On Saturday, June 26, Sealaska shareholders elected the following candidates to serve three-year terms on the company’s board of directors. We asked each of these newly elected directors the following question. Their answers follow.
Sealaska is focused on teamwork – on the board and staff levels and within our larger community of tribes, shareholders, descendants and partner organizations. How do you hope to use the next three years to contribute to continuing success for Sealaska both from a business and teamwork standpoint?
“In the next three years of my tenure as a director, as the planet and its people address our collective mourning and recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, and even as I speak the threat of the heat wave taking more lives, we must prepare for the effects of climate change. As Sealaska matures and grows its operations as a global, sustainable seafood leader and as a contributor in amassing the knowledge and practices to address the health and sustainability of our oceans and food sources, my thoughts and actions will have a finite focus on the who, what, where, when and how to become 23,000 strong.
“In my profession as an educator there is a saying ‘teach like your hair is on fire,’ and in my family of commercial fishers, it’s ‘fish or cut bait,’ both meaning to work with a sense of care, urgency and productivity. Get it done. Our work in sustaining our people, our culture, our communities, our land, the ocean and the planet is a noble endeavor.
“In the next three years in my capacity as a director, with a stronger sense of the collective will of this new board, I will not let the words of our fellow shareholders fall to the ground, which range from wanting an increase of benefits, to shareholder hire, to upholding Tribes’ federally recognized sovereign status, to better communication and partnerships, to inclusion of lineal descendants, and to election reform.
“While Sealaska has been improving how it engages and communicates, there is more to do. It’s important. We as a people know words matter—words are of spirit. Truth matters. Integrity matters. Trust is what we, as a board, must earn.
“It’s not just what we do, but how we do it. It’s not just how we say it, it’s what we do. It’s not just we as a corporation, it is us as a people whose lineages connect us to each other and the place we call Haa Aani, Litl’ Tlagaa, Na Yuubm – Our Land. We are on this path together.”
Liz Medicine Crow
“With profound gratitude for our Ancestors, I will continue to find ways to bring our peoples 10,000+ years of best practices into the work we do for our communities, homelands, our shareholders, no matter where they live, and our corporation. Being connected to who we are and ensuring there are rich cultural, language, and ways-of-life experiences and connection to our Tribes for our shareholders is critical to the well-being of our peoples and our corporation.”
“I remain as focused on Sealaska’s business profitability as ever. This is the foundation of the benefits we provide to shareholders and stays top of mind for me. The team working on the Landless legislation is tireless and dedicated, and I’m honored to be another voice for that effort as a Sealaska director. Sealaska’s success relies on good teamwork in every way, and we can all contribute.”
“I hope to keep pulling alongside the rest of the team as we continue on this transformational journey.
“We must keep working with our tribes and partners to improve the health and well-being of our communities.
“Near-term strategic investments in Southeast Alaska are going to be a top priority.”
“I have valuable experience and an informed perspective on Sealaska’s business that I can put to work on behalf of shareholders right away. I was Sealaska’s corporate controller for years. I prepared the financial statements and the footnotes. I understand the nuanced considerations associated with our acquisitions and can ask questions designed to bring the best possible results for shareholders. As grants administrator for The Tulalip Tribe in Washington, I am actively involved in the conversation around CARES Act funding and can bring that experience to the table as well.
“I’m incredibly proud of Sealaska and the things our company has accomplished. There have been high points and low points, but ultimately this company has survived to be a real source of pride and meaningful benefits for shareholders. I’ve been committed to sharing traditional arts and culture with young people for most of my life. I’ve always tried to help once I realized how being involved in your culture builds your own self esteem. I wanted to help children have that same power. As a director, I hope to contribute my ideas on how Sealaska can help connect more people to cultural activities – especially those living outside of Southeast, who don’t have as many opportunities.
“My campaign as an independent candidate for the board succeeded this year because I created a team of supporters who offered me their ideas and guidance, and I plan to cultivate teammates among my new board colleagues so we can achieve shared priorities.”