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Sealaska rings in 2024 with first board meeting of the year

The Sealaska board of directors met in a board meeting held on Friday, Jan. 26 to review yearly priorities, receive updates from the management team and approve donation requests. Executive Chair Joe Nelson opened the meeting with recognition of long-term shareholder employee Thea Brown, who will be retiring in early March after 40 years of service. Nelson also detailed internal efforts to elevate Sealaska’s organizational efficiencies and strengthen both internal and external partnerships.

During the course of the meetings, the board approved several financial donations:

Alaska Native Brotherhood and Alaska Native Sisterhood (ANB/ANS) Grand Camp: Since 1987, Sealaska has managed the ANB and ANS Grand Camp Endowment. The board followed through on the ANB and ANS request to start splitting the annual distribution equally, rather than continuing to route it all to ANB Grand Camp.

“The ANB and ANS were leaders in social justice, well before social justice was in our collective consciousness,” said Sealaska Executive Chair Joe Nelson. “On behalf of the board, we express our gratitude to all of the active ANB and ANS members who continue to address the needs and challenges in our communities.”

Tlingit and Haida Tribal Emergency Operations Center. A $25,000 annual donation was approved for the Central Council Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska (Tlingit & Haida)’s Tribal Emergency Operation Center for the years 2024, 2025, and 2026. Tlingit & Haida’s emergency responders were among the first on-site following the deadly landslides in Wrangell (November) and Haines (2020), as well as during the snow clearance operations for Elders and community members after Juneau’s recent record-breaking snowfall. Sealaska aims to address immediate regional needs amidst a changing climate while simultaneously working globally to mitigate climate change impacts and restore oceanic balance.

“The board of directors is pleased to support people on the front lines in disaster relief,” said Vice Chair Jodi Mitchell. “We are especially proud of Tlingit and Haida’s work in this area.”

In addition to these financial donations, the board also approved log donations for two projects that will result in three traditional dugout canoes being placed in Petersburg, Juneau and Kake:

Petersburg Playground Dugout Canoe: A 15-foot-long and 3-foot diameter log will be carved by Herb and Sam Sheakley. The canoe will be carved in Juneau and placed in Petersburg under the care of the tribe.

Juneau and Kake Dugout Canoes: Two 60-foot-long by 5-foot diameter logs will be carved by Wayne Price and Robert Mills and will be placed in Juneau and Kake, respectively.

Sealaska is proud to support these culturally enriching initiatives and looks forward to seeing the positive impact they will have on our communities. Sealaska’s Board of Directors looks forward to continued connection and collaboration with shareholders, partners and communities throughout the 2024 year and is committed to continuing to invest in shareholder priorities while meeting its business goals. The next board meeting, where the board will set the amount for Sealaska’s spring distribution, will take place in April.