Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye and Acting Chief of Staff Robert Joe stand with representatives from NANA Development Corporation.
Published October 6, 2015
WINDOW ROCK, ARIZONA-Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye met today with representatives of the NANA Development Corporation (NDC).
NANA Development Corporation is an Alaska Native Corporation that has more than 14,000 shareholders who are comprised mainly of tribal or village members.
According to Helvi Sandvik, President of NANA Development Corporation, the purpose of their visit was to familiarize themselves with the Navajo Nation and look for mutual business opportunities.
“The NANA Corporation aims to improve our community member’s lifestyles while creating economic opportunity and helping people achieve their goals,” she said. “We strive to help ourselves and Native people create an economically sustainable future. We think that’s what Navajo Nation is desiring as well.”
Sandvik is of the Katyaaq people from the Village of Kiana north of the Arctic Circle.
“Our purpose as an organization is to serve our people, not just the ones who are alive today but also the next generation,” she said.
President Begaye was honored by NANA Corporation’s visit and their sharing of business expertise. The corporation has grown business ventures throughout their eleven villages, Alaska, the Lower 48 and internationally in places like Australia.
“The Navajo Nation has similar potential to grow it’s economy. In our administration, we are looking for an economic engine to move us to greater heights in economic development,” he said.
President Begaye said he sees the benefits in how the NANA Corporation has worked together in their business operations.
“They have many entities governed by a singular board, rather than each entity having their own board. This helps them to maintain their focus and overall objective.”
According to President Begaye, the visit with NANA Corporation was not to duplicate their business model but instead to learn from their successes.
“From the corporation we are learning to come up with objectives and goals that will be unique to the Nation,” he said. “We have the resources, the energy and the personnel to be successful in economic development. We can do so much more if we work together as a nation.”