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Tribal Consultation on 8(a) Contracting a Resounding Success During AFN

Oct. 28, 2009
More than 120 Alaska Native and other interested stakeholders participated a pair of conferences on Tribal participation in 8(a) held during the 2009 Alaska Federation of Natives annual convention. Both sessions were facilitated by Sarah Lukin, Executive Director of the Native American Contractors Association.

The workshops gave Alaska Natives an opportunity to learn about 8(a) contracting in general, why it is under threat and how the tribal community is responding. "I've only begun to learn about the 8(a) (program) but I see how it would help my community and its members," said Patrick Smith, a participant from Minto.

The workshop offered a preview of some of the SBA's proposed regulatory changes and offered a valuable discussion of the potential impacts of those changes, should they be implemented. According to presenter John Klein, Associate General Counsel of SBA, "The SBA's proposed regulation changes are substantial enough that they would affect how minority contractors do business in the future." Tribes and Native Corporations were strongly encouraged to become engaged in the regulatory "notice and comment" process, so SBA can better understand how the proposed regulatory changes will impact Indian Country.

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