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Esther Wunnicke papers

Guide to the Esther Wunnicke papers

Collection number: HMC-1170.
Creator: Wunnicke, Esther.
Title: Esther Wunnicke papers.
Dates: 1955-2013.
Volume of collection: 2.25 cubic feet.
Language of materials: Materials in this collection are in English.
Collection summary: Papers of a woman heavily involved in Alaska Native land rights, women’s rights, and Alaska oil and gas development and policies.

Biographical note:
Esther Wunnicke was born in 1922 and moved to Alaska in 1963 with her husband, Bill. Wunnicke received a law degree from George Washington University and began her career in Alaska in 1966 at the Federal Field Committee for Development Planning. She was later appointed, in 1977, by United States President Jimmy Carter to be Federal Co-Chair of the Joint Federal-State Land Use Planning Commission. In 1980, she became the director for Alaska’s off shore oil and gas development at U.S. Minerals Management Services. In 1982, she was appointed the Commissioner of the Department of Natural Resources by Governor Sheffield, which earned her the name “Land Lady of Alaska.” Wunnicke also served as chair of Alaska Oil and Gas Policy Council, as well as served on the Human Rights Commission, Federal Field Committee, Pollution Advisory and Prevention Board, Alaska Rural Governance and Empowerment Committee, Transportation Committee, Alaska Highway Natural Gas Policy Council, and the League of Women Voters. She also founded Alaska Common Ground and worked with Beans Café. Esther Wunnicke died in 2013.

Collection description:
The majority of the collection contains records relating to Esther Wunnicke’s professional life. The collection includes numerous speeches which Wunnicke gave to many organizations, records relating to her work on some of the committees she served, and subject files, the majority of which relate to Alaska Native land rights, women’s rights, and Alaska’s natural resources. The collection also includes personal papers, such as transcripts to interviews given by Wunnicke, and records relating to her later life. Folder titles were retained where provided.

Arrangement: The collection is arranged in the following series:
Series 1. Speeches; 1968-2003, bulk 1983-1986
Series 2. Committee records; 1968-2001
Series 3. Subject files; 1955-2006
Series 4. Personal papers; 1975-2013
Series 5. Audio and visual cassettes; undated, 1987, 1989

Digitized copies: This collection has not been digitized. For information about obtaining digital copies, please contact Archives and Special Collections.

Rights note: Archives holds copyright to materials created by Esther Wunnicke. Copyright restrictions may apply to collection materials not produced by Esther Wunnicke.

Preferred citation: Esther Wunnicke papers, Archives and Special Collections, Consortium Library, University of Alaska Anchorage.

Works used in preparation of inventory:

Angvik, Jane. “Esther Wunnicke made lasting contribution – COMPASS: Other points of view.” Anchorage Daily News (AK) 7 Apr. 2013, Final, Main: B2. NewsBank. Web.
“Esther Wunnicke.” Alaska Women’s Hall Of Fame. 28 Feb. 2011. Web.
“The Tundra Drums – CAUYAT – “The Beat of the Yukon Kuskokwim Delta” “Esther C. Wunnicke. The Tundra Drums, 4 Apr. 2013. Web.

Separated materials: Publications were removed from the collection and some added to Rare Books. Medical and financial documents, as well as personal family correspondence were also removed from the collection. Please contact an archivist for further information.

Acquisition note: The Esther Wunnicke papers were donated to the Archives and Special Collections by Jane Angvik on behalf of the Wunnicke family.

Processing information: This collection was described by Veronica Denison in 2014. Folder titles were retained where provided.

Container list:
Series 1: Speeches; 1968-2003, bulk 1983-1986. 0.50 cubic feet.
This series contains speeches which Esther Wunnicke gave at various events and in front of various committees. Included with some of the speeches are Wunnicke’s notes relating to the subject of her speech, speech drafts, and research. The series is arranged by the subject of the speeches.

Box/Folder Description Dates
1/1 Water 1983-1986
1/2 Environment 1985
1/3 Native issues 1978, 1984
1/4 Parks undated, 1984-1986
1/5 General speeches, notes, and drafts 1983-1994
1/6 Agriculture 1984-1986
1/7 Budget 1984-1986, 2003
1/8 Forestry 1983-1986
1/9 Mining/Alaska Mining Associations undated, 1983-1986
1/10 Integrity in public service; UAS Commencement; Women Helping Women awards 1985, 1990, 1993
1/11 Land Management, lawsuit 1977-1999
1/12-13 Women’s issues undated, 1968-1980, 1984-2002
1/14 Oil and gas undated, 1983-1995
1/15-16 Public land policy, Natural Resources, DNR (Department of Natural Resources), OCS (Outer Continental Shelf), employment in Alaska undated, 1968-1999
1/17 March 1999: notes, research, and speeches 1999 March
1/18 Various speeches undated, 1979-1999

Series 2: Committee records; 1968-2001. 0.60 cubic feet.
This series contains the records pertaining to some of the committees in which Wunnicke was involved. Records in this series include commission reports, correspondence relating to specific committees, news articles, and Wunnicke’s notes.

