Chenega Corporation is the most successful Alaska Native Village Corporation. It was founded in 1974 to represent the interests of the Chenega people, an Alutiiq people with ancient roots in the Prince William Sound area of South Central Alaska. The Chenega people continue to reside in this general area with many still maintaining a subsistence way of life.
The Chenega Corporation began to participate in the Government Services marketplace in 1997. Today it performs on more than 158 prime contracts and 100 principal sub-contracts, through a combination of competitive and negotiated best-value awards. The corporation leads the way among Alaska Native Corporations in providing consistent dividends and in supporting comprehensive cultural, societal, religious and community initiatives, programs and projects.
ALASKA NATIVE CORPORATIONS 1
The Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) of 1971 was motivated in large part by a desire of the federal government to allow the development and extraction of Alaska’s oil reserve without the challenge of legal claims by Alaska’s native tribes. Under ANCSA, Alaska Natives agreed to extinguish all land claims based on their federally recognized aboriginal rights. In return, Alaska Natives collectively received $463 million from the US Treasury and a future commitment for an additional $500 million in revenue sharing related to the extraction of oil, gas and minerals. A transaction that has proved enormously beneficial to the United States, delivering several hundred billions of dollars of goods, services and taxes to the federal government. In addition to the revenue sharing, ANCSA also included a provision whereby Congress would develop economic programs which empowered the Native Tribes with opportunities to engage in business and become financially self-sufficient. The ANSCA settlement also provided the capital necessary for the creation of Alaska Native Corporations (ANCs), assisting Alaska Natives in entering the field of Federal Contracting. Pursuant to federal law, all Alaska Native Corporations must be directed by an all-Native shareholder board, and 100% of the corporation’s profits must inure to the Native shareholders in the form of dividends, scholarships, educational assistance, Elders and health benefits, language and cultural preservation, and, investments in the corporation that build Shareholder equity and provide for healthy, sustainable corporation growth.
The Small Business Administration (SBA) 8(a) Business Development Program was enacted in 1958 to help small disadvantaged businesses compete in the American economy, and more specifically, in the Federal contracting arena. To qualify for this Program, a firm must be a small business, unconditionally owned and controlled by one or more socially and economically disadvantaged individuals, and demonstrate a potential for success. Alaska Native Corporations’ and Tribes’ participation in the 8(a) Program is a component of meeting the Federal Government’s ANSCA agreement to provide for a sustainable Native economy as required by treaties, the Constitution, statutes, and court cases.
Section 8(a) does not give an advantage to an unqualified or under-qualified company, nor does the 8(a) Program guarantee a contract; it only makes ANCs and Tribes eligible for a contract. For any 8(a) company, participation is limited to nine years maximum, during which there is a required phase-in of competitive work. The 8(a) Program provides an incubation period enabling these companies to enter the marketplace and demonstrate the ability to perform. Once the business development goals are met, as defined by the market segment the companies are operating in, they “graduate’ out of the 8(a) Program and are on their own to compete in the open marketplace. The 8(a) provisions have enhanced the effect of ANCSA, namely making government contract opportunities available to qualified ANCs as part of the settlement.
CHENEGA CORPORTION ACHIEVEMENTS
• ISO 9001 Certified
• Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) Certified Staff
• Certified Procurement Systems
• Capability Maturity Model Integrated (CMMI) Level 2 Appraised (BIA Prog)
• DCAA approved accounting system for government contracting
• Good-to-excellent ratings on all programs subject to CPARS
• 2011: #65 on Washington Technology’s top 100 Federal IT Contractors
• 2011: #4 on AK Business Monthly Magazine’s list of Top 49 Alaska owned businesses
1. See Travis G. Buchanan, Note, One Company, Two Worlds: The Case for Alaska Native Corporations, 27:2 Alaska L. Rev. 298-299 (2010)