Billy Blackjack Johnson papers

Guide to the Billy Blackjack Johnson papers
1929-1997, bulk 1972-1997

Collection number: HMC-0384.
Creator: Johnson, Billy Blackjack.
Title: Billy Blackjack Johnson papers.
Dates: 1929-1997, bulk 1972-1997.
Volume of collection: 2.4 cubic feet.
Language of materials: Materials in the collection are in English.
Collection summary:  Papers of a proponent of the 13th Regional Corporation for non-resident Alaska Natives.

Biographical note:
Billy Blackjack Johnson was born in Nome, Alaska on September 13, 1924. He lived in the Jesse Lee Home in Seward for ten years, from 1927 to 1937 while his mother, Ada Blackjack Johnson, was recovering from tuberculosis. He served in the Army from 1945 to 1948, and was stationed in Germany, where he met his future wife, Gisela Sperber. After returning from the Army, they moved to Seattle. Johnson was active in Alaska Native organizations and was involved in the formation of the 13th Regional Corporation, which represents Alaska Natives living outside of Alaska. He served on the 13th Regional Corporation’s board of directors from 1976 to 1985. Other organizations in which he was an officer include the Alaska Federation of Natives (AFN) Washington Chapter, the AFN International, the Alaska World Equity Corporation, Outside Region for Alaska Natives (ORFAN), and United Concerned Alaska Natives (UCAN). He was also a registered lobbyist and made many trips to Washington D.C. to lobby for the formation of a 13th regional corporation and later for a grant of land in Alaska to the 13th Regional Corporation. Mr. Johnson died in 2003.

Collection description:
The collection consists of files relating to the various Alaska Native organizations in which Billy B. Johnson was involved as well as papers related to his personal life, his mother Ada Blackjack Johnson, and the Jesse Lee Home. Included in organization files are articles of incorporation and bylaws, correspondence from Billy B. Johnson in his official capacities, and meeting minutes.

Arrangement: The collection is arranged into three series:

Series 1: Organization files; 1969-1986
Series 2: Personal papers; 1929-1997
Series 3: Photographs; 1946-1996

Digitized copies: Selected photographs from this collection have been digitized and can be found on Alaska’s Digital Archives by searching for “Billy Blackjack Johnson.”

Rights note: Archives and Special Collections owns copyright to materials created by Billy Blackjack Johnson. Materials not created by Billy Blackjack Johnson may be subject to copyright not held by the Archives.

Preferred citation: Billy Blackjack Johnson papers, Archives and Special Collections, Consortium Library, University of Alaska Anchorage.

Related materials: Archives and Special Collections holds records of several organizations with which Johnson was involved: Alaska Federation of Natives, International records, HMC-0472; Alaska Native Association of Oregon records, HMC-002; Thirteenth Regional Corporation records, HMC-0390. Ada Blackjack Johnson’s diary is at Rauner Special Collections Library, Dartmouth College.

Separated materials: Published materials have been removed from the collection, and some items have been added to the Library’s Rare Books collection, including The Jesse Lee Home : shelter from the storm, which depicts Johnson’s recollections of living in the Jesse Lee Home. Other materials have been added to Archives and Special Collections’ ephemera collections.

Acquisition note: The collection was presented to the archives by Billy Blackjack Johnson in 1992. A deed of gift was signed in 1992. Additional materials were added in 1997.

Processing information: This collection was described by Jeffrey Sinnott in 1997. The guide to the collection was converted to current standard, and publications removed from the collection, by Gwen Sieja in 2015.

Container list:

Series 1: Organization files; 1969-1986. 1.5 cubic feet.
This series consists of documents relating to to Billy Blackjack Johnson’s involvement with Alaska Native organizations, including articles of incorporation, bylaws, correspondence, meeting minutes, and reports. Also included in this series are audio recordings of organization meetings.

