Symposium

North to the Future:

Opportunities and Change in Alaska’s Emerging Frontiers

Thursday October 16, 2014 – University of Alaska Anchorage

I. Symposium Summary

Alaska’s state motto, “North to the Future,” reflects the growing importance of Alaska’s northern regions for the state’s legal and policy developments. The increasing pace of climate change in Alaska’s northern frontiers presents political, legal, economic, and cultural issues that leaders will have to deal with in the near future. Some of these changes create important opportunities for commercial and economic development, including offshore gas leasing and oil drilling. But these economic developments also present significant threats to Alaska’s natural environment and to the lives and well-being of its people. In the upcoming decades, Alaska’s leaders must consider carefully how to capitalize on new commercial opportunities in the north while minimizing the negative consequences of these developments on Alaska’s unique social, cultural, and environmental concerns. Alaska’s leaders will also need to consider how best to cope with the ambient changes being wrought by economic development and environmental trends and how best to approach the legal landscape that accompanies these changes.

To successfully navigate this rapidly evolving situation, Alaska’s leaders and institutions must consider and address the legal issues associated with economic development, climate change, and social and cultural concerns. This symposium proposes to provide a space for that conversation to begin, by providing a forum for Alaska’s policy makers and members of academia, non-profits, industry, and cultural institutions to broach these emerging legal issues in a constructive setting.

The symposium will feature three panels and two keynote speakers. The first panel, “Alaska Native Participation in the Territorial Governance of the North” will consider the proper balance of land governing power between federal, state, and Native actors. Panelists will discuss the need and potential options for increased participation by the Native Corporations in the governing of Alaska’s land.

The second panel, “Alaska’s Role in the Development of the Arctic North,” will consider coastal policy essential to protecting the interests of Alaska’s Arctic North in the face of growing geopolitical tensions and expansion in the area.

The third panel, “Regulatory Oversight of Alaska’s Arctic Shores” will explore regulatory structures and propose regulatory reform to meet the challenges arising under geopolitical and natural resource interests in the Arctic North.

This will be ALR’s first live symposium. The symposium is being co-sponsored by the University of Alaska Justice Center and the Arctic Law Section of the Alaska Bar Association. The event will be held in Room 307 of the UAA/APU Consortium Library.

II. Schedule of Events

The following represents the schedule of the symposium’s events, subject to change:

8:30am–9:00am: Arrivals & CLE Registration (Light Breakfast)
9:00am–9:15am: Introductory Comments (ALR, ABA, & UAA)
9:15am–10:00am: Keynote Speaker (Fran Ulmer)
10:00am-10:15am: Break
10:15am–11:30am: Panel IAlaska Native Participation in the Territorial Governance of the North
Moderator: Prof. Ryan Fortson
Presenters: Mara Kimmel, Barrett Ristroph
Commentators: Joe Evans (City Attorney of Kotzebue), Dan Chayette (Attorney at the Bristol Bay Native Corporation)
11:30am-11:45am Arctic Law Section, Section Meeting
11:45am–1:00pm: Lunch with Keynote Speaker (Willie Hensley)
1:00pm–2:15pm: Panel II - Alaska’s Role in the Development of the Arctic North
Moderator: Prof. Thomas Metzloff
Presenters: Betsy Baker, Barry Zellen
Commentators: Bruce Anders (Attorney at CIRI), Mike LeVine (Oceana)
2:15pm-2:30pm Break
2:30pm–3:45pm: Panel III – Regulatory Oversight of Alaska’s Arctic Shores
Moderator: Prof. Kristin Knudsen
Presenters: Mike LeVine, Hari Osofsky
Commentators: Matt Findley (attorney at Ashburn & Mason), Ret. Judge Sen Tan
3:45pm–4:30pm: Follow-up question and answer with panelists (Light Refreshments)


III.      Panel Format

Each panel will consist of three (3) to five (5) panelists and a moderator. The moderator will guide the discussion, inviting two (2) panelists to present short arguments on the panel topic (length of time to be determined, but roughly 10-15 minutes apiece). After the presenting panelists offer their statements, the moderator will begin the discussion by soliciting comments from the other panelists on either of the two presentations. From there, the moderator will proceed to guide the dialogue in a way that promotes the expression of a diversity of opinions, using a combination of on-the-spot and prepared questions. Finally, the panel will answer questions from the audience.

The presenting panelists in each panel will be those responsible for contributing a core article to the written publication (discussed in more detail in Part V). These core articles will be made available in draft form to symposium attendees prior to the symposium. After the symposium, commenters will be given a few weeks to draft their own comments in response.

IV. Panel Discussions

Panel I: Alaska Native Participation in the Territorial Governance of the North

(Mara Kimmel, Barrett Ristroph)

Moderator:

Professor Ryan Fortson, University of Alaska, Anchorage Justice Center: Ryan Fortson, Ph.D., J.D., joined the faculty of the UAA Justice Center in Fall 2012, teaching courses in the Justice and Legal Studies programs. Prior to his appointment as an Assistant Professor he was an adjunct faculty member for the Justice Center and the UAA Political Science Department. He has worked for the Alaska Legal Services Corporation (ALSC) as a staff attorney dealing primarily with family law, landlord/tenant relations, and public benefits cases. He was also a partner of the Northern Justice Project, the only private civil rights law firm in Alaska. Prior to his ALSC work, Prof. Fortson was a senior associate with the law firm of Dorsey & Whitney LLP. His legal experience there included regulation of public utilities. Prof. Fortson received a J.D. from Stanford Law School and a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Minnesota — Twin Cities.

Presenters:

Mara Kimmel, J.D., Adjunct Faculty, Institute of Social and Economic Research, UAA – Anchorage – “The Disconnect Between Land Sovereignty and Local Government”

Paper Summary: Governments exercise territoriality – authority over place and over people. While these two aspects of sovereignty – people and place – are often thought of as inextricably bound together, Alaska demonstrates that the two do not always co-exist. This paper examines what happens when a sovereign government loses authority over place, its “territorial reach,” and the impacts that loss has on a government’s ability to protect the wellbeing of its people.  This paper concludes that despite the creative ways governments overcome the loss of territoriality, land sovereignty is still vital for governance capacity as a matter of law and policy.

