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Alaska Native Impacts


Alaska Native Corporations continue to grow, as is evidenced in our annual Alaska Native Business special section. Figures reported by the regional corporations this year indicate these twelve companies owned by 119,092 shareholders had 2014 gross revenues of more than $8.6 billion, an increase of $138 million over 2013 gross revenues. Employees reported this year were 16,936 in Alaska—46,193 worldwide including those Alaska employees, an increase of 1,224 employees in Alaska—2,462 worldwide. Those jobs are spread across Alaska, the United States, and many countries of the world. And these are just the figures for the ANCSA regional corporations.

Additionally and collectively many village corporations and Alaska Native-owned businesses provide thousands more jobs and generate billions more in revenues each year. In fact, some village corporations rival some of the regional corporations in terms of jobs and revenue. Check back next month when we reveal the 2015 Top 49ers to see the latest on that. Last year’s Top 49ers included seven village corporations that reported $2.5 billion in gross revenues with 1,210 employees in Alaska, 17,813 worldwide. And those are just the companies included in the Top 49 Alaskan-owned and operated companies ranked by gross revenue. Alaska Native companies have a huge impact.

Alaska Native tribes also have a huge impact, an impact Alaska Business Monthly will be covering in more detail in future issues. Alaska has 229 federally recognized tribes. The United States has three main governing bodies: federal government, state government, and tribal government. There have been clashes among the three, and I suppose these will continue; however, last December the US Department of the Interior announced a final rule for accepting land into trust for federally recognized Alaska tribes. Accepting land into trust for federally recognized Alaska tribes should advance tribal self-governance and tribal sovereignty. The ability to do this has taken decades and Part 151 of Subchapter H, Chapter I, of Title 25 of the Code of Federal Regulations details the process in about 3,200 words, which if a tribe holds title to the land it wants placed in trust, it first needs to write a letter:


§151.9 Requests for approval of acquisitions.

An individual Indian or tribe desiring to acquire land in trust status shall file a written request for approval of such acquisition with the Secretary. The request need not be in any special form but shall set out the identity of the parties, a description of the land to be acquired, and other information which would show that the acquisition comes within the terms of this part.


I’m sure that it is not that simple of a process, and neither is publishing Alaska Business Monthly every month. The team at Alaska Business Monthly has put together another really great magazine. Enjoy!

This article first appeared in the September 2015 print edition of Alaska Business Monthly.

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