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In response to Evon Peter, Native Corporations aren’t all bad news

October 8th, 2008 Posted By: Morgan Howard 1 Comment

In response to the essays entitled, “Alaska 101 for presidential candidates” and “An Alaska Native speaks out on Palin, Oil, and Alaska” by Evon Peter. 

I would agree that much of the original Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) had “assimilation devices” built in.  However, the 1991 amendments and more than one hundred amendments since have addressed many of these concerns.  Currently, there are bills in the House and Senate that continue to amend ANCSA.

Through 7(i) sharing, the native corporation I belong to receives funds that keeps our corporation’s doors open and allows us to employ shareholders.  Of course, the bulk of this money comes from oil and mining through successful ventures of NANA, Arctic Slope and others.

In the recent “Alaska Business Monthly” list of top 49 Alaskan-owned companies, two-thirds are Alaska Native.  Eight out of the top ten Alaska businesses are Native Corporations.  Economic strength provides Alaska Native Corporations the ability to make significant positive changes for their tribal shareholders and their respective communities.  They are major stakeholders in Alaska and relevant players in today’s world.  This is not all bad news.

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