Perspectives on Business and Economics, Vol. 40

69 to develop infrastructure or to promote community well-being within the Alaskan villages. The workings of the ANCs should be adjusted to promote and facilitate relocation projects when necessary. The underlying structure of the ANCs should be reframed. Currently the priority given to generating shareholder dividends can come into conflict with the ANCs’ overarching goal of benefitting native stakeholders. Although created for the benefit of native Alaskans as a whole, ANCs have evolved to benefit relatively few shareholders. In reframing, ANCs should adjust their investment focus on infrastructure aimed at boosting community well-being so that they might benefit the communities more than individuals (Ristroph, 2022). The development of infrastructure programs for climate resilience and hazard planning can have a lasting impact and should be encouraged from a community well-being perspective. ANCs should return to their root mission of promoting the welfare of Native peoples. From a legal standpoint, the ANCSA law should be revised. Section 7 lays out the process of redistributing revenues from more resource rich, and therefore more profitable, corporations to the others. Section 7(i) provides that “70 percent of all revenues received by each Regional Corporation from the timber resources and subsurface estate…shall be divided annually by the Regional Corporation among all twelve Regional Corporations,” while section 7(j) notes that “50%…shall be distributed among the Village Corporations in the region” (ANCSA, 1971). This revenue distribution methodology is entirely focused on maximizing shareholder profit. However, this distribution does not account for disparities between and among the various corporations. For example, it does not account for a village requiring relocation. To address this disparity, Dr. Ristroph suggests an amendment to Section 7(i) to create a statewide fund for village infrastructure projects, such as relocation. Such an amendment would allow regional corporations to have the authority to disburse funds to villages within their own regions (Ristroph, 2022). Funds should be directed to villages in distress even if shareholder payments may be delayed. Furthermore, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the ANCs received relief funds through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and the American Rescue Plan Act. The US Supreme Court accorded ANCs tribal status, thus entitling them to receive COVID relief in addition to funds received by the individual tribes. Detailed guidelines should be implemented regarding how to allocate federal funds received by the ANCs. If each community had a hazard mitigation plan on file with their respective ANC, funds could be allocated based on demonstrated need for a mitigation plan or in conjunction with a relocation timeline, if applicable. Since ANCs enjoy tribal status, they should apply directly for grants and loans to fund infrastructure projects for the villages (Ristroph, 2022). By receiving funds through opportunities, such as the Indian Loan Guarantee and Insurance Program, the ANCs, rather than the individual tribes, will be doing the heavy lifting in seeking funds for infrastructure projects. ANCs have the human resources and ability to effectively submit applications and participate in these agencies and programs. Once the funds are obtained, the ANC can allocate the funds to the communities they represent. One important role that ANCs should assume is the responsibility for managing land transfers on behalf of their villages, specifically those in need of suitable land for relocation. Cooperation between the ANCs and tribal villages is imperative to the success of a relocation or managed retreat project due to the complex nature of land ownership in Alaska. Exemplifying this responsibility was the cooperation between the village of Newtok and their ANC, Newtok Native Corporation, which was essential to obtaining the land to build Mertarvik. The corporation’s lawyers used an act of Congress to help create a land exchange between the ANC and a federal wildlife refuge on behalf of the village. After receiving title to suitable land for Mertarvik, the tribal members were able live on the land as a result of a long-term lease agreement of the corporation (Ristroph, 2022). The Newtok relocation was only able to proceed due to the active engagement of their ANC. In short, ANC integration into the relocation/mitigation process will promote efficiency and cost savings.