Introduction to Alaska native business: first class of new UAA minor offers unique training.

Author:Anderson, Tasha
Position:EDUCATION - University of Alaska Anchorage

The University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) has implemented a new minor starting this fall: Alaska Native Business Management. The eighteen-credit minor has five required courses totaling thirteen credits and five elective credits that are focused on Alaska Native topics.

One mandatory class required by the minor is Introduction to Alaska Native Business, a one-credit course that takes place over the course of two Fridays. It's being offered this fall on November 14 and 21.

UAA College of Business and Public Policy Assistant Professor Sharon Lind co-organized the minor and has spent a great deal of time planning this particular course with a team of faculty and outside industry advisors, which, she stresses, has been designed not only for college students but could also be a great college start for high school juniors and seniors as well.

"For high school students, what I love about this class, is that they're getting their feet wet with a college credit," Lind says.

Introduction to Alaska Native Business has actually been a course for two years; this fall will be its third iteration. The primary drive of the course is to introduce students to business in general and Native Alaskan nonprofit and for-profit organizations specifically. "It's definitely giving them the big picture: What's out there; what does it look like; and what do you need to know," Lind says.

Day 1 Session

In the morning session of Day 1, students are given an introduction and overview of Alaska Native Corporations, including information about business practices unique to Alaska Native Corporations such as the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, or ANCSA, sections 7(i) and 7(j) resource sharing provisions. Lind is the speaker for part of this introduction session, but guest speakers from the industry are invited as well. Last year, Cook Inlet Region, Inc. Vice President and General Counsel Bruce Anders gave students a better understanding of the unique Alaska Native Corporation governance structure.

The Day 1 afternoon session involves a trip to the Cook Inlet Tribal Council (CITC) office, which CITC volunteered for the first time last year. Once there, students are provided lunch in an on-site meeting room, after which they will be given a tour of the CITC building. Last year's tour included a look at KNBA, a Koahnic Broadcast Corporation radio station. After the tour, students have the opportunity to learn from a Leadership Panel with distinguished leaders of various...

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