Our History

A Different Kind of Company

Nixon Pens Bill Into LawOn a chilly day in 1968, oil was discovered in Prudhoe Bay on Alaska’s North Slope, forever altering the history of the largest state in the Union. The Prudhoe Bay oilfield brought to the surface issues that were facing the young state.  A group of Alaska Native leaders worked diligently and strategically to make certain that the fate of Alaska's Native people rested in their own hands. They saw before them the history of Lower 48 tribes and they were determined to work within the legal framework of the Alaska and United States Constitutions to maintain legal rights to their land and secure equality.

The Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, known as ANCSA, has been called an extraordinary experiment in relations between the federal government and the indigenous peoples of Alaska. It is the culmination of years of work by Alaska Native people to ensure the future economic stability of their people.

Signed into law by President Nixon in 1971, ANCSA is the largest land claims settlement in United States history. The settlement resolved the issues around the land claims of Alaska Native peoples by transferring government-held titles of Alaska land to 12 Alaska Native regional corporations and more than 200 village corporations. A 13th Regional corporation was eventually created for Alaska Natives who no longer lived in Alaska.

More than 44 million acres of land in Alaska, including the surface and subsurface rights once claimed by the Federal government, were transferred to these 12 corporations, changing the legal relationship of Alaska Native people to their land. Prior to ANCSA, Alaska Native peoples co-owned Alaska’s land with the Federal government. After ANCSA, Alaska Native people became shareholders of their regional corporation – basing landownership on the corporate model.

The Birth of a Company

Historical PhotoIn 1972, ANCSA transferred the surface and subsurface rights of 36,000 square miles in Northwest Alaska - an area that is roughly the size of the state of Indiana - to NANA Regional Corporation, Inc.

Founded in 1974, NANA Development Corporation became the business arm of NANA Regional Corporation.

Like the traditional Inupiat Hunter, NANA Development Corporation’s role is to utilize the land from ANCSA to provide for the people – the NANA shareholders. Informed by 10,000 years of innovation and trade, the modern NANA Hunter makes solid business decisions for the people, investing to create a stable economic future for the next generation. 

Today, NANA Development Corporation is a leader in engineering and construction; resource development; facilities management and logistics; real estate and hotel development; and information technology and telecommunications.

Headquartered in Anchorage, Alaska, NANA Development Corporation employs 15,000 individuals throughout the United States and around the globe. NANA operations extend from the Arctic Circle to Australia, across the continental United States, to the Middle East and the South Pacific. Our clients and partners are world class professionals in a wide variety of industries including Oil & Gas, Federal and Commercial.