Biography: Mara Kimmel is a Senior Fellow at the Institute of the North, and a PhD candidate at Central European University studying the intersection of land rights, governance and well-being in Alaskan communities. Mara has a long career in Alaskan public policy focused on issues of rights and justice, most recently as a Professor of Political Science at the University of Alaska Anchorage. Mara has practiced law in Alaska since 1996, and co-founded the Alaska Institute for Justice – Alaska’s only non-profit agency providing low cost immigration legal services, language access services and research and policy analysis on issues impacting human rights in Alaska. Prior to becoming a lawyer, Mara worked with Alaska Native tribes on environmental governance issues. Mara is the recipient of the Alaska Bar Association’s Distinguished Service Award, and currently serves on the Supreme Court’s Access to Civil Justice Committee. Mara has a J.D. from the University of Minnesota, a Master’s Degree for the University of Alaska Fairbanks (Natural Resources Management), and a bachelor’s degree from the University of California (Political Science).

Barrett Ristroph, J.D., Arctic Program Representative, The Wilderness Society – “Designating Culturally Significant Land”.

Paper Summary: This article discusses an opportunity for tribes and those interested in conservation of culturally significant land: the designation of a Traditional Cultural District (TCD). A TCD found eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places (“the Register”) is entitled to consideration under the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (NHPA) in federal decisions that may affect historic or cultural aspects of the TCD. A TCD designation would not prohibit development. Rather, it would require federal agencies to communicate with tribes and consider mitigation measures that could withstand legal challenges.

Biography: Barrett Ristroph is a planner and lawyer pursuing a Ph.D. in climate change adaptation at the University of Hawaii Manoa. She currently works at the National Disaster Preparedness Training Center in Honolulu, where she helps design courses on coastal community resilience and climate change adaptation. Most recently, she worked in Anchorage on Arctic lands conservation and the protection of subsistence and Alaska Native rights. Prior to that, she worked as an attorney and planner for the world’s largest municipality, the North Slope Borough, in Arctic Alaska. She has also held positions with the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative in the Philippines and the Northern Marianas Superior Court in Saipan.  She has researched and published on a wide range of topics, including climate change, comparative environmental law, Arctic shipping, oil and gas, hydraulic fracturing, and the integration of traditional knowledge with Western science.

Commentators:

Joe Evans:

Biography: Mr. Evans lived in Alaska from 1966 to 1998 and moved to Washington in 1999. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1967 to 1970, with a tour of duty in Vietnam from 1968 to 1969. Joe earned his B.A. in political science from the University of Kentucky in 1973 and received his J.D. from Duke University in 1976. He was admitted to the Alaska Bar in 1976 and the Washington State Bar in 2000.

Joe served on the Anchorage Municipal Assembly from 1985 to 1991. He was on the Board of Directors of the Alaska Municipal League from 1985 to 1991. He has been a member of the Alaska Municipal League/Joint Insurance Association Board of Trustees since it was founded in1988.

Since 1999, Joe has served as the City Attorney for the City of Kotzebue, Alaska, an Inupiaq community in the Northwest Arctic Borough. In 2008, Joe was hired as the City Attorney for the City of Nuiqsut, an Inupiaq community in the North Slope Borough. His practice also includes matters involving labor arbitration, police liability, employment, construction and contract disputes for other municipalities and private clients.

Dan Cheyette:

Biography: Mr. Cheyette has been an Alaska resident for 18 years. After graduating from Northwestern School of Law, Mr. Cheyette clerked for the Superior and US District Courts in Anchorage. Following his time with the courts, Mr. Cheyette worked as an Assistant District Attorney and then Assistant Attorney General in the areas of Oil and Natural Resources. During this time he also served as a Special Assistant United States Attorney where he assisted in prosecuting environmental and natural resource crimes.

He is currently In-house Counsel for Bristol Bay Native Corporation where he advises on natural resources and lands issues affecting Bristol Bay region and corporate lands.

Panel II: Alaska’s Role in the Development of the Arctic North

(Betsy Baker, Barry Zellen) 

Moderator:

Professor Thomas Metzloff, Duke University School of Law: Professor Metzloff is a native of Buffalo, N.Y. He earned his BA from Yale College in 1976 and his JD from Harvard Law School in 1979. He began his professional career with a judicial clerkship on the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, followed by a clerkship with the Supreme Court of the United States. He then practiced with a private firm in Atlanta doing civil litigation matters before accepting a position at Duke Law School in 1985. He teaches civil procedure, ethics, and dispute resolution, as well as a specialized course on the American legal system for international LLM students. He has taught that course regularly at Duke’s Geneva and Hong Kong summer institutes as well as at Tsinghua University in Beijing. He served as the Law School’s senior associate dean for academic affairs from 1998-2001, and currently serves as a member of the executive committee of Duke University’s Academic Council. Professor Metzloff advises the Alaska Law Review.

Presenters: 

Betsy BakerVisiting Professor & Counsel to the Dean – Alaska Programs, University of Washington School of Law – “How Alaska can Drive Integrated Arctic Management, Curtail Federal Overreach and Safeguard the Country’s Longest Coastline.”

Presentation Summary: This presentation seeks to show how existing laws and regulations can be used to ensure that both levels of government are prepared for the changes coming to the U.S. Arctic. One question is how, if at all, to restore state involvement in the federal Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) process, which was lost in 2011 when the Alaska legislature declined to re-authorize the Alaska Coastal Management Program. While many lament that loss, few have proposed concrete models for replacing it, especially in a way that protects the State of Alaska’s interests. The presentation explores legal and regulatory possibilities for balancing multiple users’ interests in how the Alaskan offshore and coastal areas area will be developed and conserved.

Biography: Professor Baker represents the University of Washington law school full time in Alaska, where her research on Arctic Ocean governance and the law of northern resource development has taken her regularly since 2008. She clerked for Judge John T. Noonan, Jr. of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and has taught at Vermont Law School, the University of Minnesota Law School and Harvard Law School, where she was the John Harvey Gregory Lecturer on International Organizations Law. Her teaching ranges from property and comparative law to international environmental law and law of the sea.

Among Professor Baker’s recent policy papers are reports for the Alaska Arctic Policy Commission, the Arctic Council and Inuit Circumpolar Council. In 2012-2013 she was Visiting Scholar with the inter-agency Extended Continental Shelf Task Force at the Office of Ocean and Polar Affairs, Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, U.S Department of State. Professor Baker was appointed to the National Academy of Sciences Polar Research Board in 2014.

Barry Zellen, Author; Arctic Geopolitics Specialist – “Governance Structures In The Face Of A Rapidly Changing Climate.”

Paper Summary: A comparative examination of the co-management, corporate and (increasingly) governing structures in Alaska and northern Canada, and how over time (from ANCSA through the completion of the Canadian Inuit land claims) these structures have evolved and matured, helping (increasingly) to balance both external (and internal) pressures for increased natural resource extraction with environmental and cultural preservation, and along the way to provide practical management and regulatory experience to new native leaders and administrators, preparing them for greater self-governance and an increased role in the collaborative governance of the Arctic region.

