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October News Bulletin
Dearest Friends,

After a difficult spring and summer, the autumn's tidings have brought still more harsh news for our community. We remain winded and dismayed following the D.C. court's ruling to bar ANC's from receiving CARES Act funds. Despite the near-universal acknowledgement (heard even from the court's panel of judges) that lawmakers had always intended for CARES Act funds to reach Alaska Native communities, aid has been withheld from our people on the basis of a technicality.

That technicality—the precise definition what constitutes an "Indian tribe" as recognized by U.S. law—now commands our attention. As a group whose foundation is the support of ANCs and Village corporations, few are more familiar with the care, concern, and sincere goodwill that our community's leaders exercise while charting a course for our people's livelihood. Our pride in heritage, commitment to preserving ancestral gifts, and the compassion we show to our extended family and other tribes are all clear identifiers of our Native way of life. We are Native. We are an Indian tribe that is eligible to participate in programs due to our status as Indians. We did not relinquish our status as Alaska Native People when ANCSA was passed.

When the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) was signed into law in 1971, our grandparents set into motion a brilliant re-imagining for how Native tribes would organize and dispense resources. Thanks to their foresight, ANCs and Village corporations have cultivated a position of self-determination, dignity, and competitive economic presence. Ours is a system which seeks to engage with external powers, rather than remaining trapped in a reactionary loop.

Over generations of effort, ingenuity, and courage, our tribes are now stronger than ever. Our collectives were built to operate as for-profit corporations, but do we not exist within a capitalist society? Wasn't one of the main, existential reasons of ANCSA approval to stoke Alaska's economic development? It was, and we have. In 2020, all 12 regional Corporations and 13 Village Corporations were named among the Alaska Business Top 49ers an annual listing of the most successful Alaskan owned businesses. Of the total revenue generated by Alaska's Top 49ers, 81 percent was attributable to an ANC.

As a people organized beneath our tribal governments, we have become major players in Alaska's economy and our community. Through grants, scholarships, partnerships, and charitable giving we have spent nearly fifty years acting as a major contributor. When Alaska—and the United States—needed us, we were there.

We are taxpaying citizens of the United States, tasked with protecting and advocating on the behalf of a people disproportionately vulnerable to COVID-19. 80 percent of our communities can only be reached by airplane. Several do not have access to running water. Their need for support—from us and from their government—is inarguable. It is now, and it will, inevitably, be so again in the future. Our duty is therefore plain: we must not accept the D.C. court's ruling. We must keep fighting for what is fair, and what is right.

Thank you to our supporters who have stood beside us thus far. As we organize our response to the court's decision, updates will be shared by e-news bulletins and through ANVCA's Facebook page. As a final note, we applaud all of our leaders who, unaided, have continued to seek innovative methods for serving their shareholders and families during this challenging time. You remain the brightest stars in our family's story.

Tsin'aen (Chin'an/Thank You),

Hallie Bissett
ANVCA Executive Director
ANVCA Chairman Nathan McCowen and ANVCA member organization Old Harbor Native Corporation featured in TIME!

Why Native Alaskans Missed Out on Washington's Pandemic Relief Efforts

Political News
AUGUST 31: Alaska Business Magazine publishes an article documenting the efforts of ANCs, tribal organizers, and nonprofits are implementing community outreach programs in an effort to collect accurate census data. The article discusses the many benefits communities recieve from accurate census data, as well as behavior trends observed among Alaska Native audiences that act as motivators, or barriers. Read the full article here.

SEPTEMBER 16: D.C. District Court extends stay of CARES Act funds from reaching ANCs.

SEPTEMBER 18: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at age 87, leaving a vacant seat on the U.S. Supreme Court. We honor the many decades of tireless, dedicated work the late Justice performed in service to our country. Rest in peace.

SEPTEMBER 25: The D.C. District Court reverses Judge Mehta's opinion that CARES Act funds should be distributed to ANCs on the basis that the collectives represented "tribes." ANVCA maintains that the exclusion of ANCs from receiving aid is an act of gross injustice. The court ruling may be read here.

SEPTEMBER 25: Senator Murkowski, Senator Sullivan, and Congressman Young criticized the U.S. District court's ruling, stating that, "It is unconscionable that COVID-19 aid would be withheld from a subset of Alaska Native people simply because of the unique tribal system that exists in Alaska." Read the AK Delegation remarks here.

