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Meghan Sullivan
Indian Country Today

A south-central Alaska nonprofit has acquired a website for Alaska Native job seekers.

The Cook Inlet Tribal Council bought from Cook Inlet Region Inc., the Alaska Native corporation that represents the region’s Athabascan, Southeast Indian, Inupiat, Yup’ik, Alutiiq and Aleut people.

The online portal aims to connect Alaska Native and Native American people with local job opportunities.

Through the website, Alaska Native job seekers create an online profile that highlights their skills and work experience. Employers are then able to search the database for the specific skills and backgrounds that would fit available positions at their company.

“For job seekers, this is the website where the jobs find you. And for employers, Alaska Native Hire is a powerful tool to help meet your local hire needs,” says Alaska Native Hire’s homepage.

It’s an important acquisition at a time when regional and national unemployment rates have climbed.

The Cook Inlet Tribal Council is a nonprofit that works with the region's eight federally recognized tribes to provide and strengthen social services. The website will be managed by Alaska’s People, Cook Inlet Tribal Council’s recruiting and workforce development team.

“When I came on as director, we immediately started looking at the tools and technology we could leverage to connect job seekers with employers and help them find meaningful employment,” said Nikki Graham, director of Alaska’s People. “With [Alaska Native Hire] the jobs find you, so I know it will be an essential tool in helping our people connect with meaningful employment and career development within [Cook Inlet Tribal Council] and in the community.”

Alaska Native Hire was founded in 2016 by Cook Inlet Region Inc. It initially started as an online forum for Alaska Native people to find open, Alaska-based job positions. Over the years, the project has provided many successful job connections for people within the community.

Cook Inlet Region Inc. leadership decided to further strengthen the program by connecting it with Cook Inlet Tribal Council’s existing employment resources.

“By putting a powerful tool like Alaska Native Hire into the hands of an innovative organization like [Cook Inlet Tribal Council] and Alaska’s People, we further that mission by ensuring success for Alaska Native and American Indian job seekers and employers in our state. It is the perfect recipe for our collective success,” said Sophie Minich, Cook Inlet Regional Inc.’s president and CEO.

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Meghan Fate Sullivan, Koyukon Athabascan, is a Stanford Rebele Fellow for Indian Country Today. She grew up in Alaska, and is currently reporting on her home state from our Anchorage Bureau.