Since their creation more than forty-five years ago, Alaska Native regional corporations have become a remarkable economic engine in Alaska. Together, they account for billions of dollars in revenue and employ thousands of Alaskans. Despite a stubborn statewide recession amid low oil prices, the diversity of these twelve corporations keeps them strong and profitable.
Sitka’s Mt. Edgecumbe High School, which has a high enrollment of Alaska Native students, is one of the top educational facilities in the nation. It has a 90 percent minority enrollment, 79 percent of whom are Alaska Native students with a graduation rate of 98 percent. Yet, Alaska Native student graduation rates in other schools across the state are by far disproportionately worse than nearly all other student categories.
In May, Koniag, Inc.’s Board of Directors added to their existing core values—planning for the long term, celebrating our heritage and culture, embracing diversity, being open and honest, and having pride in our work—the newest core value: sharing the catch.
The US Small Business Administration exists to assist small business growth and development through loan guarantees, contracts, counseling sessions, and other initiatives. One of those is the 8(a) Business Development Program, which helps “small, disadvantaged businesses compete in the marketplace,” in large part through sole-source contracts.