Biography: Mr. Zellen is an author, editor, and journalist specializing in war and strategy, Arctic geopolitics, indigenous cultures, and the tribal dimensions of world politics. Much of his early research and writing covers the Arctic and Subarctic regions of North America, including the NWT, Yukon, and Alaska.

Commentators:

Bruce Anders:

Biography: Bruce Anders is CIRI’s lead in-house counsel, responsible for CIRI’s legal and corporate compliance matters. Anders has practiced for most of his over 20 years as an attorney in Alaska, and has experience in private, public and corporate legal sectors.

Before joining CIRI, Anders was Chief of the State of Alaska Oil and Gas Division’s Leasing and Permitting Section, and served on the Governor’s Natural Gasline Team.

Anders previously litigated insurance defense cases at a Madison, Wisconsin law firm, represented rural Alaskans as a partner in a Bethel, Alaska, law firm, litigated environmental matters as an Assistant Attorney General with the Alaska Department of Law, represented BLM and MMS at the Department of Interior Regional Solicitor’s office and represented the United States as a Judge Advocate General in the U.S. Army.

Anders earned a Bachelor of Arts cum laude from Duke University in 1989 and a Juris Doctor from the University of Oregon School of Law in 1992. In addition to his duties at CIRI, Anders represents the State of Alaska as a delegate to the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission, sits on the Board of Directors of Special Olympics Alaska, is a Co-Chair of the Alaska Bar Association’s Native Law Section, and is active in Boy Scouts of America.

Mike LeVine: 

Biography: Mr. LeVine represents Oceana in matters relating to protection of the Arctic and Pacific large marine ecosystems.  He works to ensure that good decisions are made about offshore oil and gas activities and large-scale commercial fishing. Prior to joining Oceana, Mr. LeVine worked for the Juneau office of Earthjustice. He received his J.D. and M.E.M degrees at Duke University. 

Panel III: Regulatory Oversight of Alaska’s Arctic Shores

(Mike LeVine, Hari Osofsky)

Moderator:

Professor Kristin Knudsen, University of Alaska, Anchorage Justice Center: Kristin Knudsen, J.D., joined the faculty of the UAA Justice Center in Fall 2012, teaching courses in the Justice and Legal Studies programs. Prior to her appointment as an Assistant Professor she was an adjunct faculty member for the Justice Center. She is the past Chair of the Alaska Workers’ Compensation Appeals Commission where she presided over appeals hearings and drafted decisions and regulations. Prior to that, she was a member of the Special Litigation Section of the Alaska Office of the Attorney General. Prof. Knudsen received a J.D. from Santa Clara University (1978) and a Master of Judicial Studies degree from the University of Nevada Reno and the National Judicial College.

Presenters:

Mike LeVine Pacific Senior Counsel, Oceana – “Creating the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management: The Need to Reform the Regulations Governing Offshore Oil and Gas Planning, Leasing, and Exploration Plan Review.”

Paper Summary: The nature of offshore oil and gas activities is changing as companies are forced to more difficult and remote areas, like the U.S. Arctic Ocean.  At the same time, ocean conditions are changing rapidly and there has been a sharp increase in attention by the scientific community, political figures, and the public at large to the choices about how government balances the needs for affordable energy and healthy ocean ecosystems in the Arctic.  As was unfortunately evidenced by the Deepwater Horizon tragedy and Shell’s problematic 2012 drilling season, the rules governing whether and under what conditions to allow those activities have not kept pace with these changes. This article provides a rationale for revision of the regulations governing offshore oil and gas planning, leasing, and exploration plan review and recommends a path to achieve the needed change.

Biography: Mr. LeVine represents Oceana in matters relating to protection of the Arctic and Pacific large marine ecosystems.  He works to ensure that good decisions are made about offshore oil and gas activities and large-scale commercial fishing. Prior to joining Oceana, Mr. LeVine worked for the Juneau office of Earthjustice. He received his J.D. and M.E.M degrees at Duke University.

Hari OsofskyProfessor of Law, University of Minnesota Law School – “Multilevel Fragmentation in Arctic Offshore Drilling Regulation An Assessment of Governance Challenges and Proposed Solutions”

Presentation Summary: In the lead up to the U.S. chairmanship of the Arctic Council and the aftermath of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill, there has been a flurry of activity around Arctic oil and gas regulation. Numerous entities, from the Arctic Council, to national governmental agencies, to trade organizations, to standard setting organizations, to indigenous corporations, to think tanks, have worked to set standards or make recommendations for new approaches. These new regulatory developments have helped to address some of the gaps in Arctic offshore drilling governance, and many of the recommendations could prove useful in addressing further gaps.

This activity, however, takes place against a complex and deeply fragmented multi-level regulatory backdrop. In the U.S. context in particular, different federal agencies serve as lead in each of Council’s six working groups, which is itself a complicated and evolving entity. Energy and environmental law are largely separate, both in the relevant law and the agencies that implement it. As the BP Deepwater Horizon spill reinforced, even structures created to bring together relevant agencies in the event of a spill – such as the National Contingency Plan – only partially do so.

This Article assesses this complexity. It considers the governance challenges created by the mix of public and private entities working to create standards against a legally fragmented backdrop. It then evaluates some of the recent reports and recommendations, considering their commonalities and divergences and the possibilities for next steps.

Biography: Hari Osofsky is a Professor of Law; the 2013-14 Fesler-Lampert Chair in Urban and Regional Affairs; the Faculty Director of the Energy Transition Lab; and the Director of the Joint Degree Program in Law, Science, and Technology at the University of Minnesota Law School. She also is on the faculty of the Conservation Biology Graduate Program, an adjunct professor in the Department of Geography, Environment and Society, and a Fellow with the Institute on the Environment. She received a B.A. and a J.D. from Yale University, and a Ph.D. in the Geography from the University of Oregon. Osofsky’s interdisciplinary law and geography scholarship, which has been published with Cambridge University Press and leading law and geography journals, focuses on governance and justice concerns related to energy and climate change. Her article on governance and the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill was selected for inclusion in Land Use and Environment Law Review’s annual compilation of the top land use and environmental law articles, and she has been awarded the Daniel B. Luten Award for the best paper by a professional geographer by the Energy and Environment Specialty Group of the Association of American Geographers. Osofsky assisted with the Inuit Circumpolar Conference’s petition on climate change to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and has supervised course contributions to the American Wind Energy Association, Earthjustice, Great Plains Institute, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling, the National Regulatory Research Institute, the Phillips Community, the Southern Environmental Law Center, the University of Minnesota, and the Western Environmental Law Center. Her professional leadership roles have included serving as President of the Association for Law, Property, and Society; chairing the American Association of Law School’s Section on Property; and being a member of the Executive Council of the American Society of International Law; the International Law Association’s Committee on the Legal Principles of Climate Change; and the Board of Governors of the Society of American Law Teachers.