Box/Folder Description Date
1/1 Alaska Federation of Natives (AFN) bylaws 1978
1/2 AFN Board of Directors roster undated
1/3 AFN annual report undated
1/4-10 AFN annual convention 1973-1985
1/11 AFN “1991 Convention” and resolutions circa 1985
1/12 AFN Statewide Conference on Rural Health – Second Phase 1974
1/13 AFN calendar 1974
1/14 Johnson’s AFN membership 1969-1970, 1980
O/S folder AFN poster: “Yesterday [picture] – Today [picture] – For Tomorrow – Back AFN – Settlement Now” undated
1/15 Alaska Federation of Natives, Washington Chapter (AFNW) constitution and bylaws undated, 1970
1/16 AFNW president’s correspondence  undated, 1973-1976
1/17 AFNW Public Information Officer correspondence, notes, and drafts undated, 1972-1973
1/18 AFNW mailing Lists undated
1/19 AFNW mailings received undated, 1974-1977
1/20-21 AFNW elections undated, 1974-1975
1/22 AFNW Officers and Board of Directors rosters undated, 1975
1/23-24 AFNW notes and meetings undated, 1973-1976
1/25 Printing plate and negatives for AFNW newsletter 1974
1/26 AFNW Proposal for an Alaska Native Community Center  undated, 1974
1/27 AFNW selection of 13th Regional Corporation Incorporator candidates 1975
1/28 AFNW support of S 2938: Indian Health Care Improvement Act 1974
1/29 AFN Washington Chapter v. Billy B. Johnson 1975
1/30 Alaska Federation of Natives International (AFNI) articles of incorporation 1973, 1975
1/31 AFNI lobbying undated, 1975
1/32 AFNI mailings 1973-1974
1/33 BBJ’s resignation from AFNI 1974 September 20
1/34 AFNI correspondence undated, 1974-1975
1/35 Alaska Natives Association of Oregon 1972-1976 
1/36 Alaska World Equity Corporation, Inc. (AWE) bylaws and incorporation undated, 1973
1/37 AWE correspondence 1973-1974
1/38 AWE meeting in Portland, OR 1973 September 22
1/39 AWE meeting in Portland, OR 1973 October 5
1/40 Arctic Slope Regional Corporation 1980
1/41 Bering Straits Native Corporation 1973-1974
1/42 Bristol Bay Native Corporation 1977
1/43 Chugach Natives, Inc. bylaws undated
1/44 Cook Inlet Region Inc. (CIRI) 1984-1985
1/45 Koniag, Inc. 1978
1/46 Outside Region for Alaska Natives undated, 1974-1976
1/47 Sealaska Corporation 1973-1985
1/48 Seattle Indian Center undated
1/49 Sitnasuak Native Corporation: Stockholders Report 1974 January
1/50 Correspondence re: Formation of the 13th Regional Corporation 1973, 1974
1/51 United Concerned Alaska Natives undated, 1975-1978
1/52 Urban Indian Council: Governor’s Indian Advisory Council meetings  undated, 1974-1975
2/1-3 Other organizations 1970-1984
3/1 AFN convention: sound recording (1 cassette tape) 1973 December 17
3/2-3 AFNW board meeting: sound recording (2 cassette tapes) 1972 March 5
3/4 AFNW board meeting: sound recording (1 cassette tape) 1973 February 26
3/5 AFNW board meeting: sound recording (1 cassette tape) 1974 May 16
3/6 AFNW board meeting: sound recording (1 cassette tape) 1974
3/7 AFNW board meeting: sound recording (1 cassette tape) 1974 October 17
3/8 AFNW board meeting: sound recording. Charges against Jay Malotte and Virginia Thomas: two introductions, then blank tape (1 cassette tape) 1974 November 29
3/9 AFNW board meeting: sound recording (1 cassette tape) undated
3/10-11 AFNW general meeting: sound recording (2 cassette tapes) 1972 May 6
3/12  AFNW general meeting: . Also includes part of board meeting prior to general meeting. 1973
3/13 AFNW general Meeting: sound recording (1 cassette tape) 1974 July 27
3/14 AFNW general Meeting: sound recording (1 cassette tape). Between first and second ANCSA distribution of funds, pre-13th Regional Corporation undated
3/15  AFNW meeting. During Billy B. Johnson’s tenure as Public Information Officer (1 cassette tape) undated
3/16 Esk-Ind-Al  board of directors meeting: sound recording. Includes short statement by Billy B. Johnson protesting selection of board members (1 cassette tape) 1973 February 24
3/17 Alaska World Equity Corporation meeting in Seattle: sound recording (1 cassette tape) 1973 October 22
3/18 Interview with Art McDonnall and Billy B. Johnson on KOMO radio regarding 13th Regional Corporation: sound recording (1 cassette tape) 1975 December 22
3/19 Leadership Training Course; Community College: sound recording  undated
3/20 Recorded telephone call from legal counsel, pre-13th Regional Corporation, post AFNI (1 cassette tape) undated
3/21 Unknown meeting: sound recording. Pre-13th Regional Corporation (1 cassette tape) undated

