In rural Alaska, a promise unfulfilled

Government contractors,
Alaska natives

MULTIMEDIA  |   Three Alaska natives speak on camera about their views of the federal contracting program intended to benefit them. View graphic »

Robert O'Harrow Jr. answered readers' questions about the series. Read the discussion here.


Photographer Nikki Kahn spent four weeks on location in rural Alaska, documenting this story in images.
See her photos. »

A close look at Eyak Corporation.
Explore one company's rebirth. »

PART ONE | A program to aid some of America's poorest citizens has largely benefited nonnatives in the lower 48 states.
Read More »

PART TWO | An Alaska native company and a major Washington contractor together cashed in on $1 billion for small businesses.

PART THREE | An ANC business run out of a living room subcontracted the majority of work to more established companies.

PART FOUR | Cashing in on government programs intended to help small, disadvantaged and minority entrepreneurs.

Continuing coverage

Dec. 9 | A half-dozen federal agencies are looking into alleged abuses.

Nov. 19 | Authorities say they have evidence that two firms worked with a large company to "defraud the Government."

Nov. 17 | Sen. Claire McCaskill pushes to close contracting loopholes in ANC program.

Oct. 19 | Prominent federal contractor GTSI Corp. removes CEO, general counsel in deal to end federal work suspension.

Oct. 7 | A proposed Senate bill would end special contracting privileges to Alaska native corporations.

Oct. 1 | The Northern Virginia company allegedly went through other firms to gain access to contracts set aside for small companies.

About this project

After the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the Pentagon and other agencies awarded thousands of contracts without competition and proper oversight. In that rush, billions went to entities known as Alaska native corporations. Then the problems began.