ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) " Tribal leaders in a tiny Native village in western Alaska are expanding their commercial reindeer subsidiary to soon include sales of the lean meat to larger urban markets.

The venture by Mekoryuk's (ma-KOR'-ee-yuck) tribal government includes plans to build a new slaughterhouse and offer the meat for sale in places like Anchorage's urban market again and ultimately in the lower 48 as it once did.

Tribal operations director Dale Smith says construction of the slaughterhouse is expected to begin by summer in the venture funded by $1.8 million in federal grants.

The new facility will replace a dilapidated building that was recently demolished. Having no slaughterhouse left locals with no choice but to slaughter the animals out on the tundra, which limits where the meat can be sold.