Alaska Native Self-Government and Service Delivery: What Works?


Cornell, Stephen, and Joseph P. Kalt. 2003. “Alaska Native Self-Government and Service Delivery: What Works?Joint Occasional Papers on Native Affairs (JOPNA). Tucson and Cambridge: Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy and Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development.

The status of Alaska Natives’ rights of self-rule is properly the focus of detailed legal, political, and moral analysis. However, many of those who would limit, deny, or alter those rights profess to see the question as one of practicability and efficiency, challenging the notion that it is feasible for Alaska Native communities to effectively govern themselves or deliver needed services. In this study, we examine this issue. Specifically, in the area of Native self-governance and service delivery, what is likely to work? In posing this question, we assume that the economic and social well-being of Alaska Natives should be a central concern in the making of policy, whether by tribes, the State, or the federal government. Just as a debate that ignores the issue of Native rights is missing the boat, so too is one that ignores the impact policy is likely to have on the well-being of those most directly affected by it.

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