Sealaska pledges $1M for pandemic relief funds to Alaska Native communities

A Sealaska corporate logo adorns the roof of the Southeast Alaska Native corportation's headquarters in Juenau on May 2, 2018.
A Sealaska corporate logo adorns the roof of the Southeast Alaska Native corporation’s headquarters in Juneau on May 2, 2018. (Photo by Jeremy Hsieh/KTOO)

Story updated Saturday, April 11 at 8:50 a.m.

Sealaska Corp. is pledging $1 million to communities of its 22,000 shareholders impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

CEO Anthony Mallott said the company has been in a good position to help their most vulnerable populations — especially Elders and youth — in Native villages and in areas with concentrations of shareholders, like Anchorage and Seattle.

“We know that a million dollars pales in comparison to the government stimulus,” said Mallott. “If we can help entities, first off, make sure they’re getting access to that government stimulus, and then use our million to offer it to areas that have unmet needs that the government stimulus doesn’t cover.”

The first round of relief will go to first responders and Native villages that were already impacted by recent ferry service delays.

Sealaska Board Chair Joe Nelson said the company will see if communities need more assistance after they get the relief.

“I’m sure we’ll assess the needs down the road here as things do evolve, because obviously there’s going to be lingering impacts and residual impacts and things that are just going to continue for quite a while here, as far as the economy and all these other issues,” said Nelson.

The first half of the money was expected to be dispersed starting Friday. The second half will be utilized to assist shareholder entities in the coming months.

A full list of donation recipients is on Sealaska’s coronavirus updates page.

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