An investment in Barnacle Foods, while small, is a potent symbol of the corporation’s new vision. Other corporations are taking similar steps.
Some Alaska Native leaders say that issuing shares to descendants is an obvious choice to help preserve Native corporations’ Indigenous character and distinguish them from traditional capitalist businesses.
A pair of million-dollar donations come from the Anchorage-based Rasmuson Foundation and Los Angeles-based Edgerton Foundation.
Sealaska Corporation and The Nature Conservancy have set aside $10 and $7 million respectively in seed money to help support the fund.
Some of the village corporations got large payouts while Juneau-based Sealaska, the corporation with the most shareholders, got the least of the 13 regional corporations. Corporation executives say they’re still trying to understand the wide disparities in disbursements.
A shareholder resolution to require more in-depth reporting of results failed, as did a second resolution that would have restricted the practice of allowing the board majority to steer proxy votes toward favored candidates that critics say perpetuates the status quo.
Albert Kookesh, the Tlingit leader, Indigenous rights advocate, culture bearer, politician and basketball player, died Friday at 72. His death is reverberating across the state and his home region of Southeast Alaska.
Kookesh was a legendary figure in Southeast Alaska, starting as a star basketball player at Mount Edgecumbe High School.
At Sealaska Corporation’s upcoming annual meeting, five seats are in play on its 13-member board, and candidates are seeking support from the more than 22,000 people holding shares. But one of the biggest contests will be how elections will be carried out in the future.
Studies show Indigenous students are more successful when they have their own culture in their classroom — but non-Native K-12 teachers often have no idea how to incorporate culture into their teaching.