Series 2: Personal papers; 1929-1997. 0.6 cubic feet.
This series contains materials related to Billy Blackjack Johnson’s lobbying and professional activities; his mother, Ada Blackjack Johnson; and the Jesse Lee Home, where Johnson lived for ten years as a child.

Box/Folder Description Date
2/4 Address book undated
2/5 Alaska Governor’s Inauguration: schedule, tickets  1979 January
2/6  Alaska Symposium at Western Washington University 1978 April 7-9
2/7 Business cards  undated
2/8-9 Calendars 1975-1979
2/10 Department of Public Works, King County, WA correspondence re: leave and lobbying activities 1974-1977
2/11-13 Lobbying activities undated, 1974-1981
2/14 Mailings from U.S. Government re: formation of 13th Regional Corp. and enrollment undated, 1972-1976
2/15 Manual on Leadership Planning for Political Effectiveness circa 1979
2/16 Membership cards: Native organizations 1974-1978
2/17 Travel documentation undated, 1976-1979
2/18 Newspaper clippings about Alaska Natives and Alaska undated, 1975
2/19 Political correspondence, invitations to fundraisers, and bumper stickers undated, 1970-1997
2/20 Resumes undated, 1997
2/21 Certification of military service (copy)  1997 February 3
2/22 Ada Blackjack Johnson memoriam 1983
2/23 Ada Blackjack Johnson clippings 1923-1985
2/24 Notes and correspondence about Ada Blackjack Johnson undated, 1976-1985
2/25 “The Survival of Ada Blackjack, A Feature Film (In Development)” illustrated film treatment undated
2/26 Fundraising for restoration of the Jesse Lee Home 1990-1991
2/27 The Kueuit, newsletter of the Jesse Lee High School 1929 February
2/28 Signed petition calling for the preservation of the Jesse Lee Home as an Alaskan Historical Landmark  undated
2/29 Historical narrative and statement of significance regarding the restoration of the Jesse Lee Home  undated
2/30 A Proposal to Restore and Make Use of Jesse Lee Home, Seward, Alaska; Presented to the Seward City Council 1978 June 19
2/31 The Jesse Lee Foundation (Kueuit Enterprises, Inc.) documents 1996-1997
2/32 Engineering and design proposals for Jesse Lee Home Renovation and Hotel Project, Karluk Design, Inc. 1996
2/33  Jesse Lee Home renovation project budget estimate, Dykeman Architects 1996 June 25
2/34 Correspondence between Dan Claugus and Ron Garzini, City Manager of Seward, and outline for proposal regarding the Jesse Lee Home to the Seward City Council 1996 July
O/S folder Jesse Lee Home plans and drawings  undated, 1994
2/35 “Historic Restoration and Future Hotel: Jesse Lee Home, Seward, Alaska to be restored and remodeled into Hotel; submitted by Samuel Duff Combs, AIA; The Alaska Architect 1997 April

Series 3: Photographs; 1946-1996. 0.3 cubic feet.
This series consists of 50 black and white prints, 114 color prints and 1 black and white proof sheet. The series contains photographs of subjects including Billy B. Johnson and his trips to Washington D.C. and Juneau, meetings of the board of directors of the 13th Regional Corporation, the Alindeska Sea seafood processing ship and related fishing boats, the original board of directors of the Alaska Federation of Natives, Washington Chapter, and the Jesse Lee Home in Seward.

