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THE NATIVE ENTERPRISE: Business Backwards

February 3rd, 2014 Posted By: Morgan Howard No Comments


Every Alaska Native corporation (ANC) and many Tribal businesses started a company without having a business.

Businesses are usually created because a product or service provides value and attracts paying customers. Behind the product/service is an extremely talented individual or group which brings the product/service into existence. Regardless of available talent, Native enterprises first created a business then searched for a product or service. This is business development in reverse.

I currently serve on two Native enterprise boards, one is an Alaska Native village corporation board and the other is a Tribal enterprise board. There are major differences between the two business entities with the major one being land ownership. The ANC has land and the Alaska Tribal business does not. However, both entities seek to start and grow new businesses for the benefit of their tribal members and shareholders. Many village ANCs and Tribal businesses attempt this with little to no capital.

CONTINUE »

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Sealaska is not just another corporation

March 28th, 2010 Posted By: Morgan Howard No Comments


ShareholdersWS

I attended one of Senator Murkowski’s community meetings on the “Southeast Alaska Native Land Entitlement Finalization Act” in person and listened to several more online.  I’ve also read many of the letters to the editor in the Juneau Empire.  I’ve noticed an alarming trend in those who speak in opposition to the Haa Aaní Bill.

One gentleman from Edna Bay wrote an “OPEN MESSAGE TO SEALASKA CORPORATE EXECUTIVES” and several other comments in the Juneau Empire where he espoused a continuous chant of “corporate greed” in relation to Sealaska.

I am not a corporate executive, but as a tribal member of Sealaska, I can no longer stand by while people like him take advantage of the anti-corporation sentiment of the day to denigrate Alaska Natives, simply because of their congress-mandated designation.

Sealaska is not owned by a single founder… not a group of investors and not by a wealthy family.  Sealaska is owned equally by more than 20,000 Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshians.  There are no stock sales, stock options, or “get rich” exit strategies.  Sealaska will not be sold or bought or taken over by another corporation.  We are a Native Institution with the unique responsibility of combining business goals with Native values. CONTINUE »

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Haida Speaker Woodrow Morrison Sr. dies at 96

November 5th, 2009 Posted By: Morgan Howard No Comments


We lost one of our last remaining fluent speakers of Haida on October 29, 2009.  Woodrow Wilson Morrison, Sr. was born February 3, 1913 in Hydaburg, Alaska; he was 96 years old.  According to haidalanguage.com there’s no more than 2 or 3 dozen speakers left in the world.  I’ve heard the number in Alaska is around 10. CONTINUE »

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Is Entrepreneurship alive in Alaska?

October 28th, 2009 Posted By: Morgan Howard No Comments


The forum entitled “Showcasing Solutions: Strengthening Alaska’s Entrepreneurship and Innovation” occured Thursday, October 29, 2009 in Anchorage.

The invitation letter to the conference began with  “Alaska has a long tradition of innovation. Articulating new and better ways of doing things is part of the Alaska vision…” – I hear that said all the time about Alaska and it’s not true.

I know these statements are referencing the history of Indigenous people’s ability to survive and prosper in a challengeing environment but what about today.  Is there entrepreneurship happening in Alaska?  According to an Alaska Dispatch article written by Joshua Saul, the answer is “No”. CONTINUE »

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NativeCo advisor Joe Beedle named President of Northrim Bank

August 26th, 2009 Posted By: Morgan Howard No Comments


news_beedleAccording to Northrim Bank Press Release – ANCHORAGE, AK — August 25, 2009, Northrim Bank, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Northrim BanCorp. Inc. (NASDAQ: NRIM), has named Joe Beedle as President of the bank, effective August 24, 2009. Beedle, formerly Northrim’s Executive Vice President and Chief Lending Officer, will retain primary responsibility for lending and will continue to serve on the executive team responsible for day-to-day management of the bank.

CONTINUE »

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Alice Rogoff majority owner of AlaskaDispatch.com

August 24th, 2009 Posted By: Morgan Howard No Comments


alaskadispatchcomThe “Alaska Ear” reports the following:

NEW GAME . . . Earwigs report Alice Rogoff, an Outside zillionaire with an interest in Alaska Native art, has bought Alaska Dispatch, the news Website started last year by Tony Hopfinger and Amanda Coyne. (www.alaskadispatch.com).

Rogoff, who is being called co-owner, will be the publisher while Tony remains editor.

Now in the process of expanding, Dispatch has hired Channel 2 reporter/anchor Jill Burke — maybe the best TV reporter in town; Maia Nolan, one of Ear’s favorite local bloggers; and News-Miner reporter Rena Delbridge.

CONTINUE »

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Juneau Empire Letter to Editor

August 22nd, 2009 Posted By: Morgan Howard No Comments


juneau_empire_picAugust, 18, 2009, the editor of NativeCo.com, Morgan Howard sent a letter to the editor in response to a previous letter published.

This letter is in response to a “Letter to the editor” (August 11, 2009) by Gretchen Goldstein.

The author states, “Living in harmony with nature is not compatible with clear-cut logging” and “Unfortunately, the way they (Sealaska) make money often overrides their Native culture’s traditional values.”

Please do not insult Native people by simplifying our world into the black and white world of disaffected environmentalists. Why do anti-logging proponents think they feel the negative effects of logging more than Natives just because we’re the ones doing the logging? This assumption is a failure to understand the plight of Indigenous people.

CONTINUE »

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Welcome to NativeCo!

July 10th, 2009 Posted By: Morgan Howard No Comments


For more than ten thousand years, Alaska Natives owned vast expanses of land from which they prospered.  Incrementally taken from them for over two centuries, they would have to fight to gain back the land.  At the turn of the twentieth century, Alaska’s indigenous people formed political organizations, learned Western law, and used the U.S. legal system to fight for their Native lands.   The diverse Alaska Native cultures joined forces and fought to finally receive some of their Natives lands back from the United States Government.  The Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) passed and started the boldest socioeconomic experiment ever attempted in the history of the United States.

NATIVECO.COM is the continuation of this story – and the outcome – of that extraordinary fight.

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