WaPo: Alaska Native shareholders unhappy with corporate deal
"As one of the most successful Alaska native corporations, Eyak Technology occupies an entire floor of a four-story glass-and-concrete building in a bustling technology corridor minutes from Dulles International Airport.

The home base of Eyak Technology's parent in Cordova, Alaska, is not so impressive.

It is a single-story structure with faded yellow siding, weedy, gravel parking spaces and a rusting light fixture near the door. In July, the only thing showing a connection between the two companies was a faded photocopy of the Eyak Corp. emblem taped to the windows.

The two buildings embody the contradictions that have accompanied more than $29 billion in government spending over the past decade on firms known as Alaska native corporations, or ANCs. After the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the Pentagon and other agencies rushed to award the firms billions in contracts without competition, taking advantage of special privileges granted by Congress more than a decade earlier.

The mandate of the ANC program is to improve life for Alaska's struggling indigenous people. But much of the money has gone instead to nonnative people and companies in the lower 48 states.

The story of Eyak provides a case study of how Alaska native corporations and their subsidiaries have been used to pass on work to large Washington area firms, sometimes under circumstances that have been questioned, a Washington Post examination found.

One nonnative executive at Eyak Technology wrote to an established firm as they discussed how to split profits that they had to take care to avoid activity that might be construed as "contractual fraud," according to an internal e-mail obtained by The Post.

"We cannot put our Company at risk of being accused of [being] a front for a large company, end up on the front pages of the Washington Post," the executive wrote to a vice president at the large contractor in Fairfax County. "

Get the Story:
In deals between Alaska corporation and D.C. area contractor, a disconnect (The Washington Post 10/1)
Breaking with tradition, native executives propose reforms to ANCs (The Washington Post 10/1)

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