ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A powerful Alaska Native corporation is withdrawing from the Alaska Federation of Natives at the end of this year, KTOO Public Media reported.
Arctic Slope Regional Corp. Director of Communications Ty Hardt wrote in a statement issued Friday that the organization’s board of directors voted unanimously to end its membership in the federation on Dec. 31.
“With this decision, ASRC intends to focus on the various needs within Alaska’s North Slope, where there is an increased degree of alignment as well as additional efficiencies related to shared geography and other interests,” Hardt said.
The corporation had been in talks about withdrawing “for more than a year,” according to the release,
The statement didn’t detail the problems or disagreements between the corporation and the federation. The Utqiaġvik-based company serves Iñupiat shareholders living primarily in Alaska’s North Slope. It is the largest corporation based in Alaska.
KTOO reports that the corporation and tribal organizations have had disagreements on the issues posed by climate change. During the most recent federation convention in Fairbanks, a resolution on whether to declare a climate emergency stalled for more than an hour, with many of the most vocal opponents hailing from the North Slope region.
Arctic Slope would be the only Alaska Native corporation in the state not to be a member of federation, which is the state’s largest Native organization, KTOO reported.