1892–Auke Tlingit Chief Kowee dies at the age of 75. He was credited with guiding Joe Juneau and Richard Harris to the original gold discovery near what is now Juneau.
1915–The Tyonek Reserve (Moquawkie) of 26,918 acres is created by Executive Order for the village of Tyonek. The village eventually was awarded $12.7 million in oil lease sales. Villagers became a model for the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act when they developed a program for spending the money, including road and airstrip improvements, as well as health and welfare projects and a ‘family improvement plan’ authorizing up to $40,000 per family. According to Frederick T. Bismarck Sr., a Tyonek leader, the village played a critical role in the passage of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act by granting $150,000 to fund the Alaska Federation of Natives in the late 1960s. Later, Tyonek also loaned the new organization $100,000 to be used in the land claims fight. Bismarck was featured in the CIRI Foundation publication, Our Stories, Our Lives.
1923–President Warren G. Harding creating the Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 4 by Executive Order 3797A. The reserve includes about 23 million acres. Three Native communities located within the boundaries of the reserve include, Barrow, Nuisqsut and Atqasuk. Although the reserve has been set aside in case of a need for an emergency oil supply, gas fields near Barrow were developed and now supply the community’s needs. On April 5, 1976, the name is changed to the National Petroleum Reserve–Alaska. The Department of the Interior sold several leases in the area in the 1980s, but none were developed and all have expired.
Cited From: A Reference in Time, Alaska Native History Day by Day. Edited by Alexandra J. McClanahan. Published by The CIRI Foundation, 2001.