Box/Folder Description Dates
1/19 Alaska Rural Governance and Empowerment Committee: correspondence, reports, news articles, and notes 1998-2001
1/20 Commission on Rural Governances: draft agenda 1998
1/21 Alaska Native Commission Final Report: volume III 1994
1/22-25 Oil Spill Commission 1989-1990
1/26 Alaska Oil and Gas Policy Council: Wunnicke’s correspondence with Tony Knowles 1996
1/27 Transportation Committee 1977
1/28 Transportation Committee: Easements 1974-1977
1/29 OCS (Outer Continental Shelf): Wunnicke’s meeting with Secretary Watt; itinerary and correspondence 1983
1/30 Land Use Planning Commission: testimony, notes, research circa 1968-1977
1/31 Governor’s Subsistence Leadership Summit: correspondence and reports undated, 2001
1/32 Alaska Oil Spill Commission: recommendations, state analysis and scorecard 1999
1/33-2/2 Alaska Highway Natural Gas Policy Council: press and pressure; correspondence, news articles, research 2000-2001
2/3 Transition task force: report—Department of Natural Resources, speech by Governor Sheffield to Alaska Mining Association circa 1982-1983

Series 3: Subject files; 1955-2006. 0.70 cubic feet.
This series contains records Wunnicke kept relating to specific subjects, many of which deal with Alaska Native land rights, women’s rights, and Alaska’s natural resources. Included in the series are laws relating to the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act and Alaska Native Interest Lands Conservation Act, as well news and journal articles relating to Alaska Native land rights and economics as well as women’s rights and Alaska’s natural resources.

Box/Folder Description Dates
2/4 Women: news articles, notes circa 1979-1989
2/5 Feminist materials: notes, news articles, Dorothy Awes Hawland 1970-1999
2/6 Women’s concerns: notes, news articles undated, 1982-1988
2/7 Native American Rights 1999-2003
2/8 Native jurisdictions, articles, Supreme Court cases 1965-1997
2/9 Alaska Native sovereignty 1994-1997
2/10 Indian rights: generally and Indian lands: news articles, journals, laws 1949-1997
2/11 Alaska Natives economics 1993-1998
2/12 Natives of Alaska: A Study in Class and Ethnicity by Paul Wunnicke 1983
2/13 The Foundations of Indian Law and Policy, Volume II; Superintendent’s Workshop in Indian Affairs 1997
2/14 ANILCA (Alaska Native Interest Lands Conservation Act) undated, 1997-1999
2/15 ANCSA (Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act) and AFN (Alaska Federation of Natives) 1984-2004
2/16 1987, 1992 ANCSA amendments, and Wunnicke’s notes 1992
2/17 ANCSA 1970-2006
2/18 Meeting the Challenge” by Delegate E. L. Bartlett, Alaska Constitutional Convention 1955 November
2/19 A Plan for the Reformation of the Alaska Salmon Industry, and Wunnicke’s notes 1994
2/20 Issues to Consider Under a Proposed SGDA Contract between the SOA and Producers: presentation to PAC COM by M. K. Rutherford 2006
2/21 Revisiting the Petroleum Investment Outlook for Alaska’s North Slope—draft by Arlon R. Tussing and Associations Inc. 1995 June
2/22 North Slope Natural Gas Reports: Trans Alaska Gas System: Economics”, “Gas Line Transition Report 1983, 2002
2/23 Alaska Gas line Port Authority: AGPA Financial Model Assumptions And Results 2001 July
2/24 A Report to Governor Sheffield on the Department of Natural Resources undated
2/25 New fold Approaches to Renewable Resources Management in the North by Milton M.R. Framan 1984 February
2/26 Alaska Natural Gas 2001-2002, 2005-2006
2/27 Gas Pipeline Contract: testimony, reports, information 2006

Series 4: Personal papers; 1975-2013. 0.20 cubic feet.
This series contains records relating to Wunnicke’s personal life. The series includes letters of reference which Wunnicke wrote, her application for Supreme Court Justice, as well as records dealing with Wunnicke’s later life, memorial services for her friends, and her death.

Box/Folder Description Dates
2/28 Wunnicke’s application for Supreme Court Justice of Alaska 1975
2/29 Letters of reference written by Wunnicke undated, 1996-1999
2/30 Course syllabus: UAA, Justice 491—Natural Resources Law 1993
2/31 Interviews with Wunnicke: transcripts 1982-1995
2/32 Memorial services, obituaries, and news articles relating to Wunnicke’s friends undated, 1999-2013

Folder 1

Certificate: The Alaska Legislature honoring Wunnicke 2012
2/33 Bean’s Café, poetry by Wunnicke, letter to Rodney from Bill Wunnicke, Beryl’s 80th birthday circa 1970-2000
2/34 Wunnicke’s death: obituary, news articles, memorials 2013

Series 5: Audio and visual cassettes; undated, 1987, 1989. 0.25 cubic feet.
This series contains audio cassettes and VHS tapes of radio and television programs on the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill and the cleaning and treatment of oiled birds that Wunnicke recorded. Copyright for the materials in this series is not held by the Archives. Please contact an archivist for further information.

Box/Folder Description Dates
3/1 Audio cassettes: KSKA—Oil Spill—Call on Progress; tapes 1 and 2 1989 September 16
3/2 VHS: Sansorb (cleaning and treatment of oiled birds), Norway, Finland, Demo Anchorage. Patson/Brady JV 1987, 1989
3/3 VHS: Valdez Oil Spill Clean Up (Hilton Sucherman Productions, Exxon Co.) 1989 October 31
3/4 VHS: Chapter 2, 1 hr. special on Exxon Valdez Wreck, John Tracy undated

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