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Native 8(a) Benefits: Alaska Native Shareholders and Tribal Members See the Benefits


Afognak Native Corporation Creates the Ataku “Later On” Manager Program for Shareholders

Gerad Godfrey, was the inaugural participant in Afognak Native Corporation’s two yearlong Ataku (“Later on”) Manager Program, which is a management training internship. In the photo, Godfrey was touching the Arctic Ocean on a tour of Alaska’s North Slope oilfields. Prior to entering the program, he worked in industrial security on the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. He wanted a career transition into a corporate work environment, but lacked the experience and training to secure such work. He has since graduated the program after working in Afognak’s corporate legal department and attended numerous contracted trainings to enhance his skillset. He now serves as Afognak’s External Relations Manager. He possesses a Bachelor’s Degree and Law Degree thanks in large part to scholarships he received from Afognak. 

Bering Straits Native Corporation and Sitnasuak Native Corporation Build Wind Turbines to Foster Energy Development

The Bering Straits Native Corporation (BSNC) and Sitnasuak Native Corporation (SNC) have installed wind turbines in Nome, Alaska, a village of 3,500 people. Nome currently gets 100% of its power from diesel generation. The revenues from the wind farm will be shared equally between SNC and BSNC.

BSNC will be dedicating 50% of its profits from this project to the development of renewable energy projects in the villages surrounding Nome. Selling locally produced energy at a rate below decreased costs will provide savings to the utility, while reducing staggering energy costs in the Nome area. The profits from the project which, are ultimately distributed to the 6,000+ Native shareholders of BSNC and 2,000+ Native shareholders of SNC, will help provide income to an area where many have very limited incomes.

Chickasaw Nation Industries Lifts Entire Tribal Community Up

Chickasaw Nation Industries (CNI) gives a dividend of earnings each year to support Tribal programs and to promote economic development. Each new school year, Chickasaw youth receive clothing grants and school supplies to ensure they are prepared for learning. In addition, Tribal scholarships are awarded to students based on merit and achievement. Chickasaws are also afforded opportunities through the Tribal Career Services program to participate in internships and programs around the world.

CNI not only supports education through revenue, but is committed to training young Chickasaws in the federal contracting industry. With a priority in hiring Chickasaws, CNI pairs new Chickasaw professionals with mentors in the company to provide training and guidance. Currently, Chickasaw professionals hold leadership positions within CNI and contribute to CNI’s continued success.

In addition to supporting education, CNI dollars support healthcare. The Chickasaw Nation recently opened one of the largest facilities in Ada, OK. The Chickasaw Nation is committed to promoting healthy lifestyles among the Native population through education and research, particularly focusing on diabetes prevention.

Chugach Alaska Corporation Shareholder Becomes a Business Leader

Joshua Nadell recently was promoted to Cost Estimator at Chugach Alaska Corporation. Nadell, of Aleut descent received over thousands of dollars in scholarships and an internship opportunity from his Alaska Native Corporation (ANC). The internship with Chugach Alaska Corporation provided a way for Nadell to attend college by fully funding his tuition and books.

Several years later, he now has an Associate’s degree from the University of Alaska, Anchorage and a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Alaska Pacific University. Josh graduated college Magna Cum Laude, and now has six years of real world work experience in a corporate environment. Chugach Alaska Corporation highly values educated Shareholders and offers many programs to further their education and provide career growth opportunities. It realizes that the future of the company is in the education of its Shareholders, and that as the Shareholders grow stronger and more successful, so does the company. 

“I am so grateful to Chugach Alaska Corporation for generously supporting my education and growth because through Chugach, I was able to work as a paid intern for the company working in many fields ranging from IT and public relations, to business development,” said Josh.

Chugach Alaska Corporation provides high-quality services in government contracting through participation in the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) 8(a) program. For example, Chugach Heritage Foundation’s scholarship program and this has grown steadily over the last ten years from approximately $2,000 in annual scholarship awards in 1997 to over $300,000 in annual scholarship awards.

