
Senator Sackett also served as a president of Tanana Chiefs and in 1972 was the founding president and chairman of Doyon Ltd.
John Sackett spoke with Bernice Joseph on 13 December 1991 in offices at the Doyon building in Fairbanks. John has been involved in Native affairs and state politics since he was in his early 20s, and the discussion ranged from the history of the FNA to the rise of Native political power in Alaska.
This interview is housed on tape at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Rasmuson Library, Oral History Collection, Tape H92-05-11
Background and Personal History
His involvement with the Fairbanks Native Association
His election to the Alaska State Legislature and efforts to help villages
Revival of Tanana Chiefs Conference and formation of other Native organizations
Responsibility of Native corporations and state government to provide services
The role of Rampart Dam project in spurring the Native movement
How the Fairbanks Native Association potlatch encouraged Native pride
Factors influencing Native political power
Importance of avoiding complacency in Native affairs