SEPTEMBER 30: The shortened census collection season ends.
A hydroponics farm developed by VH Hydroponics produces a nutrition-packed harvest.
Development Spotlight
VH Hydroponics is an Alaska-based company interested in supporting remote communities seeking strategies for food security and independence. Vertical farming is an exciting opportunity for developing self-sufficient systems in remote and northern regions like Alaska. Rather than waiting for perishable items like lettuce, kale, and herbs to be flown in, produce can now be grown on-site.

Grant-resource information is available for those that are interested. A directory of current grants for funding under $10K as well as larger grants over $10K - $100K is available. Information regarding the State of Alaska CARES Act funding is currently under review but will be shared by VH Hydroponics as details are finalized.

Please email for more information on grants, available systems, and other questions.
Community Spotlight: ANCSA Contaminated Lands Partnership Group
The ANCSA Contaminated Lands Partnership Group formed in response to the 2016 Bureau of Land Management's congressional report ANVCA worked many years to advocate for. the report recognized there were currently 920 known contaminated sites transferred to ANCSA landowners. The lands were contaminated through pollutant sources such as tank farms, waste from army barracks, garbage dump sites, and other sources. Many sites can be designated as a brownfield, defined as a property eligible for reuse or revitalization that has been compromised by the presence of a harmful pollutant.

ANVCA advocated for changes to CERCLA that left ANCs legally liable for these sites, totaling tens of billions in clean up liability. ANVCA was successful in getting language into The Brownfields Utilization, Investment, and Local Development (BUILD) Act was signed into law March 2018, thereby removing Village and Regional Corporations from liability for land pollution occurring prior to ANCSA. This action makes our members now eligible to apply for certain clean-up grants they were not previously eligible for.

Recognizing the importance of healthy lands as a determinant for raising healthy people, the ANCSA Contaminated Lands Partnership Group formed to address and alleviate symptoms of pollution.

Village and Regional Corporations can receive remediation services for brownfields located on their property. Although freed from liability, polluted lands still belong to our people, and must be nursed back to a healthy state. Through collaboration, dedication, and the shared desire for clean lands, the ANCSA Partnership Group has taken early steps to realizing our vision, and welcomes the participation of new partners.

Currently, the group is being organized by ANTHC. If you are interested in participating in this work group contact
Upcoming Events and Opportunities
OCTOBER 7: Stolen Lives - Community Connects will host a panel of speakers from minority communities discussing the violence of cultural suppression, erasure of identity, and historic racism. Native speakers discussing their personal experiences as survivors of Anglo-Saxon boarding schools will be among the speakers. Event details and registration links are here.

OCTOBER 11&14: 2020 Statewide Elders and Youth Conference First Alaskans Institute’s 37th Annual Elders & Youth Conference (Elders & Youth) theme, “Asirqamek Apruciluta” (Sugt’stun, Chugach), “Asisqamek Aprut’liluta” (Alutiiq) assures us that we are moving in the right direction – physically in our real world today and symbolically in life. Its translation into English, “We Are Making a Good Path,” exemplifies our ancestral responsibilities to protect our peoples and communities, including through this time of COVID-19. From the beginning of this current pandemic, our Elders have informed the critical decision-making of Tribes, communities, families, and individuals by sharing the brilliance of our peoples’ ways of persevering and thriving throughout history. Event details and registration links are here

OCTOBER 12: Indigenous Peoples Day Leaders within the Native and Alaska community are hosting a virtual celebration to recognize Indigenous Peoples Day. See event details and sign up here.

OCTOBER 15 & 16: Alaska Federation of Natives 2020 annual Convention The largest statewide Native organization in Alaska, AFN represents more than 140,000 Native peoples – about one out of every five Alaskans. Formed in 1966 to settle land claims, AFN continues to be the principal forum and voice of Alaska Natives in addressing critical issues of public policy and government. Event details and registration links are here

October 16: Boardable New User Training Webinar - If you are a Boardable user, register for this informative webinar that will show you how to get the most out of your account We welcome all Boardable users who are not account administrators to join our Customer Success Team at 2PM EDT on Friday, October 16 for a guided training, complete with instructions about how to log in the first time, update profile information, RSVP to meetings, access agendas and documents, use our mobile app, and more. ANVCA Partner organization Native American Contractors Association (NACA) is offering this training. Please register Event details and registration links are here

