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Three ANCs—Arctic Slope Regional Corp., Cook Inlet Region and Doyon Limited—are proposing a major break in the long-held native habit of keeping problems among themselves: They want the ANCs to acknowledge the problems publicly and adopt reforms.


“If you really understand what is going on with Alaska native corporations, your heart breaks for the many poor natives who are suffering still. They’re being used. Two groups of people are getting screwed by the program: many Alaska natives who are not getting their fair share, and the American taxpayers.”

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), chairman of a contracting oversight subcommittee that studied the program and had a critical hearing last year, in a recent comment to The Washington Post.

“In order to continue the good for which this program was intended, we have to pursue the reforms that allow for appropriate oversight. I have defended this program, but I do not defend the program unconditionally.”

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), one of the most adamant ANC boosters over the years, applauded the idea of more transparency and accountability.

Money fails to
reach shareholders

On average, 90% of ANC employees are
 ANC shareholders.

Native shareholders have gotten relatively little of the federal contracting dollars, while the bulk in many cases has gone to nonnative executives, managers, employees and traditional federal contractors in the lower 48 states.

For example, last year, Sitnasuak Native Corp. earned profits of $14.5 million on revenue of $212 million, most of it from its Washington-based subsidiary, SNC Telecommunications LLC. A look at a few who benefited:

Sitnasauk example
SOURCE: Details about Sitnasuak compensation are contained in proxy statements and annual reports on file in Anchorage. GRAPHIC: Laura Stanton/TWP
More in this series
Alaska natives shortchanged by program
Alaska natives shortchanged by program
The story of Alaska native corporations is one of good intentions gone awry — and federal authorities looking the other way.
Two worlds: photo gallery
Photo Gallery
A look at some of the Alaska communities represented by native corporations.
Live Q&A
Live Q&A, 11 a.m. Thursday
Reporter Robert O'Harrow Jr. takes your questions and comments.
Alaska native corporations' shareholder benefits
Shareholder benefits
Over the past decade, corporations have started to give back to communities in donations and scholarships.