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  • Catarina Conran

Empowering Tribal 8(a) Businesses with Trailblazing Technologies for Government Contracting


The history of Native Americans in the United States is marked by a long and painful legacy of discrimination and marginalization. From the forced removal of tribes from their ancestral lands to the implementation of policies that suppressed their languages and cultures, Native Americans have faced many injustices. In response to this, the federal government has implemented various policies to address the issues faced by Native Americans, including the creation of the Tribal 8(a) contracting program.

The Tribal 8(a) program was created in 1986 and is a subset of the government's 8(a) Business Development Program. The program is designed to provide economic opportunities for Native American tribes by allowing them to compete for government contracts. The program enables tribes to develop their businesses, create jobs, and generate revenue for their communities. To qualify for the program, a business seeking a government contract must be at least 51% owned by a federally-recognized tribe.

Meeting Needs of Government Customers through Thoroughly Tested Emerging Technologies

Amatea, LLC, an Economically Disadvantaged Woman-Owned Small Business (EDWOSB) and mission-driven government contractor, is partnering with Network Designs, Inc. (NDi), a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) technology services firm, and tribally-owned businesses to advance the use of Tribal 8(a) contracting in federal procurement. Through this partnership, Amatea’s Tribal partners in the Tribal 8(a) program are able to take advantage of a suite of technologies that NDi provides to meet the government’s needs. One of these key technologies is Secure Classified Remote Access Service (SCRAS).

SCRAS is a highly secure platform that allows government employees to remotely access sensitive information across all levels of information security, including Unclassified, Secret, and Top-Secret. The technology has been particularly useful for government agencies that need to access sensitive information from remote locations or while working from home. SCRAS uses a secure virtual private network (VPN) to establish a connection between the employee's device and the government's network.

SCRAS has been rigorously tested and certified by the National Security Agency (NSA) for use by government agencies. The technology is compliant with all relevant security standards, including the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Risk Management Framework (RMF) and the Defense Security Authorization Working Group (DSAWG), and has been approved for use by the Department of Defense (DoD). The technology has also been used by other government agencies, including the Department of State (DoS) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Beyond SCRAS, this partnership offers various technology platforms, including DevSecOps implementation (DSO), Enterprise Content Management & Data Modernization (ECMDM), Strategic Communications & Web Management (SCWM), and Cyberspace Operations & Resiliency (COR).

NDi’s DSO platform leverages Agile techniques and design thinking to facilitate rapid and frequent delivery of secure software solutions for government agencies. The DSO platform efficiently deploys government-secure, mission-critical applications on a trusted platform (Cloud, Hybrid, or Data Center) and includes continuous integration & continuous delivery (CI/CD), test automation, security testing, code analysis, and deployment automation.

NDi’s ECMDM platform helps government agencies streamline their data management and workflow processes, including sensitive records management, workflow automation, archival and retrieval solutions, data migration, data integration, and data warehousing.

NDi’s SCWM platform enables government clients to engage multi-tiered audiences with strategic communications, brand management, social media program management, graphic design, and more.

Last but not least, NDi’s COR platform ensures the resiliency and security of government cyberspace operations by performing risk assessments, cyber hygiene, and incident response planning. Backed by senior practitioners who have developed their expertise at the highest levels of the DoD and the Intelligence Community, NDi’s COR services include enterprise security architecture management, Big-Data security threat investigation, endpoint & network detection and response (EDR/NDR), Security Orchestration Automation & Response (SOAR), Security Information and Event Management (SIEM), and NIST-aligned Zero Trust Architectures.

Creating Win-Win Solutions for Government and Tribal Communities

The Tribal 8(a) contracting program is a vital initiative that provides economic opportunities for Native American tribes. By partnering with NDi and leveraging emerging technologies, Amatea is able to meet the government's contracting needs while advancing its social mission. Amatea's social mission is driven by the belief that businesses have a responsibility to make a positive impact on the world and that this responsibility extends beyond the bottom line.

Amatea’s seminal partnership with NDi and Tribal 8(a) businesses provides government with win-win solutions to implement trailblazing technologies and support economic development within historically marginalized Native American tribes.

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