Traditional Alaska Native mask.

NANA Regional Corporation

NANA Regional Corporation‘s mission is to improve the quality of life for our people by maximizing economic growth, protecting and enhancing our lands and promoting healthy communities with decisions, actions and behaviors inspired by our Iñupiat Ilitqusiat values consistent with our core principles. Those core principles are: Honesty and integrity govern our activities. Commitments made will be fulfilled. Everyone will be treated with dignity and respect.

NANA’s symbol is an Iñupiaq hunter moving toward a successful future in a vast, beautiful and sometimes harsh world. NANA is all of us working together as one hunter. The same qualities of courage, confidence, humility, respect, integrity and sharing with others which have allowed our people to survive as great hunters are also necessary for NANA to be successful in the business world.

Video courtesy of the NANA Regional Corp.

According to those who knew her, Sophie Cleveland was very skilled and industrious. She was an expert skin sewer, in addition to making beautiful birch bark baskets. She sewed parkas, maklak (skin boots), beaver hats, qupak (parka trim). She was always sewing.

The birch bark basket makers (like Sophie Cleveland, Minnie Gray, and Clara Lee) did everything from collecting the bark and willows to prepping and cutting and wetting and constructing the baskets so that they were functional and beautiful. They were used for berry picking, but they could even hold water. They didn’t use any plastic bags or buckets back then. They made objects that were useful, beautiful and long lasting.

For more information about NANA Regional Corporation, visit the region’s website.