Commentators:

Matt Findley: 

Biography: A lawyer at Ashburn & Mason, Matt Before joining the firm, Matt served as a law clerk for Justice Robert L. Eastaugh of the Alaska Supreme Court, and for the Honorable Andrew J. Kleinfeld of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Matt’s practice includes commercial and complex litigation, oil & gas, fisheries, utilities, appellate litigation, and administrative law. Since joining the firm, he has litigated cases in both Alaska state and federal court as well as briefed and argued appeals to both the Alaska Supreme Court and the Ninth Circuit. Matt has an extensive oil & gas practice representing the State of Alaska in oil & gas litigation, and representing ENSTAR Natural Gas Company (the local gas distribution utility in Alaska) in regulatory and commercial matters.

Matt recently received a pro bono award of merit from Alaska Legal Services and a Certificate of Appreciation for pro bono service from the Alaska Immigration Justice Project. Matt has also been recognized as a litigation star by Benchmark Litigation.

Matt is a member of the Alaska, California, and Illinois bar associations and is a member of the Alaska Bar Association Fee Arbitration Committee. He is also Board President of the Alaska Hemophilia Association, and Board Secretary of the Alaska Center for Collaborative Child Therapy dba Adam’s Camp Alaska.

The Honorable Sen K. Tan (Retired):

Biography: Judge Sen K. Tan was the presiding Superior Court Judge for the Third Judicial District in Anchorage, Alaska. Judge Tan was appointed on December 4, 1996, by Governor Tony Knowles. He retired on July 1, 2014 after having served as the Presiding Judge of the court from 2011 to through 2013.

Judge Tan graduated from the University of Kent in 1978 with a Bachelor of Arts in Law. In 1982 he graduated with his Juris Doctor from the Northeastern University School of Law in Massachusetts. Following graduation from law school Judge Tan clerked for Superior Court Judge Brian Shortell in Anchorage. He subsequently worked as an assistant public defender, assistant Attorney General and prior to his appointment to the Superior Court was the Supervising Assistant Attorney General.

V. Keynote Addresses

Keynote I: Fran Ulmer

Biography: Ms. Ulmer is chair of the U.S. Arctic Research Commission, where she has served since being appointed by President Obama in March 2011. Secretary John Kerry appointed her Advisor for Arctic Science and Policy in June 2014, to assist the US Chairmanship of the Arctic Council.

In June 2010, President Obama appointed her to the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling. From 2007 to 2011, Ms. Ulmer was Chancellor of Alaska’s largest public university, the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA). Before that, she was a Distinguished Visiting Professor of Public Policy and Director of the Institute of Social and Economic Research at UAA. She is a member of the Global Board of the Nature Conservancy and on the Board of the National Parks Conservation Association.

Ms. Ulmer served as an elected official for 18 years: as the mayor of Juneau, as a state representative and as Lieutenant Governor of Alaska. Ms. Ulmer served as Director of Policy Development for the State of Alaska, under Governor Jay Hammond. Ms. Ulmer earned a J.D. cum laude from the University of Wisconsin Law School, and has been a Fellow at the Institute of Politics at the Kennedy School of Government. She lives in Anchorage, Alaska.

Keynote II: Willie Hensley

Biography: Born in a small house where Kotzebue Sound washes seafoam onto the Baldwin Peninsula’s gravel shores, William Iggiagruk Hensley is an Inupiaq and lifelong Alaskan. Mr. Hensley was a Legislator in the Alaska House and Senate for ten years; was a founder of the Northwest Alaska Native Association (now Maniilaq Association); served Alaska Federation of Natives as a founding member, former President, Executive Director, Co-Chair and President Emeritus; was the founding President of Alaska Village Electric Cooperative from 1967-1971; was a Director of NANA Regional Corporation for twenty years, serving as President and Secretary, as well as President of NANA Development Corporation; is a former Commissioner of Commerce for the State of Alaska; retired from Alyeska Pipeline Service Company, which he represented in Washington, D.C. for nine years; author and spokesman.

Mr. Hensley is currently Chair of the First Alaskans Institute. He has spent the last few years promoting his book and discussing Alaska with people across the country and throughout the state, with the goal of clarifying and deepening people’s understanding of our history – as Inupiat, as Alaska’s indigenous people, as Alaskans, and as Americans. He also is currently Distinguished Visiting Professor of Business and Public Policy at the University of Alaska, Anchorage teaching “Alaska Policy Frontiers”, an exploration of Alaska’s history, economics, colonization, indigenous impacts and modern day issues.

VI. Symposium Publication

In addition to the live event held in Anchorage on October 16, 2014, ALR’s December 2014 issue will publish the written component of the symposium.

The articles from each presenting panelist will be made available to symposium attendees prior to the event.

In addition to the symposium content from panelists that is transposed into publishable material, the issue will feature student notes on topics related to the symposium. Finally, the beginning of the issue will include a brief summary of each component of the symposium (i.e., the keynote and each panel).

VII. Target Audience

Through the symposium, we hope to reach a number of different groups, including:

  • Attorneys in the Anchorage area (Alaska’s largest city)
  • University of Alaska Anchorage faculty and staff
  • University of Alaska Anchorage students
  • Members of the Alaska judiciary
  • Duke Law alumni in Anchorage
  • Industry professionals in off-shore activities
  • Environmental organizations in Anchorage
  • Native groups (Native Corporations, tribal/village councils, cultural organizations, etc.)
  • State government officials
  • Employees of various Alaska state agencies

VIII.     Event Goals

As Alaska’s only legal journal, it is our duty to provide a forum in which lawyers and academicians can discuss the pressing law and policy issues that face our northernmost state. The goal of the symposium is to foster an open discussion about emerging law and policy issues in Alaska. Furthermore, by creating an expansive dialogue that incorporates diverse interests groups, including lawyers, members of judiciary, industry officials, Alaska Native communities and corporations, citizen groups, non-profits, government officials, and academia, we hope to facilitate equitable and effective resolution of many of these issues.

