One Company, Two Worlds: The Case for Alaska Native Corporations

This Note makes the case for continued ANC participation in the 8(a) program by providing a more comprehensive framework for analyzing such participation. In one sense, it all comes down to a determination of what question we should be asking about ANC participation in the 8(a) program. Asking “do ANCs belong in the 8(a) program?” often leads to a simple “no” because intuitively ANCs do not have much in common with other 8(a) participants.

But when we think about ANCs more holistically, we ask a broader question: “does the treatment of ANCs make sense?” Answering such a question requires understanding that the current system of ANC involvement in the 8(a) program reflects considered judgments not just about the Small Business Act but about ANCSA policy and federal Native American policy generally. It requires understanding how the current system recognizes the needs of Alaska Natives and makes a meaningful difference in their lives. While mindful that the system can be improved at its edges, this Note suggests that the answer to this second question is “yes.” Answering the second question is undoubtedly a more difficult task than answering the first, but hopefully, this Note has demonstrated at the least that this second, more complicated question is the right one to be asking.

Excerpt pulled from “One Company, Two Worlds: The Case For Alaska Native Corporations,” written by Travis G. Buchanan in the Alaska Law Review, produced by Duke University School of Law. For the entire report see, Alaska Law Review.