Here is a quote from a post by Sal which gives the lowdown on the BRK Ist Generation Native:
Hi. I've heard your requests for the "story" behind the BRK Natives. Apologies on my end for being slow. Lots going on at this time. I'm impressed that you would be interested, thanx.
When the Native was first designed, it was scheduled to be made by Camillus in New York as a subcontractor. The plan was for 440A. The Native was to be a less expensive offering than the Delica at the same size.
Camillus made a large number of blades out of 440A. They were very nicely made blades. For a variety of reasons, Camillus could not produce for us at the time, so we brought the mold (that Camillus made) into Golden and produced the GIN-1 version for years. Then we changed the blade steel to CPM-440V, the price jumped, and will probably stay with the exotic steels in the near future.
Blue Ridge Knives, a long time and very good distributor for Spyderco knives put together a plan to use the perfectly good
Camillus made blades, Camillus would make the locks and springs, Spyderco would provide the Native handles and Camillus would assemble them in New York. This made it possible to make the less expensive offering. All in all, it's a nicely made USA made piece, and as mentioned, for the price, its hard to beat.
Blue Ridge Knives had the plan and made it possible. So BRK has exclusive rights to the distribution of the model.
Hope that helps.
We'll still be making the Native in Golden from CPM steels. There is also a Seki-City variation variation coming out later this year.
"Not all who wander are lost"