Symposium

North to the Future:

Opportunities and Change in Alaska’s Emerging Frontiers

Thursday October 16, 2014 – University of Alaska Anchorage

I. Symposium Summary

Alaska’s state motto, “North to the Future,” reflects the growing importance of Alaska’s northern regions for the state’s legal and policy developments. The increasing pace of climate change in Alaska’s northern frontiers presents political, legal, economic, and cultural issues that leaders will have to deal with in the near future. Some of these changes create important opportunities for commercial and economic development, including offshore gas leasing and oil drilling. But these economic developments also present significant threats to Alaska’s natural environment and to the lives and well-being of its people. In the upcoming decades, Alaska’s leaders must consider carefully how to capitalize on new commercial opportunities in the north while minimizing the negative consequences of these developments on Alaska’s unique social, cultural, and environmental concerns. Alaska’s leaders will also need to consider how best to cope with the ambient changes being wrought by economic development and environmental trends and how best to approach the legal landscape that accompanies these changes.

To successfully navigate this rapidly evolving situation, Alaska’s leaders and institutions must consider and address the legal issues associated with economic development, climate change, and social and cultural concerns. This symposium proposes to provide a space for that conversation to begin, by providing a forum for Alaska’s policy makers and members of academia, non-profits, industry, and cultural institutions to broach these emerging legal issues in a constructive setting.

The symposium will feature three panels and two keynote speakers. The first panel, “Alaska Native Participation in the Territorial Governance of the North” will consider the proper balance of land governing power between federal, state, and Native actors. Panelists will discuss the need and potential options for increased participation by the Native Corporations in the governing of Alaska’s land.

The second panel, “Alaska’s Role in the Development of the Arctic North,” will consider coastal policy essential to protecting the interests of Alaska’s Arctic North in the face of growing geopolitical tensions and expansion in the area.

The third panel, “Regulatory Oversight of Alaska’s Arctic Shores” will explore regulatory structures and propose regulatory reform to meet the challenges arising under geopolitical and natural resource interests in the Arctic North.

This will be ALR’s first live symposium. The symposium is being co-sponsored by the University of Alaska Justice Center and the Arctic Law Section of the Alaska Bar Association. The event will be held in Room 307 of the UAA/APU Consortium Library.

II. Schedule of Events

The following represents the schedule of the symposium’s events, subject to change:

8:30am–9:00am: Arrivals & CLE Registration (Light Breakfast)
9:00am–9:15am: Introductory Comments (ALR, ABA, & UAA)
9:15am–10:00am: Keynote Speaker (Fran Ulmer)
10:00am-10:15am: Break
10:15am–11:30am: Panel IAlaska Native Participation in the Territorial Governance of the North
Moderator: Prof. Ryan Fortson
Presenters: Mara Kimmel, Barrett Ristroph
Commentators: Joe Evans (City Attorney of Kotzebue), Dan Chayette (Attorney at the Bristol Bay Native Corporation)
11:30am-11:45am Arctic Law Section, Section Meeting
11:45am–1:00pm: Lunch with Keynote Speaker (Willie Hensley)
1:00pm–2:15pm: Panel II - Alaska’s Role in the Development of the Arctic North
Moderator: Prof. Thomas Metzloff
Presenters: Betsy Baker, Barry Zellen
Commentators: Bruce Anders (Attorney at CIRI), Mike LeVine (Oceana)
2:15pm-2:30pm Break
2:30pm–3:45pm: Panel III – Regulatory Oversight of Alaska’s Arctic Shores
Moderator: Prof. Kristin Knudsen
Presenters: Mike LeVine, Hari Osofsky
Commentators: Matt Findley (attorney at Ashburn & Mason), Ret. Judge Sen Tan
3:45pm–4:30pm: Follow-up question and answer with panelists (Light Refreshments)


III.      Panel Format

Each panel will consist of three (3) to five (5) panelists and a moderator. The moderator will guide the discussion, inviting two (2) panelists to present short arguments on the panel topic (length of time to be determined, but roughly 10-15 minutes apiece). After the presenting panelists offer their statements, the moderator will begin the discussion by soliciting comments from the other panelists on either of the two presentations. From there, the moderator will proceed to guide the dialogue in a way that promotes the expression of a diversity of opinions, using a combination of on-the-spot and prepared questions. Finally, the panel will answer questions from the audience.

The presenting panelists in each panel will be those responsible for contributing a core article to the written publication (discussed in more detail in Part V). These core articles will be made available in draft form to symposium attendees prior to the symposium. After the symposium, commenters will be given a few weeks to draft their own comments in response.

IV. Panel Discussions

Panel I: Alaska Native Participation in the Territorial Governance of the North

(Mara Kimmel, Barrett Ristroph)

Moderator:

Professor Ryan Fortson, University of Alaska, Anchorage Justice Center: Ryan Fortson, Ph.D., J.D., joined the faculty of the UAA Justice Center in Fall 2012, teaching courses in the Justice and Legal Studies programs. Prior to his appointment as an Assistant Professor he was an adjunct faculty member for the Justice Center and the UAA Political Science Department. He has worked for the Alaska Legal Services Corporation (ALSC) as a staff attorney dealing primarily with family law, landlord/tenant relations, and public benefits cases. He was also a partner of the Northern Justice Project, the only private civil rights law firm in Alaska. Prior to his ALSC work, Prof. Fortson was a senior associate with the law firm of Dorsey & Whitney LLP. His legal experience there included regulation of public utilities. Prof. Fortson received a J.D. from Stanford Law School and a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Minnesota — Twin Cities.

Presenters:

Mara Kimmel, J.D., Adjunct Faculty, Institute of Social and Economic Research, UAA – Anchorage – “The Disconnect Between Land Sovereignty and Local Government”

Paper Summary: Governments exercise territoriality – authority over place and over people. While these two aspects of sovereignty – people and place – are often thought of as inextricably bound together, Alaska demonstrates that the two do not always co-exist. This paper examines what happens when a sovereign government loses authority over place, its “territorial reach,” and the impacts that loss has on a government’s ability to protect the wellbeing of its people.  This paper concludes that despite the creative ways governments overcome the loss of territoriality, land sovereignty is still vital for governance capacity as a matter of law and policy.

