Barbara Blake was selected to join the 2019 endorsed candidate team for the Sealaska board of directors.
If elected, Barbara would be the first-ever shareholder descendant and youngest member on the board of directors.
As a former Sealaska board youth advisor from 2010 to 2011, Barbara brings a strong understanding of Sealaska board structure and governance.
“To me this is a sign of inclusion—that our generation’s contribution is recognized and valued. If elected, I will provide input that leads to economic growth, but growth that does not neglect our traditional way of life,” said Barbara. “While serving as board youth advisor, I was honored to sit beside our leaders to develop a deeper understanding of our heritage and history.”
Barbara has a background in both policy and business and currently works as owner and lead consultant for Húuyee tlaayd ‘La’áaygaas, LLC, and as staffer for speaker of the House in Alaska.
Most recently, Barbara worked as a political appointee under the governor and lieutenant governor of Alaska as the director of Native and Rural Affairs and as senior staffer for Fish and Game. She conducted special studies and developed policy in areas of Tribal relations, subsistence, fisheries, forestry, transboundary water quality, food security and Native affairs. Previous positions include work with the USDA-Office of the Secretary in Washington DC, assistant professor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and vice president of an 8(a)-certified business in Anchorage.
“I am excited to see Sealaska investing in the future of our oceans, economic development for our region, and environmental responsibility, all aligning with traditional values,” said Barbara.
Sealaska received more than 25 letters of interest, including a number of shareholder descendants.
“It’s certainly a historical moment in time to select Barbara as part of our endorsed candidate team,” said Board Chair Joe Nelson. “I’d also like to thank everyone who submitted an application. We were overwhelmed to hear from a wide variety of shareholders who are impacting their communities.”
Barbara’s Haida name is ‘Wáahlaal Gidáak (Potlatch Giver). Her Haida, Tlingit and Ahtna Athabascan family stems from Klawock, Hydaburg and Tsiis tl’edze’na’ (Chistochina). Her Xaadaas Clan is Yahkw Janáas (Raven Shark), her father is Naltsiine, and her grandfather is Teeyeeneidi.
Barbara holds both a bachelor’s and master’s degrees in rural development from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, along with certificates in Tribal Business Law and Indianpreneurship. She is also a scholarship recipient and former Sealaska accounting intern.
Barbara joins three continuing directors on the 2019 endorsed candidate team that includes Jodi Mitchell, Jackie Pata, and Richard Rinehart.
Shareholders can vote online at MySealaska.com.