Katmai IT Intern Enrolls in Village Internet Agent Program

By the time he turned 21, Peter Shanagin, Jr. knew that he wanted to broaden his personal horizons, and so he packed up his bags and moved from the village of Ouzinkie to the city of Anchorage with not much more than ambition and hope.  His brief work history up to that point included a stint at a mall pretzel shop and some manual labor work on logging ships off the Gulf of Alaska.  Excited by the idea of working for his Corporation and motivated by the prompting by his father and extended family, Peter applied for Katmai’s IT Intern position in March of 2011 and was immediately hired.

Since then, Peter has proved himself a fast learner and is a valuable addition to Katmai’s growing IT department. He is currently responsible for troubleshooting computer hardware and software problems, performing printer maintenance and repair, resolving internet connectivity issues, and managing IT’s computer inventory.

Using the education subsidy that Katmai provides its interns, Peter enrolled in the University of Alaska, Anchorage in the summer of 2011 and took full advantage of his course tuition stipend to work his way through core prerequisite classes. In the Spring of 2012, he will end his internship with Katmai and enroll in the State of Alaska’s AVTEC Village Internet Agent (VIA) program, a certification program designed to provide students with the technical skills necessary to obtain jobs in the broadband network services industry.  The program provides free tuition, books, and supplies for qualified students from remote villages, and most of those students emerge as highly skilled, highly marketable entry-level technicians who go on to maintain computer networks in rural Alaskan communities that are scheduled for broadband service.

Peter credits Katmai’s Intern Program with giving him the experience necessary to qualify for the AVTEC VIA program. He also acknowledged that his work with the company has had an influence on the path he would like to pursue in life. When asked about future goals, Peter stated, “Someday I hope to be on the Ouzinkie Board and help make our village a better place… including finding new and better ways to get the Ouzinkie kids exposed to life outside of the village.” Peter Shanagin, Jr., is Katmai’s second IT Intern, who, in just over a year’s time will achieve a promising future by possessing a firm foundation for a professional IT career.

Koniag Corporation Shareholder Credits the Corporation for Strengthening Native Identity

Gordon R. Pullar received his master’s degree from the University of Washington. Gordon’s first job was in Kodiak, AK managing a weekly newspaper. Shortly thereafter, he was appointed president and CEO of the Kodiak Area Native Association (KANA). Gordon led KANA for six years, during which time he oversaw the final implementation of the health programs serving all the Koniag region villages. He helped implement a cultural revitalization movement that resulted in the establishment of many cultural programs, including the Alutiiq Museum, and led to the reburial of 1,000 human remains from Larsen Bay that had been stored at the Smithsonian Institution.

Gordon moved to Anchorage in 1990. Currently, he is the Director of the Department of Alaska Native and Rural Development at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. He holds a doctorate in anthropology from the Union Institute and University. Gordon is proud of the exceptional students from Kodiak Island that have graduated from the rural development program. He sits on the board of the Alutiiq Museum and is president of the Woody Island Tribal Council. Gordon credits Koniag and Alaska Native corporations in general for helping strengthen Native identity.

MTNT Limited, Provides Land and Supports the Opening of New Health Clinic in McGrath, AK

The Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for the new McGrath Regional Health Center culminated a multi-year design build effort involving a coordinated effort between Southcentral Foundation, the City of McGrath, MTNT Limited, the Denali Commission and the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium. The new building, named after McGrath Elder, Rose Winkleman, was dedicated on December 15, 2010 to a crowd of cheering shareholders and stakeholders.

“The Clinic will serve the MTNT Region and bring much needed technology, medical and behavioral health services to the area”, said MTNT Limited’s Chairman of the Board, Vicki Otte who attended on behalf of MTNT.  MTNT donated the 5 acres that the new Clinic resides on and McGrath’s Light and Power Company was hands on with installing electrical and other work at the site. MTNT will continue to work with Southcentral Foundation to support the Clinic. Future plans for linking the clinic to the Waste Heat Project in McGrath and other collaborative efforts continue.

