Alaska Native Law

Since their inception after passage of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) in 1971, Alaska Native Corporations have been important drivers of economic development in Alaska and in other parts of the United States. As the largest Alaska landholders after federal and state government, Alaska Native Corporations have maintained their shareholders’ close ties to the lands while creating economic growth through responsible natural resources development and investment in many other successful businesses in Alaska and around the world. Today, fluctuating natural resources prices, environmental changes and other external factors have caused Alaska Native Corporations to look for ways to adapt and diversify their strategies to sustain their mission of economic and cultural vitality.


We have been supporting Alaska Native Corporations in their efforts to create economic development and growth for many years and in many different ways. We understand the complex history behind the evolving federal and state laws affecting Alaska Native Corporations. With offices in Alaska and the lower 48, we do more legal work for Alaska Native Corporations than any other major law firm. Alaska isn’t an outpost—it’s our home. We have one of the largest teams in Alaska with across-the-board capability and colleagues in other locations where you conduct business. 

Not only do we offer the insights of professionals who understand the intricacies of federal and Alaska law, but our team also has the local knowledge needed to craft efficient and effective solutions and help our clients achieve their goals and get deals done. For years, Alaska Native Corporations have turned to us for help with a number of issues. For example, Stoel Rives is well known for assisting Alaska Native Corporations in the following areas: 

Natural Resources Law & Transactions

A strategic, economic and cultural imperative for Alaska Native Corporations is management of the lands and natural resources within their borders. We advise Alaska Native Corporations how they can responsibly develop and market these resources while protecting the land that has been part of their heritage for generations. We’ve guided Alaska Native Corporations in their decisions to develop mineral resources on their land (and others’) and helped them resolve the complex regulatory, environmental and transactional issues that arise. We understand the environmental, cultural and other interests on or outside Alaska Native Corporation lands that must be addressed in connection with federal, state and local governmental actions, project development or business activities.


We’ve represented Alaska Native Corporations on a range of commercial, environmental, construction and land claims issues. These include challenges to habitat designations under the Endangered Species Act, defense of claims under the Clean Water Act, and protecting Alaska Native Corporations’ correlative rights in disputes involving oil and gas interests.

Government Contracting

We are a go-to firm for Alaska Native Corporations seeking government contract and Small Business Administration advice, with a particular niche counseling on Government Accountability Office (GAO) bid protests and SBA size protests. We’ve successfully defended multi-year service contracts and won reinstatements of project awards worth hundreds of millions of dollars. 

Other areas where our attorneys routinely provide assistance include:

  • Independent Power Solution
  • Employee Benefits
  • Environmental Compliance
  • Foundations and Settlement Trusts
  • Intellectual Property
  • Labor & Employment
  • Land Use
  • Mergers & Acquisitions
  • Tax
  • Negotiate, conduct due diligence, and close acquisitions, sales, financings and strategic equity investments for Alaska Native Corporations and their subsidiaries.
  • Provide government contract and SBA advice and counseling, trial representation, and the defense and prosecution of size protests at the SBA and bid protests at GAO and the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.
  • Prepare and negotiate exploration and option agreements, oil and gas leases, unit agreements, sand and gravel extraction contracts, surface use agreements, land use permits, and easements for use by Alaska Native Corporations.
  • Assist Alaska Native Corporations to develop wind energy projects and with proceedings before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to license and construct hydroelectric dams.
  • Analyze Alaska state and local taxes, Alaska oil and gas production taxes and tax credits, corporate income taxes, mining license taxes, and property taxes.
Insights & Presentations
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