Letter to NANA Employees in Regards to McCaskill Hearings

Dear NANA Employees,

In the last couple of days there has been a lot of press regarding Alaska Native Corporations and their participation in the Small Business Administration’s 8 (a) contracting programs.  I have received a few calls seeking clarity on what this means for NANA.  I think it is appropriate that I respond more broadly to our employees to provide you with NANA’s perspective on this issue.

The United States Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs’ Ad hoc Subcommittee on Contracting Oversight has asked NANA and 19 other Alaska Native Corporations to supply historical information regarding contracting opportunities that we have pursued consistent with the rules of the SBA’s 8 (a) program.

NANA is responding to this request and supports the Subcommittee’s mission of oversight of U.S. government contracts. We look forward to discussing the nature of our purpose and the importance of the SBA 8 (a) program to Native American, Native Hawaiians and Alaska Native peoples with the Senators in Washington this July.

We view this as a great opportunity to educate members of Congress and the general public on the progress we have made in delivering economic, social and cultural benefits to our shareholders, in part, due to our participation in this program.

As an Alaska Native Corporation (ANC), our government contacting sector, as well as NANA's other business lines, contribute daily to NANA communities. We have worked hard since the passage of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) to fulfill the mandates of Congress and the desires of our people to work within our corporate structure to make a meaningful difference in the lives of our shareholders.  Through our business investments and broader corporate activities we strive to improve the lives of our more than 12,000 Iñupiat owners by successfully managing thousands of acres of land and creating economic opportunities for our people.

The SBA 8 (a) program has offered us additional opportunities to expand our business capabilities to deliver important services to the government.  As we and other Native American companies have achieved success in serving this market, our presence has grown and we have become far more visible. We welcome this visibility. 

Congress should be pleased that the intent of the SBA program they designed is being fulfilled.  As a result of this success, many ANCs, Indian Tribes, and Native Hawaiian Organizations, all of whom are subject to the same opportunities under this program, have been able to expand their capacity to serve their people and communities; our villages and shareholders in the NANA region are directly benefiting from our business success. In 2008 alone, NANA delivered approximately $43 million in dividends and social and cultural programs to our shareholders.  This represented 146 percent of net income earned last year.

The SBA 8(a) program has been an important vehicle to assist us in delivering on our objectives.  We recognize it is a privilege, and we have worked to ensure we have operated within its guidelines.  We look forward to demonstrating the value of the program, and welcome an opportunity to build a greater understanding of our region, our people, and our corporation.

Our corporate mission is to improve the quality of life for our people by maximizing economic growth, protecting and enhancing our lands, and promoting healthy communities with decisions, actions, and behaviors inspired by our Iñupiat Ilitqusiat values consistent with our core principles.

I thank you all for your support in helping us achieve this mission on a daily basis.

Helvi Sandvik
NANA Development Corporation

Join the hunt at  www.nana.com

About NANA Development Corporation

NANA is one of 13 regional corporations formed under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANSCA). NANA’s six business lines encompass a wide cross-section of industries including engineering and construction; resource development; information technology and telecommunications; facilities management & logistics; and real estate and hotel development.