October 22: Staying on Track: Managing Risk in Your Portfolio (exclusively for ANVCA) Now that you have your portfolio in place, how do you keep it on track? This investing workshop will discuss ways to stay in line with your objectives and to adapt your portfolio along the way. You will learn about the steps to take to assess and manage the risk investment risk in your portfolio. Event details and registration links are here
Job Openings
Leisnoi, Inc., Human Resources Director: The Director will provide oversight to the Human Resources Department, be responsible for the development and implementation of employee policies and procedures, benefit administration, and research Human Resources issues as requested by management. To learn more, see here. Submit resume and letter of interest to Dawn Kewen at to apply.

Far West Inc., Chief Administrative Officer (CAO): The CAO is responsible for developing, managing and leading the family of companies' strategic planning, management and direction. With the CEO, the CAO will implement plans that will include corporate and business efforts. The CAO will strengthen companies' profits through efforts such as developing and submitting proposals for government and commercial opportunities. Read more here, and submit resume/letter of interest to Marit Carlson-Van Dort at to apply.
Sponsored Message:
ConocoPhillips on Ballot Measure 1
On November 3, Alaskans will decide on a ballot measure that has the potential to send our already struggling economy into long-term decline. Ballot Measure 1 seeks to raise oil taxes at Prudhoe Bay, Kuparuk River and Colville River Units by 150% to 300%. ConocoPhillips has a working interest in all three units, which represent over 80% of Alaska’s North Slope oil production.

Such a massive increase would unquestionably discourage oil investment in our state, ultimately resulting in fewer jobs for Alaskans and less revenue for Alaska. A recent independent economic analysis commissioned by ANCSA Regional Association found that, “The proposed Ballot Measure 1 would impose a substantial effective tax increase on a declining tax base, harming an industry that supports the employment of about a quarter of Alaska’s workforce…A new tax would further impact the economy and risk the employment of thousands of Alaskans, while simultaneously failing to deliver an effective and stable revenue model for the state.” ConocoPhillips has recently stated that if the ballot measure passes, drilling in the fields targeted for the tax increase (Prudhoe Bay, Kuparuk and Alpine) is unlikely to resume in 2021.

ConocoPhillips has been a vital contributor to Alaska’s economy for more than 50 years, and we want to be around for decades to come. As the state’s largest oil producer, we’ve demonstrated an ongoing commitment to responsibly developing Alaska’s resources while providing employment to thousands, paying billions of dollars in taxes and royalties, and making billions of dollars in investments.

We work diligently to build honest and respectful relationships with our stakeholders, particularly with our North Slope neighbors who live near our operations. Through our existing operations and project activities, we are able to provide numerous jobs (direct and indirect) for residents of Nuiqsut and the North Slope Borough. We have significant plans for new investments over the next ten years that will lead to more jobs and increased production. Unfortunately, if the ballot measure passes, all of this is at risk.

At this time last year, we were preparing for the North Slope Renaissance, where multiple planned projects by the oil industry were projected to bring $24 billion in capital investment to Alaska and put hundreds of thousands of new barrels of oil per day down the pipeline. However, no one could possibly know what 2020 had in store. The COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with historically low oil prices, caused North Slope producers to shut down almost all drilling on the North Slope. If Ballot Measure 1 passes, it will put a brake on resuming North Slope activity. New development projects will help lift Alaska out of recession and strengthen our economy. Now is not the time to risk everything.

Alaska’s potential is bright – the Renaissance is poised to resume – but only if we stay the course. No matter how you may feel about oil taxes, Ballot Measure 1 goes too far. The bottom line is if Ballot Measure 1 passes, Alaska loses. Vote NO on Ballot Measure 1.

For more information, please visit
September in Review
SEPTEMBER 2: ANVCA joins a Community Connects virtual conference to discuss the history and issues surrounding slavery and economic/societal inequities, and how historic injustices continue to influence today's society. Watch the first two sessions: Stolen Land, Stolen Labor

SEPTEMBER 2: Hard at work preserving and restoring natural resources, Old Harbor undertook an ambitious project to locate and introduce bison from Yellowstone to their local herd. Watch the newcomer's welcoming ceremony and the chronicle of their journey northward here.