Biography: Mara Kimmel is a Senior Fellow at the Institute of the North, and a PhD candidate at Central European University studying the intersection of land rights, governance and well-being in Alaskan communities. Mara has a long career in Alaskan public policy focused on issues of rights and justice, most recently as a Professor of Political Science at the University of Alaska Anchorage. Mara has practiced law in Alaska since 1996, and co-founded the Alaska Institute for Justice – Alaska’s only non-profit agency providing low cost immigration legal services, language access services and research and policy analysis on issues impacting human rights in Alaska. Prior to becoming a lawyer, Mara worked with Alaska Native tribes on environmental governance issues. Mara is the recipient of the Alaska Bar Association’s Distinguished Service Award, and currently serves on the Supreme Court’s Access to Civil Justice Committee. Mara has a J.D. from the University of Minnesota, a Master’s Degree for the University of Alaska Fairbanks (Natural Resources Management), and a bachelor’s degree from the University of California (Political Science).

Barrett Ristroph, J.D., Arctic Program Representative, The Wilderness Society – “Designating Culturally Significant Land”.

Paper Summary: This article discusses an opportunity for tribes and those interested in conservation of culturally significant land: the designation of a Traditional Cultural District (TCD). A TCD found eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places (“the Register”) is entitled to consideration under the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (NHPA) in federal decisions that may affect historic or cultural aspects of the TCD. A TCD designation would not prohibit development. Rather, it would require federal agencies to communicate with tribes and consider mitigation measures that could withstand legal challenges.

Biography: Barrett Ristroph is a planner and lawyer pursuing a Ph.D. in climate change adaptation at the University of Hawaii Manoa. She currently works at the National Disaster Preparedness Training Center in Honolulu, where she helps design courses on coastal community resilience and climate change adaptation. Most recently, she worked in Anchorage on Arctic lands conservation and the protection of subsistence and Alaska Native rights. Prior to that, she worked as an attorney and planner for the world’s largest municipality, the North Slope Borough, in Arctic Alaska. She has also held positions with the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative in the Philippines and the Northern Marianas Superior Court in Saipan.  She has researched and published on a wide range of topics, including climate change, comparative environmental law, Arctic shipping, oil and gas, hydraulic fracturing, and the integration of traditional knowledge with Western science.

Commentators:

Joe Evans:

Biography: Mr. Evans lived in Alaska from 1966 to 1998 and moved to Washington in 1999. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1967 to 1970, with a tour of duty in Vietnam from 1968 to 1969. Joe earned his B.A. in political science from the University of Kentucky in 1973 and received his J.D. from Duke University in 1976. He was admitted to the Alaska Bar in 1976 and the Washington State Bar in 2000.

Joe served on the Anchorage Municipal Assembly from 1985 to 1991. He was on the Board of Directors of the Alaska Municipal League from 1985 to 1991. He has been a member of the Alaska Municipal League/Joint Insurance Association Board of Trustees since it was founded in1988.

Since 1999, Joe has served as the City Attorney for the City of Kotzebue, Alaska, an Inupiaq community in the Northwest Arctic Borough. In 2008, Joe was hired as the City Attorney for the City of Nuiqsut, an Inupiaq community in the North Slope Borough. His practice also includes matters involving labor arbitration, police liability, employment, construction and contract disputes for other municipalities and private clients.

Dan Cheyette:

Biography: Mr. Cheyette has been an Alaska resident for 18 years. After graduating from Northwestern School of Law, Mr. Cheyette clerked for the Superior and US District Courts in Anchorage. Following his time with the courts, Mr. Cheyette worked as an Assistant District Attorney and then Assistant Attorney General in the areas of Oil and Natural Resources. During this time he also served as a Special Assistant United States Attorney where he assisted in prosecuting environmental and natural resource crimes.

He is currently In-house Counsel for Bristol Bay Native Corporation where he advises on natural resources and lands issues affecting Bristol Bay region and corporate lands.

Panel II: Alaska’s Role in the Development of the Arctic North

(Betsy Baker, Barry Zellen) 

Moderator:

Professor Thomas Metzloff, Duke University School of Law: Professor Metzloff is a native of Buffalo, N.Y. He earned his BA from Yale College in 1976 and his JD from Harvard Law School in 1979. He began his professional career with a judicial clerkship on the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, followed by a clerkship with the Supreme Court of the United States. He then practiced with a private firm in Atlanta doing civil litigation matters before accepting a position at Duke Law School in 1985. He teaches civil procedure, ethics, and dispute resolution, as well as a specialized course on the American legal system for international LLM students. He has taught that course regularly at Duke’s Geneva and Hong Kong summer institutes as well as at Tsinghua University in Beijing. He served as the Law School’s senior associate dean for academic affairs from 1998-2001, and currently serves as a member of the executive committee of Duke University’s Academic Council. Professor Metzloff advises the Alaska Law Review.

Presenters: 

Betsy BakerVisiting Professor & Counsel to the Dean – Alaska Programs, University of Washington School of Law – “How Alaska can Drive Integrated Arctic Management, Curtail Federal Overreach and Safeguard the Country’s Longest Coastline.”

Presentation Summary: This presentation seeks to show how existing laws and regulations can be used to ensure that both levels of government are prepared for the changes coming to the U.S. Arctic. One question is how, if at all, to restore state involvement in the federal Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) process, which was lost in 2011 when the Alaska legislature declined to re-authorize the Alaska Coastal Management Program. While many lament that loss, few have proposed concrete models for replacing it, especially in a way that protects the State of Alaska’s interests. The presentation explores legal and regulatory possibilities for balancing multiple users’ interests in how the Alaskan offshore and coastal areas area will be developed and conserved.

Biography: Professor Baker represents the University of Washington law school full time in Alaska, where her research on Arctic Ocean governance and the law of northern resource development has taken her regularly since 2008. She clerked for Judge John T. Noonan, Jr. of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and has taught at Vermont Law School, the University of Minnesota Law School and Harvard Law School, where she was the John Harvey Gregory Lecturer on International Organizations Law. Her teaching ranges from property and comparative law to international environmental law and law of the sea.

Among Professor Baker’s recent policy papers are reports for the Alaska Arctic Policy Commission, the Arctic Council and Inuit Circumpolar Council. In 2012-2013 she was Visiting Scholar with the inter-agency Extended Continental Shelf Task Force at the Office of Ocean and Polar Affairs, Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, U.S Department of State. Professor Baker was appointed to the National Academy of Sciences Polar Research Board in 2014.

Barry Zellen, Author; Arctic Geopolitics Specialist – “Governance Structures In The Face Of A Rapidly Changing Climate.”

Paper Summary: A comparative examination of the co-management, corporate and (increasingly) governing structures in Alaska and northern Canada, and how over time (from ANCSA through the completion of the Canadian Inuit land claims) these structures have evolved and matured, helping (increasingly) to balance both external (and internal) pressures for increased natural resource extraction with environmental and cultural preservation, and along the way to provide practical management and regulatory experience to new native leaders and administrators, preparing them for greater self-governance and an increased role in the collaborative governance of the Arctic region.

