Alaska Village Corporations
Alaska Native Village Corporations
Alaska native corportations (ANC) were formed when Congress passed the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971 in response to a rise in native activism and pressure from oil companies to smooth the path for a trans-Alaska pipeline after oil was discovered in 1968.
The act allotted 40 million acres of land for division among 12 regional native corporations and 220 village corporations. The law was intended to settle longstanding land claims by Alaska natives and provide economic opportunities.
Alaska natives and descendants born before 1971 were allowed to receive 100 shares in their village corporation and regional corporation.
There were originally twelve Alaska regional corporations. In 1975, a 13th corporation formed to represent Alaska natives residing outside the state of Alaska.
Over the years, some village corporations merged with each other or with their regional corporation. Today there are 198 village corporations, according to the Alaska Division of Banking and Securities.
Ounalashka Corporation (OC) is the Alaska Native Village corporation for the Qawalangin Tribe of Unalaska. It was formed in 1973 under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971.
In the Athabascan language, Gana-A’Yoo means “friends, ” or literally “friends together.” This was the underlying sentiment in 1978 when the shareholders of Galena, Koyukuk, Nulato and Kaltag made the decision to join together as “friends” and merge into one village corporation. Thus, Gana-A’Yoo, Limited was formed.
On December 19, 2014, the Bureau of Indian Affairs announced the promulgation of a final rule that will allow land to be taken into trust for federally-recognized tribes in Alaska. Allowing trust lands in Alaska is a seismic shift in federal policy for Alaska Natives, and could create greater opportunity for economic development for Alaskan tribes.