Building a Future Together
Alaska Native Corporations are the result of the passage of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA), which was signed into law by Pres. Richard Nixon in 1971. The act was intended to resolve long-standing issues surrounding aboriginal land claims, to stimulate economic development throughout Alaska, and settle land and financial claims. Throughout Alaska, over 200+ Alaska Native village corporations and 12 regional corporations were entitled to select and receive title to approximately 44 million acres of land.
As a historically nomadic people who relied on each other, the concept of sharing is a pivotal one in Athabascan tradition. For thousands of years small groups would band together to share resources and ensure the success of the group. In the Athabascan language, Gana-A’Yoo means “friends, ” or literally “friends together.” This was the underlying sentiment in 1978 when the shareholders of Galena, Koyukuk, Nulato and Kaltag made the decision to join together as “friends” and merge into one village corporation. Thus, Gana-A’Yoo, Limited formed.
The majority of the shareholders are Koyukon Athabascan people.While headquartered in Anchorage, Alaska, the company has strong social and cultural ties to its villages and is committed to meeting its economic, social and cultural obligations to its shareholders. The company played an active role in helping to rebuild Galena after a historic flood nearly wiped away the village in 2013. It assists with community service projects including the securing of new market tax credits, which benefited the Elder Center and offers employment and opportunity to local individuals. Gana-A'Yoo’s mission statement is “we are a unique company and people, ‘Tleeyegge Hut'aane’, thriving for thousands of years by adapting to the environment.”
Today it serves over 1,200 shareholders primarily of Koyukon Athabascan descent who consider the company and all its subsidiaries with a mission “to Strengthen the Pride of our People.”