Biography: Mr. Zellen is an author, editor, and journalist specializing in war and strategy, Arctic geopolitics, indigenous cultures, and the tribal dimensions of world politics. Much of his early research and writing covers the Arctic and Subarctic regions of North America, including the NWT, Yukon, and Alaska.

Commentators:

Bruce Anders:

Biography: Bruce Anders is CIRI’s lead in-house counsel, responsible for CIRI’s legal and corporate compliance matters. Anders has practiced for most of his over 20 years as an attorney in Alaska, and has experience in private, public and corporate legal sectors.

Before joining CIRI, Anders was Chief of the State of Alaska Oil and Gas Division’s Leasing and Permitting Section, and served on the Governor’s Natural Gasline Team.

Anders previously litigated insurance defense cases at a Madison, Wisconsin law firm, represented rural Alaskans as a partner in a Bethel, Alaska, law firm, litigated environmental matters as an Assistant Attorney General with the Alaska Department of Law, represented BLM and MMS at the Department of Interior Regional Solicitor’s office and represented the United States as a Judge Advocate General in the U.S. Army.

Anders earned a Bachelor of Arts cum laude from Duke University in 1989 and a Juris Doctor from the University of Oregon School of Law in 1992. In addition to his duties at CIRI, Anders represents the State of Alaska as a delegate to the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission, sits on the Board of Directors of Special Olympics Alaska, is a Co-Chair of the Alaska Bar Association’s Native Law Section, and is active in Boy Scouts of America.

Mike LeVine: 

Biography: Mr. LeVine represents Oceana in matters relating to protection of the Arctic and Pacific large marine ecosystems.  He works to ensure that good decisions are made about offshore oil and gas activities and large-scale commercial fishing. Prior to joining Oceana, Mr. LeVine worked for the Juneau office of Earthjustice. He received his J.D. and M.E.M degrees at Duke University. 

Panel III: Regulatory Oversight of Alaska’s Arctic Shores

(Mike LeVine, Hari Osofsky)

Moderator:

Professor Kristin Knudsen, University of Alaska, Anchorage Justice Center: Kristin Knudsen, J.D., joined the faculty of the UAA Justice Center in Fall 2012, teaching courses in the Justice and Legal Studies programs. Prior to her appointment as an Assistant Professor she was an adjunct faculty member for the Justice Center. She is the past Chair of the Alaska Workers’ Compensation Appeals Commission where she presided over appeals hearings and drafted decisions and regulations. Prior to that, she was a member of the Special Litigation Section of the Alaska Office of the Attorney General. Prof. Knudsen received a J.D. from Santa Clara University (1978) and a Master of Judicial Studies degree from the University of Nevada Reno and the National Judicial College.

Presenters:

Mike LeVine Pacific Senior Counsel, Oceana – “Creating the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management: The Need to Reform the Regulations Governing Offshore Oil and Gas Planning, Leasing, and Exploration Plan Review.”

Paper Summary: The nature of offshore oil and gas activities is changing as companies are forced to more difficult and remote areas, like the U.S. Arctic Ocean.  At the same time, ocean conditions are changing rapidly and there has been a sharp increase in attention by the scientific community, political figures, and the public at large to the choices about how government balances the needs for affordable energy and healthy ocean ecosystems in the Arctic.  As was unfortunately evidenced by the Deepwater Horizon tragedy and Shell’s problematic 2012 drilling season, the rules governing whether and under what conditions to allow those activities have not kept pace with these changes. This article provides a rationale for revision of the regulations governing offshore oil and gas planning, leasing, and exploration plan review and recommends a path to achieve the needed change.

Biography: Mr. LeVine represents Oceana in matters relating to protection of the Arctic and Pacific large marine ecosystems.  He works to ensure that good decisions are made about offshore oil and gas activities and large-scale commercial fishing. Prior to joining Oceana, Mr. LeVine worked for the Juneau office of Earthjustice. He received his J.D. and M.E.M degrees at Duke University.

Hari OsofskyProfessor of Law, University of Minnesota Law School – “Multilevel Fragmentation in Arctic Offshore Drilling Regulation An Assessment of Governance Challenges and Proposed Solutions”

Presentation Summary: In the lead up to the U.S. chairmanship of the Arctic Council and the aftermath of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill, there has been a flurry of activity around Arctic oil and gas regulation. Numerous entities, from the Arctic Council, to national governmental agencies, to trade organizations, to standard setting organizations, to indigenous corporations, to think tanks, have worked to set standards or make recommendations for new approaches. These new regulatory developments have helped to address some of the gaps in Arctic offshore drilling governance, and many of the recommendations could prove useful in addressing further gaps.

This activity, however, takes place against a complex and deeply fragmented multi-level regulatory backdrop. In the U.S. context in particular, different federal agencies serve as lead in each of Council’s six working groups, which is itself a complicated and evolving entity. Energy and environmental law are largely separate, both in the relevant law and the agencies that implement it. As the BP Deepwater Horizon spill reinforced, even structures created to bring together relevant agencies in the event of a spill – such as the National Contingency Plan – only partially do so.

This Article assesses this complexity. It considers the governance challenges created by the mix of public and private entities working to create standards against a legally fragmented backdrop. It then evaluates some of the recent reports and recommendations, considering their commonalities and divergences and the possibilities for next steps.

Biography: Hari Osofsky is a Professor of Law; the 2013-14 Fesler-Lampert Chair in Urban and Regional Affairs; the Faculty Director of the Energy Transition Lab; and the Director of the Joint Degree Program in Law, Science, and Technology at the University of Minnesota Law School. She also is on the faculty of the Conservation Biology Graduate Program, an adjunct professor in the Department of Geography, Environment and Society, and a Fellow with the Institute on the Environment. She received a B.A. and a J.D. from Yale University, and a Ph.D. in the Geography from the University of Oregon. Osofsky’s interdisciplinary law and geography scholarship, which has been published with Cambridge University Press and leading law and geography journals, focuses on governance and justice concerns related to energy and climate change. Her article on governance and the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill was selected for inclusion in Land Use and Environment Law Review’s annual compilation of the top land use and environmental law articles, and she has been awarded the Daniel B. Luten Award for the best paper by a professional geographer by the Energy and Environment Specialty Group of the Association of American Geographers. Osofsky assisted with the Inuit Circumpolar Conference’s petition on climate change to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and has supervised course contributions to the American Wind Energy Association, Earthjustice, Great Plains Institute, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling, the National Regulatory Research Institute, the Phillips Community, the Southern Environmental Law Center, the University of Minnesota, and the Western Environmental Law Center. Her professional leadership roles have included serving as President of the Association for Law, Property, and Society; chairing the American Association of Law School’s Section on Property; and being a member of the Executive Council of the American Society of International Law; the International Law Association’s Committee on the Legal Principles of Climate Change; and the Board of Governors of the Society of American Law Teachers.

