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Understanding ANCSA at 50 – and Beyond

December 15, 2021

The Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) passed fifty years ago, creating 12 Alaska Native regional corporations within the state of Alaska that have diversified into successful state, national and global companies. Many village corporations and Native nonprofit organizations have also thrived and grown.

These Alaska Native organizations are essential to Alaska’s economy, and their culture and management practices are unique. “Anyone planning to live or work in Alaska today will inevitably encounter the Alaska Native corporation in some fashion,” said Sharon Chilux Guenther Lind, Assistant Professor of Management at CBPP. “To be successful in our local business environment, it is essential that our future leaders understand ANCSA, its history, and current day impacts.”

The College of Business and Public Policy (CBPP) proudly offers courses that do just that – and they aren’t just for business majors. “These courses truly help students understand Alaska on a different level,” Lind said. “Students across all disciplines benefit from understanding their field within an Alaska context. Many are surprised at how much they learn about their state.”

Spring 2022 classes include BA A202, Alaska Native Organizations and BA A402 Indigenous Leadership. Both classes will be offered online, providing greater accessibility to students throughout the state. They also meet the requirements for the Alaska Native themed General Education Requirement.

The courses are part of CBPP’s Alaska Native Business Management program, which currently offers a Minor and will begin offering an Occupational Endorsement Certificate (OEC) in the near future. Through the program, students have the opportunity to meet and network with Alaska Native leaders who are running corporations. Students get perspective on how the businesses perform, and learn what goals and strategies they have.

“It’s hard to imagine what the landscape of business in Alaska would look like without the contributions of Alaska Native corporations to our local economy,” Lind said. “One of the best ways we can acknowledge 50 years of ANCSA is to learn about it – in all its complexity. Anyone who lives or works in Alaska needs this fundamental knowledge in order to understand the Alaska business landscape fully.”

More about CBPP’s Alaska Native Business Management program