NANA distributes $1.2M to Elder Shareholders

The NANA Elders' Settlement Trust issued $2,000 a piece to the Native regional corporation's 618 elder shareholders on February 4, 2011. The total amount of money distributed was $1.2 million.

The trust was created in 2008 to distribute money to NANA shareholders 65 years or older, many of whom lived on fixed incomes. NANA's board of directors approved the distribution on Nov. 18, 2010.

The distribution from the Kotzebue-region Alaska Native corporation included $500 to help pay for taxes associated with the distribution. The money arrived in direct-deposit account in early February 2011.

Olgoonik Corporation Trains Villagers for Work Opportunities

Olgoonik Corporation recently negotiated a large environmental demolition contract close to its village Wainwright, Alaska, which is located southwest of Barrow, AK, above the Arctic Circle.  Olgoonik provided on-site asbestos abatement training and certification.  Olgoonik paid for the license fees of eleven (11) local shareholders and was able to hire them to work on this contract.

In addition, Daphne Tagarook was hired in the Anchorage, AK office as an intern while attending college.  During the internship, she received financial assistance for four years through the scholarship program.  She eventually graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration. Last month Olgoonik employed 61 shareholders.  In addition, Olgoonik Corporation employs 3 Alaska Natives or American Indians.

Winnebago Tribal Member Aspiring Business Woman

Victoria Kitcheyan joined Ho-Chunk, Inc. in 2006 as a Contract Administrator for a Ho-Chunk subsidiary. Later she was promoted to Office Administrator in support of government contracts.  Today, Kitcheyan is Office Manager for All Native Managed Services, a new Ho-Chunk subsidiary involved in government contracting.

“Working at Ho-Chunk, Inc. has been such a rich experience. I’ve gained mentors, and been able to grow my career. Before Ho-Chunk, Inc. there were few career and virtually no housing opportunities for a single young adult. I’ve also bought reliable transportation from Rez Cars, part of Ho Chunk. All in all, Ho-Chunk, Inc. afforded me the prospect to live and work at home in Winnebago, Nebraska,” stated Kitcheyan.

Kitcheyan received her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration, with a major in Tribal Management in 2006 from Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, Kansas. She is an enrolled member of the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska.

In the summer 2011, the Native American Contractors Association (NACA) held its inaugural Emerging Native Leaders Summit. Kitcheyan urged the support for the Native 8(a)s because they support Tribes, people, youth and elders.  She sees  government contracting as a win-win for Indian Country – having jobs, doing quality work, and providing opportunities for Tribal members.

Background on Ho-Chunk Inc. and Government Contracting

Ho-Chunk Inc. (HCI) operates 18 subsidiaries and employs more than 1,400 people from diverse ethnic backgrounds and skill sets in locations spanning the U.S. and four foreign countries. HCI subsidiary operations include information technology, construction, government contracting, green energy, retail, wholesale distribution, marketing, media and transportation. Part of HCI’s portfolio includes companies with Native 8(a) certification and HCI receives negotiated, sole-source contracts under the program. HCI is the award-winning tribal development corporation owned by the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska. HCI was established in 1994 as the economic development corporation for the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska. HCI’s mission is to provide economic opportunity and jobs for Tribal members.


Background on Alaska Native Corporations and Government Contracting

In 1971, Congress passed the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA), creating for-profit corporations instead of reservations when resolving aboriginal land claims. Under ANCSA, Alaska Natives received title to 44 million acres of land and $962.5 million, which was divided between 12 regional and more than 200 village corporations. A 13th corporation was later created for Alaska Natives living outside the state. The corporations were tasked with dual financial and social mandates to create wealth for their shareholders and descendants and protect their social and cultural traditions. Currently, many ANCs provide services in government contracting through the SBA 8(a) Program. With 8(a) profits ANCs provide educational scholarships, travel assistance, bereavement assistance, cultural camp development, job training assistance, language revitalization assistance, shareholder business development assistance, village economic development grant assistance, disaster and medical assistance, and elder care assistance.


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