Q: What did the blood quantum resolution do?
A: When it was approved by shareholders, the resolution on this year’s proxy eliminated the requirement for applicants for Class D (Descendant) stock to prove they have at least one-quarter Alaska Native blood quantum.
Q: Who is eligible for Class D stock?
A: Lineal descendants of original shareholders who were born after Dec. 18, 1971 and who were previously ineligible because their blood quantum was either too low or couldn’t be verified are now eligible to apply for Class D (Descendant) stock. Applicants need to be aged 18 or older in order to apply.
Q: What paperwork will I need to have handy when I apply for Class D stock?
A: All prospective new shareholders must use the paperless application online. Be ready to upload a scan or photo of a birth certificate that shows your relationship to an original shareholder. If that person is your parent, all you’ll need is your own birth certificate. If that person is a grandparent or great-grandparent, you’ll need to show your own birth certificate plus that of whichever of your parents connects you to the original shareholder — you must document each step of the connection back to the original shareholder. You must also provide either the date of birth or the last four digits of the original shareholder’s Social Security number. For individuals who were adopted, or whose paternity is unknown or not legally established, there are opportunities to provide a tribal enrollment verification letter or tribal ID card for review and acceptance.
Q: What is Class D (Descendant) stock?
A: Class D (Descendant) stock is “life estate” stock, which means it cannot be gifted or willed. However, it is voting stock and pays dividends twice a year.
There are three classes of original stock in Sealaska, Class A, Class B and Class C. Original shares can be gifted or willed to descendants or heirs.
Class E (Elder) stock and Class L (Left-out) stock are two other types of life-estate stock in Sealaska. Original shareholders who reach the age of 65 automatically receive 100 shares of Class E stock on their birthday. Class L stock is for people who were born before Dec. 18, 1971 and have at least one-quarter Alaska Native blood quantum, but never received or applied for original shares.
Q: I already have shares that were gifted to me or left to me in a will. Am I still eligible for Class D (Descendant) stock?
A: If you are a lineal descendant of an original shareholder and you were born after Dec. 18, 1971, you are now eligible for Class D (Descendant) stock regardless of your blood quantum and without respect to how many other gifted shares you own in Sealaska or other Alaska Native corporations. (However, you cannot be enrolled as a descendant shareholder in another ANC.)
Q: If I already have shares in Sealaska, will I get the new shares automatically?
A: No, you still need to apply as described above.
Q: Does this mean I’m going to be able to hunt marine mammals now?
A: No, the federal government still imposes the one-quarter Alaska Native blood quantum requirement for hunting marine mammals. We hope that with more and more Native organizations rejecting the idea of quantifying who is “Native enough,” the federal government will update its policies as well.
Q: How long will it take for my application to be approved?
A: Sealaska has hired additional enrollment technicians to help us process applications. We plan to do batch approvals once a month. So if you apply any time during the month of July, for example, and all your paperwork is in order, your application should be processed on July 30 and you will receive notification of your status within a few days thereafter. If you apply early in a given cycle, this could mean a wait of up to a month.
For additional questions, email shareholder relations at firstname.lastname@example.org.