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Roger Lang was born in 1929 in Metlakatla, Alaska on the Annette Island Indian Reservation. He grew up there and in Sitka, Alaska where he graduated from Sheldon Jackson School, and enjoyed playing basketball. In 1947, he began work as a federal employee for the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Public Health Service, and the Forest Service. In 1969, he resigned from federal employment to become more active in Alaska Native affairs, and became a leader in the Alaska Native land claims movement and fight for passage of the 1971 Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA). He was heavily involved in the political aspects of ANCSA, which included working with Native leaders from across Alaska to find common ground and cooperation, and lobbying in Washington, D.C. in order to get the best possible settlement. Throughout his career, Roger held a number of key positions in Native organizations of Southeast Alaska, including; member of the Executive Committee of the Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska (CCTHITA), 1968-1975; member of the Board of Directors of Sealaska Corporation, 1972-1978; Executive Vice President and President of the Alaska Native Foundation, 1972-1973; President of the Alaska Federation of Natives, 1974-1975; and legislative consultant for the Alaska Federation of Natives, RuralCAP and the Bristol Bay Native Corporation, 1976-1977. In addition, he also served on a number of state boards and agencies including: the Rural Development Agency, State of Alaska, 1969-1971; the Governor’s Commission on the Importance of Youth, 1972-1974; the Center for Northern Educational Research, 1974-1975; and the Alaska Plan Policy Board, 1973. Roger also had his own consulting firm, Roger Lang and Associates. Roger Lang died in 1987 at the age of 58.
The Roger Lang papers collection (HMC-0158) is available at the Archives and Special Collections at the UAA/APU Consortium Library, which includes his personal papers and records related to his land claims work and advocacy, and his work for various Native organizations and statewide boards and commissions.