One of the important ways Sealaska serves shareholders and communities is advocating for Native rights and issues. The work takes place at the local, state, and federal level on behalf of shareholders, Indigenous people nationwide and traditional communities.
Sealaska leadership provided an overview of current policy and advocacy efforts during a virtual Policy Forum held Tuesday, April 5, 2022.
Sealaska director and policy committee chair, Wáahlaal Gíidaak (Barbara Blake) provided an overview of the committee that is formally known as Naxtoo.aat / Wayi Wah / Hágwsdaa. The committee’s purpose in short is to review and make recommendations to the board on annual public policy priorities.
The policy forum began with recognition of the late Congressman Don Young.
“We were looking forward to visiting with him in person as he was making his way back to his state of Alaska. About a month before his passing, he held a round table in DC on ANCSA a round table with his colleagues. He was one of 400 in congress, but everyone knew him. He took the time to educate especially on ANCSA, which benefited us all.”
— Sealaska Chair Joe Nelson
“He did so much for our native community and the work he did went without applause. We want take a moment and uplift his name. He knew he couldn’t be in office without the Native vote, we want to recognize his today as we discuss policy and thank him for his contributions over the many years.”
— Naxtoo.aat / Wayi Wah / Hágwsdaa Chair, Wáahlaal Gíidaak
“He was so proud to say he was the congressman for all Alaska. He was proud to come from rural Alaska, serving as Fort Yukon mayor. Even as he left rural Alaska and went to DC for 48 years, he never wavered on his commitment to rural Alaska or Alaska Native people.”
– Sealaska President and CEO Anthony Mallott
View the full forum below.