Sealaska is the third of Alaska’s 12 regional Native corporations to eliminate the blood quantum requirement.
Hundreds of hours of Southeast Native Radio broadcasts are now archived on the internet and available for anyone to listen to.
If the requirement is eliminated, Sealaska estimates that about 10,000 more people would be eligible to enroll.
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.