Commentators:

Matt Findley: 

Biography: A lawyer at Ashburn & Mason, Matt Before joining the firm, Matt served as a law clerk for Justice Robert L. Eastaugh of the Alaska Supreme Court, and for the Honorable Andrew J. Kleinfeld of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Matt’s practice includes commercial and complex litigation, oil & gas, fisheries, utilities, appellate litigation, and administrative law. Since joining the firm, he has litigated cases in both Alaska state and federal court as well as briefed and argued appeals to both the Alaska Supreme Court and the Ninth Circuit. Matt has an extensive oil & gas practice representing the State of Alaska in oil & gas litigation, and representing ENSTAR Natural Gas Company (the local gas distribution utility in Alaska) in regulatory and commercial matters.

Matt recently received a pro bono award of merit from Alaska Legal Services and a Certificate of Appreciation for pro bono service from the Alaska Immigration Justice Project. Matt has also been recognized as a litigation star by Benchmark Litigation.

Matt is a member of the Alaska, California, and Illinois bar associations and is a member of the Alaska Bar Association Fee Arbitration Committee. He is also Board President of the Alaska Hemophilia Association, and Board Secretary of the Alaska Center for Collaborative Child Therapy dba Adam’s Camp Alaska.

The Honorable Sen K. Tan (Retired):

Biography: Judge Sen K. Tan was the presiding Superior Court Judge for the Third Judicial District in Anchorage, Alaska. Judge Tan was appointed on December 4, 1996, by Governor Tony Knowles. He retired on July 1, 2014 after having served as the Presiding Judge of the court from 2011 to through 2013.

Judge Tan graduated from the University of Kent in 1978 with a Bachelor of Arts in Law. In 1982 he graduated with his Juris Doctor from the Northeastern University School of Law in Massachusetts. Following graduation from law school Judge Tan clerked for Superior Court Judge Brian Shortell in Anchorage. He subsequently worked as an assistant public defender, assistant Attorney General and prior to his appointment to the Superior Court was the Supervising Assistant Attorney General.

V. Keynote Addresses

Keynote I: Fran Ulmer

Biography: Ms. Ulmer is chair of the U.S. Arctic Research Commission, where she has served since being appointed by President Obama in March 2011. Secretary John Kerry appointed her Advisor for Arctic Science and Policy in June 2014, to assist the US Chairmanship of the Arctic Council.

In June 2010, President Obama appointed her to the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling. From 2007 to 2011, Ms. Ulmer was Chancellor of Alaska’s largest public university, the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA). Before that, she was a Distinguished Visiting Professor of Public Policy and Director of the Institute of Social and Economic Research at UAA. She is a member of the Global Board of the Nature Conservancy and on the Board of the National Parks Conservation Association.

Ms. Ulmer served as an elected official for 18 years: as the mayor of Juneau, as a state representative and as Lieutenant Governor of Alaska. Ms. Ulmer served as Director of Policy Development for the State of Alaska, under Governor Jay Hammond. Ms. Ulmer earned a J.D. cum laude from the University of Wisconsin Law School, and has been a Fellow at the Institute of Politics at the Kennedy School of Government. She lives in Anchorage, Alaska.

Keynote II: Willie Hensley

Biography: Born in a small house where Kotzebue Sound washes seafoam onto the Baldwin Peninsula’s gravel shores, William Iggiagruk Hensley is an Inupiaq and lifelong Alaskan. Mr. Hensley was a Legislator in the Alaska House and Senate for ten years; was a founder of the Northwest Alaska Native Association (now Maniilaq Association); served Alaska Federation of Natives as a founding member, former President, Executive Director, Co-Chair and President Emeritus; was the founding President of Alaska Village Electric Cooperative from 1967-1971; was a Director of NANA Regional Corporation for twenty years, serving as President and Secretary, as well as President of NANA Development Corporation; is a former Commissioner of Commerce for the State of Alaska; retired from Alyeska Pipeline Service Company, which he represented in Washington, D.C. for nine years; author and spokesman.

Mr. Hensley is currently Chair of the First Alaskans Institute. He has spent the last few years promoting his book and discussing Alaska with people across the country and throughout the state, with the goal of clarifying and deepening people’s understanding of our history – as Inupiat, as Alaska’s indigenous people, as Alaskans, and as Americans. He also is currently Distinguished Visiting Professor of Business and Public Policy at the University of Alaska, Anchorage teaching “Alaska Policy Frontiers”, an exploration of Alaska’s history, economics, colonization, indigenous impacts and modern day issues.

VI. Symposium Publication

In addition to the live event held in Anchorage on October 16, 2014, ALR’s December 2014 issue will publish the written component of the symposium.

The articles from each presenting panelist will be made available to symposium attendees prior to the event.

In addition to the symposium content from panelists that is transposed into publishable material, the issue will feature student notes on topics related to the symposium. Finally, the beginning of the issue will include a brief summary of each component of the symposium (i.e., the keynote and each panel).

VII. Target Audience

Through the symposium, we hope to reach a number of different groups, including:

  • Attorneys in the Anchorage area (Alaska’s largest city)
  • University of Alaska Anchorage faculty and staff
  • University of Alaska Anchorage students
  • Members of the Alaska judiciary
  • Duke Law alumni in Anchorage
  • Industry professionals in off-shore activities
  • Environmental organizations in Anchorage
  • Native groups (Native Corporations, tribal/village councils, cultural organizations, etc.)
  • State government officials
  • Employees of various Alaska state agencies

VIII.     Event Goals

As Alaska’s only legal journal, it is our duty to provide a forum in which lawyers and academicians can discuss the pressing law and policy issues that face our northernmost state. The goal of the symposium is to foster an open discussion about emerging law and policy issues in Alaska. Furthermore, by creating an expansive dialogue that incorporates diverse interests groups, including lawyers, members of judiciary, industry officials, Alaska Native communities and corporations, citizen groups, non-profits, government officials, and academia, we hope to facilitate equitable and effective resolution of many of these issues.