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Last updated on September 24, 2021

Birch Horton Bittner & Cherot has proven its mettle in more than 40 years of advocacy on behalf of Alaska Native corporations (ANCs). We understand the unique legal status, diverse business concerns, and shareholder benefits interests of ANCs. Attorneys on our staff have been instrumental in the monumental legislation and litigation that has shaped the relationship of the federal government with the and defined the social land use patterns in the state of Alaska. Several of our attorneys helped draft and implement two foundational federal statutes, the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) and the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA).

Birch Horton Bittner & Cherot attorneys have been significantly involved in Alaska Native law issues for many years, preceding even the enactment of ANCSA. Some of our lawyers and staff share a long family and professional history in Alaska. We have also represented ANCs at their formation stages and during subsequent complex business transactions resulting from their success and growth. Almost five decades of work with and for Alaska’s diverse people and cultures have given us a deep respect, appreciation and understanding for the traditions and values that set traditional ways of life and rural villages apart, as well as the economic and business imperatives of the ANCSA corporate model. We, like many others, strive to respect both distinct cultures while blending the common goals and striving to meet their objectives and needs.

Our past and current representation of ANCs and Alaska Native organizations encompass extensive work with Tribes, ANCSA Village and Regional Corporations, Regional Health Associations, and Regional Native Housing Authorities and participants under the Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act (NAHASDA), as well as ANC and village contractors engaged in Federal Procurement System, in particular the SBA 8(a) Business Development Program, the Buy Indian Act, P.L. 93-638 and other compact activities. We continue to assist in the resource protection and development, permitting requirements, and infrastructure development in rural Alaska and throughout the state.

Advocacy In Washington, D.C. Our Washington office is highly skilled and extensively experienced in representing, advocating for, and lobbying on behalf of ANCs, Tribes, Native Americans, and Alaska Natives in diverse matters such as development projects, federal procurement programs, appropriations, project financing, and social benefits programs for Native Americans, Hawaiians and Alaska Natives.  This representation includes advising clients, setting up meetings with important stakeholders such as federal agencies, and representing clients in the federal courts.

Our firm’s strategic locations in Alaska and Washington, D.C., uniquely position us to achieve favorable results on behalf of Alaska Native corporations and native organizations with interests before state and federal agencies, state legislators and members of Congress.

Clients of our firm have access to an interdisciplinary mix of attorneys skilled not only in Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, and Native American law, but in other subjects as well, including litigation, corporate and business law, government contracting, employment, health care, government relations, environmental matters and natural resources. Representation has included the negotiation, drafting and enforcement of ground leases, commercial leases, construction contracts, employment contracts, leasehold mortgages, concessions, administrative disputes, business and asset acquisition agreements, low-income housing tax credit projects and a range of other contracts arising from those business activities. We also interface with the federal government to pursue our clients’ goals under ANCSA, ANILCA, P.L. 93-638 and NAHASDA. We also counsel clients regarding the complex area of federal government contracts, an industry with many opportunities for Tribes and village and regional ANCs.

The firm is pleased and privileged to have formed long-term relationships and true friendships with our Indigenous people and those persons and organizations that work with them.