SEPTEMBER 2: The talented artist and musician Qacung Yufrican publishes a music video featuring the faces of Alaska Natives from across Alaska. Enjoy the video here.

SEPTEMBER 9: Far West Inc. of Chignik Bay invests infill membership status. Thank you for supporting our community!

SEPTEMBER 10: At the invitation of our friends from the Native American Contractors Association (NACA), ANVCA attends a webinar with the Senate Armed Services Committee to discuss issues surrounding fiscal year 2021, including the President's budget request, duding levels, and more.

SEPTEMBER 11: Nick Iligutchiak Hanson of Unalakleet joins AKWorld discussing his time on American Ninja Warrior, and how his dual perspectives as a descendant of Inupiaq and Western cultures has shaped his worldview.

SEPTEMBER 12: Ahtna Inc. launches their redesigned website. Check out the fruits of their labor here.

SEPTEMBER 15: ANVCA will host a panel discussion on land valuation and how land-owners can ensure that the natural resources above, below, and within the soil are properly accounted for. Thanks to our speakers Steven Apfelbaum, Lew Eisaguirre, and Gatlin Fenwick for leading our discussion. watch the video HERE

SEPTEMBER 15: Native American Contractors Association hosts a webinar on the Department of Defense's new Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification requirements.

SEPTEMBER 15: Congratulations to contest winners for this summer's Garden & Gather contest! Super gardeners Annette R. Erickson, Gwen Chickalusion, and C. Gayle Shankford show off their produce here.

SEPTEMBER 16: Partnering with the U.S. Small Business Administration, ANVCA hosts a virtual conference to discuss the unique characteristics of Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUBZones).

SEPTEMBER 17: The Harvard Kennedy School hosts a group discussion on how Congress can, in a bi-partisan effort, unite to support ANCs striving to care for their people during the COVID-19 pandemic. The delayed access to CARES Act funds was a main topic of discussion.

SEPTEMBER 18: After a fishing season hit by labor-shortages due to COVID-19, Sealaska and Alaska Longline Fisheries Association (ALFA) partnered to distribute 49,000 pounds of salmon across Southeast communities. The shared salmon is provided to support families relying upon subsistence food collection.

SEPTEMBER 23: Wilson Albers and Alera Connect HR host a webinar discussing how the contemporary workplace has been impacted by COVID-19, and how HR departments can proactively respond to emerging needs.

SEPTEMBER 24: The National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA) Rocky Mountain Chapter hosts a webinar with ANVCA sponsors BDO and Holland & Knight to discuss emerging technologies related to security, business, and others.

SEPTEMBER 24: Founder of ASRC and community leader Jacob Adams dies at age 73. We honor his many achievements, contributions, and abiding courage. Rest in peace, beloved friend. See more here.

SEPTEMBER 29-30: The First Alaskans Institute hosts a two-day virtual conference for ANC executives to discuss strategies for protecting traditional Native ways of life.

ANVCA Sponsors
Thank you to our Moose Partners!

The moose is a critical Partner to ANVCA. We rely on large corporate partners for viability the organization. This level of Partnership is designed for committed Partners who value their relationships with Alaska Native Village Corporations or looking to build new relationships. Building moose level Partnerships will allow ANVCA to expand services and projects for the long term economic benefit of Alaska Native Village Corporations.
Thank you to our Salmon Partners!

The salmon is the Partner we depend on annually at ANCVA. This Partnership level designed for mid to large size Partners who can commit financially to ensure that ANVCA has the resources to maintain and improve services to Members and Partners. Salmon level Partnerships allow the organization to thrive.
Thank you to our Caribou Partners!

The caribou is a key player in the sustainability of ANVCA. These Partners include mid-size and local businesses or organizations who treasure contacts within ANVCA. Caribou level Partners are vital to projects and programming for Members and Partners.
Thank you to our Denali Village Corp Members!
This level of membership is suggested for Alaska Native Village Corporations whose annual revenues exceed $50 million and/or those that highly support the value of the organization for the opportunities, education and advocacy it provides to Village Corporations.
To view our full list of Sponsor organizations or learn more about becoming a sponsor please visit our ANVCA sponsor page
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