Press ReleaseOct 27, 2011
Markey: Is 13th Alaska Native Corporation Down on its Luck, or Afoul of Law?
Congressman Sends Inquiry to Bureau of Indian Affairs in Ongoing Investigation into ANCs
WASHINGTON (October 28, 2011) - A corporation intended to represent Native Alaskans living outside of the state has reportedly lost $50 million, and is completely broke. The corporation's board of directors hasn't formally communicated with its shareholders since 2008. In 37 years, its more than 5,000 shareholders have received almost no dividends or other benefits. And yet board members of this so-called "13th regional corporation" are still planning for its resurrection-without any shareholder involvement or consent.
Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), the top Democrat on the Natural Resources Committee, which has jurisdiction over Native Alaskan affairs, today asked the Bureau of Indian Affairs what it is doing to monitor and regulate this shell of a corporation intended to provide income and economic development for its Native Alaskans shareholders.
The letter to BIA can be found HERE.
"We need to know if this 13th Alaska Native Corporation is just down on its luck, or is running afoul of the laws that govern it," said Rep. Markey. "Native Alaskans deserve full representation by these corporations, and the shareholders of this company deserve to know why they are being disenfranchised."
The Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971 (ANCSA) established Alaska Native Corporations in resolving Alaska Native claims to over 360 million acres of land. Alaska Natives gave up these claims and in exchange Congress awarded ANCs about 44 million acres of land, nearly $1 billion, and rights to Alaska state oil royalties. Each Alaska Native living in Alaska at the time of the settlement was entitled to shares in one of twelve regional corporations as well as a smaller village corporation, of which there are around 200. The 13th regional corporation was added four years later to include Alaska Natives living outside of Alaska.
The inquiry on the 13th ANC continues Rep. Markey's ongoing investigation into ANCs following the contracting kickback scandal involving a subsidiary of one of the ANCs, Eyak Corporation, and the Army Corps of Engineers.
Rep. Markey's previous inquiry to the Department of Homeland Security can be found HERE.
Another letter to the Department of Defense is HERE.