William Lewis Paul, Shquindy Tee-hit-ton, Raven Clan, Tlingit Nation was born into the warrior class in 1885. He was the first Alaska Native to become an attorney and be elected to Alaska's legislature . In Oregon he gained experience in banking, insurance and the Workman Compensation Act. He was able to focus and inspire his people in their battle for equality, citizenship, education and social justice.
His accomplishments for his people were prodigious: in the 1920s he became the principal leader of the Alaska Native Brotherhood and began the effort to sue the U.S. for compensation from Congress by getting permission in 1935 to sue Congress. The suit was for the seizure of land, forests, fish and minerals by white men, carpetbaggers and bureaucrats. The end result was the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971. He drafted the legislation to adopt Alaska's flag; won the Native rights to own property and vote, desegregate schools and got Native women into the welfare system.
His accomplishments in Wash. DC assisted by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, established a health and medical system with two hospitals, a welfare system, additional village schools including the Wrangell Institute Board School, added Alaska to the Indian Reorganization Act thus funding the purchase of four canneries and saved the Klukwan Iron Reservation from dissolution.
The author was included in recognition of his contribution to the development of Alaska as one of the "40 Heroes of Constitutional Rights" by the Alaska Chapter of the ALCU.