Box/Folder Description Date
2/36 Board of Directors and others at party (30 color prints). People pictured include: Daniel Alex, Sterling Bolima, Raymond Combs, Billy B. Johnson, Frank Price, James Price, Dennis Small, George Walters circa 1970-1979
2/37 Luncheon meeting of 13th Regional Corporation Board (11 color prints). People pictured include: Henry Armstrong, Burt Bauer, Raymond Combs, Billy B. Johnson, Frank Price, Dennis Small, and Michael Stepetin 1978 October
2/38 Alindeska Sea seafood processing ship and supply boats (35 color prints). People picture include: Billy B. Johnson, Raymond Combs, and members of the ship’s crew. Boats pictured include: Alaska Beauty, Alaska Trader, Aleutian Beauty, Cape Edgecumbe, and Prince of Peace  undated
2/39 13th Regional Corporation board meeting, 1515 Dexter Ave, Seattle (7 color prints). People pictured include: John Bailey, Raymond Combs, Billy B. Johnson, Frank Price, James Price, Dennis Small, Michael Stepetin, and Virginia Thomas undated
2/40 Meeting of 13th Regional Corporation board, Opt-in training class, Portland, Oregon (4 b&w prints, 1 color print). People pictured include: Bert Bauer, Raymond Combs, Billy B. Johnson, Frank Price, James Price, Dennis Small, and Michael Stepetin 1976 September
2/41 Billy B. Johnson Trip to Juneau (8 b&w prints). Those pictured include: Mr. Antiok (BIA), Jay Hammond (governor), Billy B. Johnson, Mr. and Mrs. Johnson (Bering Straits RC), and Alex Samuelson circa  1975-1979
2/42 Billy B. Johnson Trip to Washington D.C. (5 b&w prints) undated
2/43 Presenting 13th Regional Corporation land drive to Koniak Regional Corporation board (4 b&w prints, 1 b&w proof sheet) undated
2/44 Board of Directors meeting of Alaska Federation of Natives, Washington Chapter, in Seattle tavern (1 color print). People pictured include: Harry Apodruk, Rachel Craig, Margaret Hendrickson, Billy B. Johnson, Jay Mallot, James Price, Virginia Thomas, George Walters, and Liz Walters circa 1970
2/45 First board meeting of the 13th Regional Corporation at the Frye Hotel, Seattle, Washington (15 b&w prints). People pictured include: Bert Bauer, Raymond Combs, Billy B. Johnson, Helen Marie Kline, Stanton Patty, Robert Perkins, Frank Price, James Price, Dennis Small, Michael Stepetin, and Virginia Thomas 1970-1979
2/46 Private Billy B. Johnson, U.S. First Infantry Division, Honor Guard at check point, Frankfurt, Germany (1 b&w print) 1946
2/47 Banner for birthplace of the Alaskan Flag, Jesse Lee Home, Seward (2 color prints) circa 1996
2/48 Willie Hensley and Billy B. Johnson at the Tundra Times Banquet (1 b&w print) 1974
2/49 Photographs (12 b&w prints, 27 color prints, 1 b&w proof sheet). People pictured include: Nelson Angapak, John Bailey, Ramona Barnes, Johnathan Blank, Sterling Bolima, Raymond Combs, Mr. Frazier (BIA), Carl Jack, Billy B. Johnson, Agafon Krukoff, William L. Lawrence (DOI), Emil Notti, Robert Perkins, Frank Price, Dennis Small, Michael Stepetin, Sen. Ted Stevens, George Walters, and Eif Wheeler. 1973-1985
2/50 Alindeska Sea processing ship and the ship on fire in Everett Harbor (photocopies of 13 prints, with captions) undated, 1982 October

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