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New Board-Endorsed Candidates Announced as Two Longtime Sealaska Directors Step Down

Two of Sealaska’s long-serving directors, Senator Albert Kookesh and Tate London, have decided not to seek another term on the board this year.

L to R — Senator Albert Kookesh and Director Tate London

“Both directors have fulfilled the purpose and mission of Sealaska while serving on behalf of our shareholders,” said Joe Nelson, Sealaska Chair. “We are forever indebted for their service.”

The decision by Kookesh and London left two board seats open for new candidates on Sealaska’s team of board-endorsed nominees. La quen náay Liz Medicine Crow and Aan Shawatk’i  Sarah Dybdahl were selected from among nearly 50 highly qualified applicants to join Sealaska’s endorsed team this year.

To read more about the contributions of both men and hear their colleagues’ reflections on their service, please click here for Albert Kookesh and here for Tate London.

Incumbent candidates include Nelson, whose Native name is Kaaxúxgu, along with  X’eishx’ Barbara Cadiente-Nelson and Ch’aak’Tlaa Nicole Hallingstad.

L to R — Sarah Dybdahl and Liz Medicine Crow

Medicine Crow is the president and CEO of First Alaskans Institute. She is Tlingit and Haida, and lives in Kake.

“Sealaska is in its next phase of growth to achieve the vision of our ancestors and Elders — a thriving, strong Native corporation making a profit by advancing Native values, knowledge, and ways of being with our diverse Native communities and in solidarity and partnership with tribes and tribal sovereignty,” Medicine Crow said. “Because of this, within our lifetimes, we will see a massive transformation where we are thriving in our homelands and wherever we are as Native peoples. This vision requires us all; I seek to be of service.”

Dybdahl is the cultural heritage and education manager for the Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska based in Juneau. She is Tlingit from Klawock.

“Growing up it is instilled in each of us that we have a role and responsibility to contribute to the health and well-being of our people and communities,” Dybdahl said. “As a Sealaska descendant shareholder, whose journey has been immersed in various roles that work to strengthen, create, and develop opportunities to ensure our Southeast Alaska Native communities thrive culturally, socially, and economically, I am excited to utilize my experience, knowledge, and connection with the Sealaska family on behalf of our shareholders and descendants.”

To learn more about all of the candidates and to review the three resolutions on this year’s proxy, please visit Several upcoming events will also provide opportunities to hear directly from the candidates and receive an update on the performance of Sealaska’s business in 2020. All meetings will be held virtually, and the first is scheduled for Tuesday, May 11 at 5 p.m. AKDT. For full event details and a link to join, please look for the “Community Meeting Info” link at