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Victoria Kitcheyan, Ho-Chunk, Inc.
SEATTLE - Christina (Anagick) Darby recently accepted a position with Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle, Washington as a physician specializing in neurology, sleep medicine, and sleep disorders. Darby, of Iñupiaq, Eskimo and Tlingit Indian descent, received over $100,000 in scholarships from her Alaska Native Corporations and tribes.
"I am so grateful to Bering Straits Native Corporation, Kawerak Inc., and Sealaska Corporation for generously supporting my education from my undergraduate degree to my medical degree," comments Darby.
Darby received her undergraduate degree in Biology from Stanford University. She graduated from medical school from the University of Washington and continued her residency training in neurology at the University of Arizona.
The Bering Straits Native Corporation and Sealaska Corporation provide high-quality services in government contracting through participation in the Small Business Administration's (SBA) 8(a) program. For example, in 2010, Sealaska's non-profit foundation, Sealaska Heritage Institute, awarded approximately $447,000 alone in scholarships to Sealaska shareholders and descendants. In 1971, Congress passed the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, creating for-profit corporations instead of reservations when resolving aboriginal land claims.
Under the Act, Alaska Natives received title to 44 million acres of land and $962.5 million, which was divided among 12 regional and more than 200 village corporations. A 13th corporation was later created for Alaska Natives living outside the state.
The Native Corporations were tasked with dual financial and social mandates to create wealth for their shareholders and descendants and protect their social and cultural traditions. Currently, many Alaska Native corporations provide services in government contracting through the SBA 8(a) Program.
With 8(a) profits Alaska Native corporations provide educational scholarships, bereavement assistance, cultural camp development, job training assistance, language revitalization assistance, shareholder business development assistance, village economic development grant assistance, disaster and medical assistance, and elder care assistance.
Victoria Kitcheyan joined Ho-Chunk, Inc. in 2006 as a Contract Administrator for a Ho-Chunk subsidiary. Later she was promoted to Office Administrator in support of government contracts. Today, Kitcheyan is Office Manager for All Native Managed Services, a new Ho-Chunk subsidiary involved in government contracting.
"Working at Ho-Chunk, Inc. has been such a rich experience. Iâ€™ve gained mentors, and been able to grow my career. Before Ho-Chunk, Inc. there were few career and virtually no housing opportunities for a single young adult. I've also bought reliable transportation from Rez Cars, part of Ho-Chunk. All in all, Ho-Chunk, Inc. afforded me the prospect to live and work at home in Winnebago, Nebraska," stated Kitcheyan.
Kitcheyan received her Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration, with a major in Tribal Management in 2006 from Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, Kansas. She is an enrolled member of the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska.
In the summer 2011, the Native American Contractors Association (NACA) held its inaugural Emerging Native Leaders Summit. At the summit, Kitcheyan urged for the support for the Native 8(a)s because they support tribes, people, youth and elders. She sees government contracting as a win-win for Indian Country - having jobs, doing quality work, and providing opportunities for tribal members.
Ho-Chunk Inc. operates 18 subsidiaries and employs more than 1,400 people from diverse ethnic backgrounds and skill sets in locations spanning the US and four foreign countries. Ho-Chunk subsidiary operations include information technology, construction, government contracting, green energy, retail, wholesale distribution, marketing, media and transportation. Part of Ho-Chunk's portfolio includes companies with Native 8(a) certification and Ho-Chunk receives negotiated, sole-source contracts under the program.
Ho-Chunk is the award-winning tribal development corporation owned by the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska. Ho-Chunk was established in 1994 as an Alaska Native Corporation.
posted October 1, 2011 8:30 am edt
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