UIC – 45 Years of Business in the Arctic

Price E. Brower, UIC Chairman

Delbert J. Rexford, President & CEO

April 19th, 2018 marks the 45th anniversary of the Ukpeaġvik Iñupiat Corporation (UIC).  Established after the passage of the 1971 Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA), UIC is the village corporation representing the Iñupiat shareholders and descendants originally from Barrow, Alaska.

UIC’s mission pledges, “To enhance the lives of our shareholders by bringing our Iñupiat values to the services and products we provide to our customers.”

UIC has grown from its three original employees to more than 3000 employees in 2018 – with operations across the country and around the globe. Our corporate history includes:

  • In 1978, UIC Construction, LLC (UICC) was established. At the time, it was the vision of UIC to capitalize on the newly seeded government’s rising housing market – inside the North Slope Borough.
  • In 1982, Bowhead Transportation Company (Bowhead) began its long voyage towards becoming Alaska’s premiere Arctic barging expert, and has been a strong subsidiary of UIC for more than 36 years. Bowhead is the only marine common carrier with annual barge and remote site service originating in Seattle, WA.
  • Since 2000, UIC has leveraged opportunities provided by the U.S. Small Business Administration’s 8(a) program, which is designed to serve and assist small and disadvantaged businesses. UIC Governments Services, LLC (UICGS) and its subsidiaries have received several awards and recognition for work performed for the federal government.  UICGS’ broad capabilities include, military base support services, information technology and assurance, program management, logistics, maintenance and manufacturing, research and development, and other competencies.
  • In 2010, longstanding engineering, design, surveying and professional services subsidiaries LCMF, LLC and Bowhead Technical Services were merged into the formation of one of UIC’s most recognizable subsidiaries, UMIAQ, LLC.

Graphic map provided by U.S. Geological Survey – ANWR Petroleum Assessment 1998

As an Alaska Native corporation with the energy industry in our back yard, UIC sees recent developments in Alaska’s North Slope oil and gas industry, which also includes Congress’ recent approval to allow energy exploration and development activities in the 1002 Coastal Plain of ANWR (Arctic National Wildlife Refuge) – as exceptional opportunities for growth within the region and state.  Progress like this affords Alaska the chance to sustain its educational, healthcare, transportation, public safety, water, sewer and sanitation facilities, and let’s not-forget-to-mention the thousands of jobs that will be created – in turn, helping families in Alaska and elsewhere.

UIC and its family of companies look forward to any future opportunities that may be made available through developments like this.  With that being said, this is further evidence of our region’s strategic location and how vital it is to a comprehensive national energy policy.

Snowy Owl Barrow, Alaska.

10 years ago, the corporate board of directors had the foresight to approve UIC’s Statement on Oil & Gas Development, which in part reads, “We acknowledge the inevitability of exploration and development by the oil and gas industry and will support these activities as long as they are done in a way that ensures: 1.) Protection and preservation of the Iñupiat culture and subsistence lifestyle; 2.) Economic benefit for our community; 3.) Employment for our shareholders and their families; 4.) Contract opportunities for our companies.”

Today, UIC continually adapts to an ever-changing world.  With more and more focus on the global Arctic, Barrow is right at the edge of a quickly developing Arctic frontier, and UIC is poised to proactively support industry in fields as diverse as Internet technology to Arctic marine transport.  We look forward to the next 45 years of business.  Quyanaq – Thank You.

Bowhead Transport Company providing service across Alaska’s Arctic coast.