Sealaska and Central Council Hold Meeting to Advance Dialogue on Common Issues

“Sealaska along with Central Council envision a more collaborative relationship that effectively utilizes resources of each entity to provide meaningful benefits to shareholders and tribal citizens we serve,” said Sealaska President and CEO Anthony Mallott. “We both have also been meeting regularly with SEARHC CEO Charles Clement and Tlingit and Haida Regional Housing Authority President and CEO Ricardo Worl over the last year. By aligning our resources we all can benefit the region sustainably.  At the Anchorage meeting, Central Council and Sealaska leadership immediately agreed to support the finalization of a land agreement for the five “landless” communities in Southeast Alaska and pass the Alaska Native Veterans Land Allotment Equity Act."

Sealaska and Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska (Central Council) leadership met on October 15, 2015 in Anchorage, Alaska to advance a memorandum of understanding (MOU) and to discuss a resolution on discretionary voting adopted by the Central Council’s Tribal Assembly (TA) in April.

The 2009 MOU between Sealaska and Central Council provides guidance on business opportunities that meet mutual objectives, including exploring business partnerships and investment opportunities in the region. Both entities agree an updated MOU should include non-business services and coordinated efforts between staff and common departments such as communications and natural resources.

“Sealaska along with Central Council envision a more collaborative relationship that effectively utilizes resources of each entity to provide meaningful benefits to shareholders and tribal citizens we serve,” said Sealaska President and CEO Anthony Mallott. “We both have also been meeting regularly with SEARHC CEO Charles Clement and Tlingit and Haida Regional Housing Authority President and CEO Ricardo Worl over the last year. By aligning our resources we all can benefit the region sustainably.  At the Anchorage meeting, Central Council and Sealaska leadership immediately agreed to support the finalization of a land agreement for the five “landless” communities in Southeast Alaska and pass the Alaska Native Veterans Land Allotment Equity Act."

“One of my first priorities after taking office in 2014 was to establish meaningful relationships and opportunities for partnerships with our tribes, corporations, and Native organizations,” said President Richard Peterson. “Since the MOU is already up for renewal, we fully intend on seizing the opportunity to expand on it and look forward to working together to provide the best opportunities for our tribal citizens/shareholders and communities.”

TA 15-03 entitled, “Tribal Members Advocate to Improve Equal Voting Rights Protocol in Sealaska Corporation Director Elections,” conveys concern from Central Council’s delegation on the voting protocols of Sealaska. The resolution directs the Executive Council to meet with the Sealaska board to develop a policy and solution for creating balance in Sealaska’s elections. It also urges Sealaska to ensure a separate slate of candidates before discretionary voting is used and opposes the enactment of Senate Bill 77, Shareholder Access to Corporation Records, and House Bill 149, Native Corporation Shareholder Quorum Amendment.

"Sealaska has always followed corporate election and proxy solicitation laws," said Sealaska Board Chair Joe Nelson. "Sealaska shareholders have voted in favor of discretionary voting six times. While we appreciate the interest Central Council Delegates have in Sealaska governance, it is the Sealaska shareholders that our board must continue to look to for guidance on this important shareholder right."

“During the 2015 Tribal Assembly, Delegates brought forth and adopted a resolution seeking our Executive Council to advance and advocate for improved voting measures for shareholders and ultimately to urge the Sealaska board to do away with discretionary voting,” said President Peterson. “We heard our Delegates loud and clear, exercised due diligence, and brought the resolution forward. Our Executive Council will continue to advocate on behalf of the interest of our tribal citizens through meaningful and thoughtful dialogue.”

Sealaska and Central Council’s leadership are committed to working together and will continue to meet regularly to coordinate opportunities for partnership that support the social, economic, and educational needs of tribal citizens and shareholders.

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