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Here is a round up of business news from Indian Country. 

Federal 8(a) contracting

• Alaska Native-owned RSI Services LLC, an Oak Ridge, Tenn.-based federal contracting firm, was awarded a $22 million contract from the Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management. Under the five-year contract, RSI Services will perform cleanup services at the DOE/National Nuclear Security Administration Naval Reactors Kesselring Site in West Milton, N.Y., according to a statement. The contract calls for RSI to handle environmental remediation, demolition and removal of legacy facilities, regulatory services, and waste management and transportation. RSI Services is a wholly owned subsidiary of ASRC Industrial, which is owned by Arctic Slope Regional Corp., an Alaska Native regional corporation created for the benefit of 13,000 Iñupiat shareholders in the villages of Point Hope, Point Lay, Wainwright, Atqasuk, Utqiaġvik, Nuiqsut, Kaktovik and Anaktuvuk Pass. ASRC’s diversified holdings include companies in the government contracting, petroleum refining and marketing, energy support services, industrial, resource development, and construction sectors. 

• Federal contractor Alutiiq Professional Consulting LLC, a division of Afognak Native Corp.-owned Alutiiq LLC, issued a five-year contract extension with Montreal, Quebec-based MDF Commerce Inc., a software-as-a-service commerce technology firm. MDF Commerce’s contract lifecycle management (CLM) product “dramatically improved team collaboration and operational efficiency” for Alutiiq Professional Consulting, according to a statement. “It was a very easy decision for us to renew our agreement with mdf commerce, as the CLM solution not only increases our productivity, but also helps us with compliance requirements and advanced collaboration,” Kathryn Stem, senior director of contracts and procurement at Alutiiq Professional Consulting, said in a statement. 

Professional services

• Lycia Ortega Maddocks (Quechan Indian Nation) has joined Thunderbird Strategic LLC, a Washington, D.C.-based legislative advocacy and strategic communications firm where she will serve as a communications and public relations expert. Previously, Ortega Maddocks served as vice president of external affairs at the National Congress of American Indians. She earned a master’s degree in Indigenous law at the University of Oklahoma School of Law and a bachelor’s degree in communications from Loyola University/University of Phoenix. She also has board experience with Kwatsan Media Inc. In her role at Thunderbird Strategic, Ortega Maddocks will focus on using storytelling to advance Native policy “to garner buy-in and attract visibility to Indian Country’s most pressing issues today,” according to a statement. 

Entrepreneurship

• Entrepreneur J.C. Seneca (Seneca Nation) was named to the 2021 Business First Power 250, a recognition of influential people in the Buffalo, N.Y. business community. Seneca owns Native Pride Travel Plaza, Six Nations Manufacturing, Buffalo Cigarettes and Tallchief Hemp/CBD, and is the founder of the J.C. Seneca Foundation. Seneca recently rebranded his 25-year-old Native Pride business to reflect the Tallchief name in recognition of his great, great, great grandfather. As well, he renovated the Tallchief Diner and developed the Tallchief Outdoor Event Center. 

Philanthropy

• The corporate owner of Anchorage, Alaska-based McKinley Capital Management and McKinley Research Group (formerly the McDowell Group) donated $15,000 toward Sealaska Heritage Institute’s (SHI) 6,000-square-foot Sealaska Heritage Arts Campus, which is currently under construction in Juneau. The center is expected to open later in 2021. The donation was McKinley’s first to SHI. The campus features indoor and outdoor space for artists to make monumental art pieces including totem poles and canoes, as well as classrooms for art programming and instruction and performance and market space. “We are in the final stretch of raising funds for construction of the campus and are grateful to McKinley Capital for contributing to the project, which is part of our vision to make Juneau the Northwest Coast arts capital of the world,” SHI President Rosita Worl said in a statement. The contribution includes $10,000 in in-kind research services.

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