Birch bark texture.

Ahtna Kanas Summer 2022

Christopher Gene Receives Title to His Father’s Land

Christopher Gene is shown accepting two quitclaim deeds from Ahtna staff members Bruce Cain and Joe Bovee for land his father, Buster Gene, owned. In 1984, Buster Gene applied for two locations under section 14(c)(1) of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA). ANCSA required that any land use prior to 1971 be adjudicated by the ANCSA Village Corporation and deeded to the individual regardless of Native or non-Native status. Buster Gene’s applications were deemed valid, however, part of the ANCSA 14(c) process was to allow the State of Alaska (SOA) to hold a certain amount of Village Corporation land in Trust until a municipality could be established. This never happened in Gakona because the locale already had certain “municipality” features such as a public school, fire department, post office, public meeting place, etc. Instead of waiting for the SOA to approve a land tenure for Gakona, the Gakona Appropriate Village Entity (AVE), Gakona Successor Village Organization (SVO), Ahtna Land Committee and Board of Directors approved transferring the two Buster Gene properties to his only living heir, Christopher Gene, for a trapping cabin on Buster Gene Lake (formerly Lyle Lake) and a ½ acre fish wheel site on the Copper River near the family property in Gakona.