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Native Pathways to Education
Alaska Native Cultural Resources
Indigenous Knowledge Systems
Indigenous Education Worldwide


Submitted to the
Alaska Natives Commission
in connection with a hearing at

Fairbanks, Alaska
July 18, 1992

4000 Old Seward Highway, Suite 100
Anchorage, Alaska 99503


Witness List | Exhibit List | PDF Version


Deposition Exhibit #4 - Testimony of Bob Coghill, Jr.


Alaska Native Commission
from Bob Coghill Jr., 1603 College Rd., Fairbanks,
AK 99709 452-8119 (w) & 457-2667 (h)

Commission members, it is an honor to speak to you. This Commission is made up of sincere dynamic people involved in Alaska Native issues. I appreciate this body giving up a summer weekend day to hear the people of the Interior.

I am the manager of K'oyitl'ots'ina, Limited. K'oyitl'ots'ina is the ANCSA corporation for Huslia, Hughes, Allakaket and Alatna. Our corporation operates two stores in those villages and other investments.

I am from Nenana. My Uncle Jack, like my father, was a small business owner in Nenana before retiring to Junaeu.

My comments are not those of my corporation. They developed from my experience with K'oyitl'ots'ina and the community of village corporations.

Government spending such as Airports, fire fighting and municipal revenue sharing have allowed our traditional villages to remain active.

Our corporation has had modest success through conservative investment and careful operation of our village stores. Regrettably, government policies that seek to improve life in the village limits our potential for business development in the village.

State subsidies and grants pushed on the villages create artificial services that can be pulled by political expediency. Many of these services can only be funded through the municipal government. In other cases not-for-profit entities can receive the funds.

The individual or the corporation must compete for investment dollars on the commercial market. When the State subsidies the service at a level that the private entities cannot compete. Dollars going directly to government circulate in the community the least number of times.

Some services provided by government could be provided by ANCSA corporations are:

  Government Private Investors
Television RATNET cale television
VCR rental
Retail Fuel Municipal operations Private fuel sales
Laundry facilities Municipal operations Private Laundromat
Dirt and Gravel Municipal heavy equipment Privately owned equipment

We all agree that certain levels of services are required. Some of those services are beyond the ability of the local economy to provide. What I ask is for is a policy that strikes a balance. A policy that allows private and ANCSA corporations to provide services before public funds pour into the communities.

In this period of income reduction in the State of Alaska, fuel subsidies may be eliminated leaving the community with an expectation of utilities that outstrip it's economy.

The political winds are growing stronger every year against public radio and RATNET television.

Perhaps it is too late for the well capitalized ANCSA corporation to take over those services. Will or can a community pay for the level of services that it has experienced through government subsidy and grants? With the creation of unaffordable expectations have we set up villages for destruction?

Our governor has promised to use State resources to create jobs. This is a policy I enthusiastically support. Beyond the creation of jobs, what the villages need is the development of economies of their own. Planning must allow village services to reach the level the economy can support while creating options to create sustained economic development.

This document was ocr scanned. We have made every attempt to keep the online document the same as the original, including the recorder's original misspellings or typos.



Go to University of AlaskaThe University of Alaska Fairbanks is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer and educational institution and is a part of the University of Alaska system.


Alaska Native Knowledge Network
University of Alaska Fairbanks
PO Box 756730
Fairbanks  AK 99775-6730
Phone (907) 474.1902
Fax (907) 474.1957
Questions or comments?
Last modified May 11, 2011