K’oyitl’ots’ina (K Corp), Limited was created 39 years ago in 1980 when village corporations from Alatna, Allakaket, Hughes, and Huslia decided to merge into one corporation. Originally, each village created a corporation under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act and was:
- Aala Kaa Ka, Incorporated
- Alatna Endeavors, Incorporated
- Bin Googa, Incorporated
- Hadohdleekaga, Incorporated
The name K’oyitl’ots’ina was proposed by Esther McCarty and it means “Villages along the Koyukuk River.” The incorporators were Bill Derendoff, Alfred Attla, Sr., Evelyn David, and Ronnie Sam. They served as the Board of Directors until five more were elected by the Shareholders. Also signing the document were Vice-Presidents of the four village corporations: Larry Edwards, Virginia Ned, Gertie Esmailka, and Art Ambrose. The Board Secretaries who also signed were: Stella Hamilton, Marion Acker, Mabel Vent, and Norman Beatus.
The first members of the Board were Ronnie Sam, Alfred Attla, Alberta Vent, Cue Bifelt, Bill Derendoff, Larry Edwards, Evelyn David, Bergman Moses, and Norman Beatus. They did a lot of work consolidating the four corporations and laying the groundwork for K’oyitl’ots’ina, Ltd. They are owed a debt of gratitude.
The villages of Alatna, Allakaket, Hughes, and Huslia merged into one corporation in 1980 to pool its talent and resources. There has always been an entrepreneurial spirit in the Koyukon Athabascans dating back to when they would act as the middle-men for Russian trade goods coming East from across the Bering Sea. In the 1960s a number of individuals started a store in Huslia and “shareholders” entered the lexicon. A number of famous dog mushers came from one of our villages, including the world-famous George Attla, Jr.