Sealaska is committed to building an organization that plays an active role in addressing one of the biggest challenges facing our species: the effects of climate change on our environment. The effects of climate change are drastically increasing, with sea level rise, heat waves, drought, and extreme precipitation events occurring at a rate that is growing the call to action.
Our businesses seek to help solve these problems by focusing on producing low-impact foods, providing services that ensure clean water and a healthy environment, and ensuring thoughtful stewardship of our forest lands. We’re working hard to help maximize the utility of our resources and restore/safeguard ocean health.
All of our businesses and operations are performing extremely well this year, despite COVID-19 and the West Coast’s devastating wildfires. Our foods businesses have had a record start to the year, benefiting from operational efficiencies and increased retail demand following COVID-19’s impact on the food service industry.
Sealaska’s infrastructure and water/environmental businesses were deemed essential at the outset of the COVID-19 outbreak and have continued to work on critical projects. While the virus and recent wildfires have challenged our services businesses, we expect the year’s performance to be broadly flat with 2019, which was a record year.
Our land management business has, fortunately, not been significantly impacted by COVID-19 and harvesting and carbon credit sales have continued throughout the pandemic.
Our operating businesses are performing extremely well given the magnitude of this year’s unique challenges. Despite these curveballs, our business operations are performing in line with the positive trend illustrated above. Our businesses reported record profits in 2019, and we expect this year to end strong as well. Our passive income streams, however — ANCSA Section 7(i) and investment income — reflect the broader economic challenges resulting from this year’s events.
Investment Income: COVID-19 continues to create short-term volatility in the financial markets that will likely continue into next year. Sealaska’s financial investments are designed to benefit shareholders over the long-term. While we experienced losses at the outset of the virus, we have seen significant recovery in recent months. Our investments are positioned for solid long-term growth.
ANCSA Section 7(i): Sealaska’s share of 7(i) income from the other regional Alaska Native corporations is largely dependent upon commodity prices, and will not be known until all of the ANCs report their 2020 earnings and distribute dividends in 2021.
Investing in Shareholder Priorities: One of our most recent shareholder investments provides support for language revitalization efforts. Sealaska established a $10 million language endowment to support advanced learners. In 2020 to date, the fund has provided $300,000 in financial support for language revitalization efforts and is committed to increasing that level of financial support going forward.
To view the Q3 Sealaska Shareholder newsletter, click here.