In 2019, Sealaska established three Shareholder Participation Committees (SPC), with a goal of increasing communication and collaboration between the board of directors and the shareholders they serve. Now in their fourth year, these committees offer an opportunity for Sealaska to strengthen engagement between shareholders and the board and build relationships between communities and those who serve them. The committees are made up of shareholders representing the interests of three regions — Southeast Alaska, Other Alaska and Outside Alaska. Members of the SPC have diverse heritage, backgrounds and voices, but share one common thread: supporting the people and communities their corporation serves.
On August 15, Sealaska hosted a virtual update from SPC representatives, offering an opportunity for shareholders to connect with SPC members, learn more about the program and see what SPC may be able to offer them. Sr. Director of Communications Matt Carle served as host and was joined by Director Barbara Cadiente-Nelson, who chairs the board’s Shareholder Relations Committee, Susan Anderson, who serves on the Other Alaska Committee, and Alexis Blake, a representative from the Outside Alaska Committee. Chrystal Pointer, chair of the Outside Alaska Committee, also provided comments via a pre-recorded Zoom interview.
Anderson, Blake and Pointer graciously shared their perspectives on the SPC, why they elected to join, and what they envision for the program in the future, providing greater context to the relatively new program and providing viewers with additional points of contact for issues or ideas related to Sealaska. Carle announced the addition of three new youth SPC members, bringing the total number of representatives on each committee to eight and 24 members overall. Congratulations to our newly selected youth SPC members:
- Southeast Alaska – Sabena Allen
- Other Alaska – Layla Pavlik
- Outside Alaska – Alyssa Guthrie
“I’m looking forward in the coming year to engaging more in Sealaska’s in-person events in Anchorage and beyond, seeing shareholders and being with each other after a few years of less gatherings,” said Penny Gage, chair of the Other Alaska Committee. “One of the main reasons I chose to serve was to learn more about my corporation and to provide my perspective as a rising generation shareholder and Alaskan.”
Participants also had an opportunity to ask questions directly to host Carle, Director Cadiente-Nelson and members of the SPC. Find a detailed list of questions and their corresponding answers below.
Participants were asked to complete a post-event survey, providing feedback to help better address shareholder needs and priorities during events. Participants who tuned in to the MySealaska stream and filled out the survey were eligible to win one of two $100 cash prizes.
If you missed the SPC update, find the full video here or by navigating to Services and Forms, then Meeting Archive on the left-hand navigation bar on MySealaska. We also invite you to attend our next virtual event, a policy committee update on September 26. We hope to see you there!
SPC Update Q&A
Q: It’s good to see everyone being trained on how to make their own precious regalia. Can something be designed to protect the regalia?
A: This is a great idea and something we will share with Sealaska Heritage Institute.
Q: I’m curious about the dynamics of the shareholder groups. Are members encouraged to promote Sealaska positions as part of their group work?
A: Members of the SPC have diverse heritage, backgrounds and voices and are encouraged to share their unique perspectives, even if they differ from Sealaska’s stated position. Diversity is part of what makes us strong, and we remain open to different points of view.
Q: Are the SPC by-laws available to shareholders?
A: At present, they are not, but can be made available upon request.
Q: What are the ways to “connect” with SPCs or directors?
A: Sealaska shareholders can email SPC members, which you can find on MySealaska.com/Services/Participation. Sealaska directors also welcome correspondence from shareholders.
Joe Nelson, Board Chair
Jodi Mitchell, Vice Chair
Barbara Cadiente-Nelson, Shareholder Relations Committee Chair
Nicole Hallingstad, Governance and Nominations Committee Chair
‘Wáahlaal Gíidaak, Policy Committee Chair
Q: Does Sealaska provide transportation to and from events for the elderly and disabled?
A: Sealaska tries to support shareholders who attend meetings, for example, paying for parking fees onsite for meetings. While we do not provide transportation, we are always willing to help connect shareholders in need with resources for transportation available in their community (for example, Care-A-Van in Juneau).
Q: Are SPC meeting minutes available for shareholders to request?
A: Sealaska does not currently provide minutes of SPC meetings.
Q: How can others help who are not on the SPC?
A: Sealaska shareholders can keep up on Sealaska activity and are encouraged to share relevant, factual information with fellow shareholders. Many answers to questions can be found on MySealaska.com/News, within the annual reports, or quarterly newsletters. An idea that was shared in the August 15 SPC update that we intend to put into practice is soliciting support from the shareholder community to assist Elders and people with disabilities with transportation to and from Sealaska events.
Q: Please clarify who is listed as Landless.
A: The five communities considered “landless” under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act include Haines, Tenakee, Ketchikan, Wrangell and Petersburg. These five communities were left out of ANCSA. Learn more at https://www.withoutland.org/.