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William "Spud" Williams
William "Spud" Williams

William "Spud" Williams was interviewed on February 23, 1993 by Walter Newman, Sr. and Kathy Kaldor in Spud's office in Fairbanks, Alaska. In this interview, Spud talks about the history of the development of the Native rights and land claims movement in interior Alaska, the formation of the Fairbanks Native Association (FNA), and efforts to pass the 1971 Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA). He also talks about the structure of FNA, services they provide, their alcohol treatment program, their cooperation with Tanana Chiefs Conference, and their role in the Native land claims movement. This is the first tape of a two-tape interview. The second tape (ORAL HISTORY 92-05-22) is not included in this FNA Project Jukebox and can be found in the Oral History Collection, Elmer E. Rasmuson Library, University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Digital Asset Information

Archive #: Oral History 92-05-21

Project: Fairbanks Native Association
Date of Interview: Feb 23, 1993
Narrator(s): William "Spud" Williams
Interviewer(s): Walter Newman, Sr., Kathy Kaldor
Location of Interview:
Funding Partners:
Fairbanks Native Association, National Park Service
Alternate Transcripts
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1) Personal background

2) The growth of the Native movement in interior Alaska

3) Early days of Fairbanks Native Association, their programs, and their leadership

4) An historical perspective of Native land claims

5) Development of Native programs and lack of resources

6) The modern organization of Fairbanks Native Association

7) Fairbanks Native Association's alcohol programs

8) Fairbanks Native Association's role with Tanana Chiefs Conference

9) Fairbanks Native Association's structure

10) Early Native political involvement

11) Native relationship with politicians

12) Informing people about land claims issues

13) Cooperation between Fairbanks Native Association and Tanana Chiefs Conference

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After clicking play, click a section of the transcript to navigate the audio or video clip.


Section 1: Nenana/ Fairbanks/ education/ employment/ Wright Construction/ Peger Road/ Green Construction/ Park Road/ marriage/ Moore, Bill/ Brower, Tom/ Barrow|

Section 2: Native politics/ Nenana/ Alaska Native Brotherhood Camp - failure/ prejudice - among Native groups/ Gabriel, Paul/ Star, Al/ Purvis, Charlie/ Gabriel, Grafton/ Frank, Richard/ Ketzler, Al/ Fairbanks/ University of Alaska - Native efforts/ Thompson, Horace/ Adams, Al/ Sackett, John/ land claims - meetings/ Fairbanks Native Association - location/ Fairbanks Native Association - potlatch|

Section 3: Perdue, Ralph/ Perdue, Dorothy/ Wright, Jules/ Carlo, Poldine/ Carlo, William/ social issues/ prejudice/ alcoholism/ education/ Bureau of Indian Affairs/ Indian Health Service/ Tanana/ hospital/ medical services/ economic development/ FNA - office/ FNA - employees/ Widmark, Emma/ John, Ruby (Tansy)/ Siverly, Roxie/ Kito, Sam/ Wallis, Tim/ Lincoln, Georgianna|

Section 4: Chief Thomas/ Episcopal bishops/ Wickersham, James/ Native allotments/ Alaska Railroad/ mining - gold/ Minuk/ Native rights/ land claims settlement - early offers/ Minto Road project/ Rampart Dam|

Section 5: bureaucracy/ staff/ fund-raising/ advocates - white/ Fairbanks Native Association/ Anchorage/ Kotzebue/ Bethel/ Barrow/ Fort Yukon/ Rampart/ Kaltag/ Nulato/ Southeast Alaska/ Kotzebue/ village councils/ land claims - subsistence/ Wallis, Tim/ Lincoln, Georgianna/ Carlo, Poldine/ Carlo, William/ Kito, Sam/ Wright, Don/ Wright, Jules/ Wright, Gareth/ Wright, Al/ Fate, Mary Jane/ Fate, Hugh (Bud)/ Nenana|

Section 6: Fairbanks Native Association - formation/ tribal status/ Model Urban Indian Center/ Bureau of Indian Affairs - program/ Fairbanks Native Association - social programs/ Tanana Chiefs Conference - structure/ Law 93-638/ Tok/ Federal By-Indian Act (24CFR)/ Lal, Benarsi|


Section 7: Gabriel, Grafton/ Solomon, Hannah/ Human Services program - location/ sobriety - program success/ Fairbanks|

Section 8: Tanana Chiefs Conference - formation/ Fairbanks Native Association - support/ Tanana Chiefs Conference - location/ Tanana Chiefs Conference - location|

Section 9: Fairbanks Native Association - elections/ Fairbanks Native Investment Corporation/ DNH/ Fairbanks Native Development Corporation|

Section 10: State of Alaska - adversarial relationship/ land claims/ Trans-Alaska Pipeline/ Rampart Dam/ Project Chariot - University of Alaska reaction/ Kessel, Brina/ Rock, Howard|

Section 11: Gravel, Mike/ Begich, Nick/ Rivers, Ralph/ Bartlett, E.L./ Rampart Dam/ John, Peter/ Alexander, Frank/ Gabriel, Paul/ land claims - Fairbanks Native Association role / land claims - territorial delegates/ land claims - Russia sale/ land claims - Tlingit-Haida/ land claims - Tanana Chiefs Conference|


Section 12: newspaper - River Times/ newspaper - Tundra Times/ newspaper - Tundra Drums/ Rock, Howard/ mukluk telegraph/ Tanana Chiefs Conference - in villages/ Fairbanks - as political center/ Fairbanks Native Association - liaison|

Section 13: Fairbanks Native Association - board/ Tanana Chiefs Conference - delegate/ Wallis, Tim/ Kito, Sam/ Doyon Ltd./ Sackett, John/ land claims settlement/ Native employment|