Since their formation in 1971 through the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, Alaska Native Corporations (ANCs) have operated largely under a mission to build economic revenue for distribution to their shareholders, who are generally Alaska Native tribal members. While larger ANCs have formed foundations that provide scholarships to shareholders, ANCs generally do not have missions or entities associated with developing community infrastructure or promoting social programs in Alaska Native Villages, which are the communities of federally recognized Alaskan tribes. Until recently, the infrastructural and institutional needs of Alaska Native Villages have largely been met through State of Alaska funding, with support for housing, health, and roads from the federal government. In the current era of low oil prices, however, the State of Alaska has little funding to support villages with basic needs, let alone forthcoming and growing needs such as climate change adaptation. This article considers whether and how ANCs could fill infrastructural and institutional funding gaps for villages and provides examples of Native Corporations that take on this role in the many other American states. Further, this article offers ideas for how ANCs can better support villages and Alaska Native culture while providing for corporate revenues.


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