KOTZEBUE, Alaska, Sept. 23, 2022 – NANA Regional Corporation, Inc. (NANA) will provide $1 million in additional funding for Village Economic Investment (VEI) grants in each of NANA’s 11 communities. NANA’s board of directors approved the spending at their board meeting on Sept. 9 in Kotzebue.
The VEI grant funds can be used to improve infrastructure, strengthen economic viability, provide access to affordable energy, and strengthen the communities’ capacity to become self-sustaining. Grant funding requests require joint agreement between a community’s tribal and city councils.
NANA initially allocated $1 million for each community in 2009, and an additional $1 million in 2020 to communities that had exhausted their original allocation. With this action on Sept. 9, NANA will replenish each of the remaining communities’ allocations with an additional $1 million in new funding. With this additional $11 million dollars in VEI funding, the total allocated by NANA’s board of directors to the VEI grant program is $34 million.
“Supporting our communities is a high priority for NANA’s board,” said Board Chair Utuktauraq Ely Cyrus. “This allocation, along with the $4.4 million in funding we previously announced for heating and fuel initiatives, will make a direct and positive impact on the quality of life for NANA’s shareholders and people who live in Northwest Alaska.”
To date, the program has funded many projects including:
• Ambler fuel storage tanks.
• Buckland salvage equipment.
• Kiana heavy equipment fleet purchase and repairs.
• Kobuk community buildings.
• Kotzebue Cape Blossom construction.
• Noatak new grader and rock separator.
• Noorvik heavy equipment.
• Selawik new store construction.
• Shungnak community cook house.
“Community leaders can leverage these funds to match public and private grant opportunities, including funding through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law,” said John Lincoln, NANA’s president and CEO. “We look forward to working with tribal and city leaders as they determine which projects will best move their communities forward.”
NANA is a for-profit Alaska Native corporation, formed as a result of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA), which was passed by Congress in 1971. NANA is owned by the more than 15,000 Iñupiaq shareholders, or descendants, who live in or have roots in northwest Alaska. Iñupiat have close ties to the land and to each other. The word Iñupiat means “real people” in Iñupiaq, the language.