Arctic Slope Regional Corporation Asrc

Pursuant to the Alaskan Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971 (ANCSA), the Arctic Slope Regional Corporation (ASRC) was formed in 1972. An Alaskan Native-owned for-profit company, the ASRC repre sents eight villages above the Alaskan Arctic Circle: Pt Hope, Pt Lay, Wainwright, Atqasuk, Barrow, Nuiqsut, Kakotvik, and Anaktuvak Pass. In 1972, representatives from these villages came together to form the ASRC and claim ownership of approximately 5 million acres on Alaska's North Slope. These lands had known resources and were highly prospective for oil, gas, coal, and base metal sulfides. The ASRC selected this area with the specific intentions to gain title to the lands with the greatest resource potential, to explore and develop these lands, and to produce and market the resources from them. The ASRC stresses that these objectives are to be met without compromising the traditional subsistence values of the region held by ASRC shareholders. This reflects how the passage of the ANCSA brought a mandate to expand traditional ideas of resource use and concepts of land into one that includes corporate land ownership. The ASRC expresses the challenges faced by trying to translate the ANSCA's entitlement into economic terms, and stresses that these challenges are still being faced today. However, receiving the entitlement was a complex process for the ASRC, and numerous agreements and exchanges were held with both federal and state governments before entitlement was settled. By 1979, the ASRC and the US Department of the Interior signed a complex land exchange, which was ratified in the 1980 Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, which allowed the ASRC to obtain land in the National Petroleum Reserve and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. This enabled ASRC to acquire an interest in a small refinery, Petro Star, in the North Pole, and 80% of a pipeline construction and maintenance company called Houston Contracting in 1985. This is a significant point in ASRC history because petroleum refining and energy services now account for two-thirds of ASRC's total annual income. ASRC's annual revenues from oil fieldwork have increased from approximately $30 million in the early 1980s to $250,000 in 2000. This puts the ASRC in the unique position of being able to export the latest in oil-field technology around the world.

Being one of 13 regional native corporations, the ASRC is the largest, employing 6000 people and with a shareholder population of over 9000. Corporate headquarters are located in Barrow, Alaska, with subsidiary offices in Anchorage, Alaska, and around the world. Although the ASRC is said to be a natural resource-based corporation, it extends its companies into many areas, such as engineering, financial management, oil and gas support services, petroleum refining and distribution, as well as civil construction and communications.

Rachel Olson

Further Reading

Arnold, Robert D., Alaska Native Land Claims, Anchorage:

Alaska Federation of Natives, 1978 Berry, Mary Clay, The Alaska Pipeline: The Politics of Oil and Native Land Claims, Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1975

Chance, Norman A., The Inupiat and Arctic Alaska: An Ethnography of Development, Fort Worth, Texas: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1990 Ervin, Alexander M., "The Emergence of Native Alaskan Political Capacity, 1959-1971." Musk Ox Journal, 19 (1976) Naske, Claus M. & Herman E. Slotnick, Alaska: A History of the 49th State (2nd edition), Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1987

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