The Alaska Native Brotherhood and Alaska Native Sisterhood Grand Camp approved a resolution on Thursday, June 16 to support Sealaska’s proposal to remove as a criteria for eligibility for Class D stock the requirement that applicants have at least one-quarter Alaska Native blood quantum.
The issue is currently in front of Sealaska shareholders, who have until this Friday, June 24 at 5 p.m. to vote in the company’s annual election, which also features four open seats on the board of directors.
The letter is signed by ANB Grand President Marcelo Quinto and ANS Grand President Dalphyne Albee.
The ANB and ANS have been foundational in Sealaska’s growth and development as a company over the years, and on its very existence in the first place. It was the ANB and ANS that led the fight for Alaska Natives to retain ownership of their original homelands, along with advocating for voting rights, citizenship, fair labor laws and many other social and civil rights issues.
“The ANB and ANS has long recognized and advocated for the importance of retaining a connection to ancestral homelands for Native people,” said Anthony Mallott, Sealaska president and CEO. “It seems so fitting for them to take this position to ensure our descendants also retain title and influence over how our lands are managed and developed well into the future.”
Currently, in order to be eligible to receive Sealaska Class D (Descendant) shares, applicants are required to document their degree of Native blood through the Bureau of Indian Affairs. When the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) was signed into law in 1971, the one-quarter threshold was used to determine eligibility for original stock in Alaska Native corporations. Class D stock was created in 2007 to enroll descendant born after ANCSA’s passage on December 18, 1971, but the blood-quantum threshold remained a requirement.
Under the resolution currently under consideration by Sealaska shareholders, the blood quantum requirement would be eliminated. Future descendant shareholders would still have to demonstrate that they are direct, lineal relatives of an original Sealaska shareholder — a child, grandchild or great-grandchild. No additional documentation will be required.
Sealaska shareholders have until Friday, June 24 at 5 p.m. to vote their proxies online at MySealaska.com. The results of the election will be announced at the 2022 Annual Meeting of
Shareholders on Saturday, June 25. The meeting will be held in person at Centennial Hall in Juneau and online via MySealaska.com.