Published July 2016
Dear fellow shareholders,
I hope that your summer is going great! There are a few updates and highlights I’d like to share with you.
Thanks to you, our annual meeting was very successful. We strive for new ways to increase communications to our shareholders and this year introduced the option of attending the meeting via webcast. Many shareholders joined us – shareholders who otherwise wouldn’t have been able to attend. We finished on schedule and met the meeting quorum with the webcast viewer attendance alone! It was great to see shareholders of all ages take an interest in this past year’s successes and where our future will take us.
We had the chance to recognize an Ahtna shareholder and employee, Ms. Gloria Stickwan. While her current job is the Customary & Traditional (C&T) Coordinator, Gloria has been a relentless, vigilant C&T advocate internally and externally, working hard to protect our customary and traditional hunting and fishing practices against threats and negative policy. Gloria oftentimes works alone and spends hours researching and working with state and federal agencies and our shareholders regarding C&T efforts. Protection of our C&T practices is one of Ahtna’s highest priorities. We thanked Gloria for her ongoing support with a plaque, a Pendleton blanket and a cash gift. Tsin’aen, Gloria, for all you do.
“We are focusing time and effort to seek opportunities that generate economic development within our region, which, in turn, creates more jobs for our shareholders and Alaskans.”
In our spring issue of the Kanas, we announced the first electronic version of the newsletter. The response was outstanding as more and more people prefer to get their information on mobile devices! We will continue to offer this as an option for you and would love your feedback. Let us know what you like and what could be done to make it better.
Below, you will see updated statistics on the age demographics of our shareholders. It’s interesting to see how diverse a group we really are. It’s so important to empower our younger shareholders to become involved and be enthusiastic about our culture and traditions.
Ahtna’s CEO, Tom Maloney, covers our success as a company over the past year in this issue of the Kanas. We closed the books on 2015 with the second-highest net-income earnings in our company’s history. Our five-year goals are aggressive, but I think we are in position to take advantage of this momentum and continue the growth we’ve seen over the past couple of years.
- Double stockholder equity to $40 million
- Expand non-government (commercial) revenue to $55
million of total revenue
- Increase clients’ perception of Ahtna quality
- Enhance relationships with shareholders
- Ensure agile and efficient operations
- Protect and responsibly develop the land and
- Build organizational capacity and sustainability
On top of these goals, we plan on focusing on our Alaska operations. While our business growth has been great in California, Hawaii and North Dakota, it’s time to better develop opportunities within our region and create more jobs for shareholders and Alaskans.
As we’ve been reporting, author Bill Simeone has been working on an Ahtna history book. Bill wants to meet and talk with shareholders. In this issue of the Kanas, Bill continues his series on Ahtna’s history and ANCSA. Bill often writes about the ongoing fight for Ahtna’s land-use rights – a topic that remains a top priority for us today. In fact, Ahtna hosted a two-day meeting July 20-21 with the assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior to discuss wildlife co-management on Ahtna lands. Our ultimate goal is to enter into a wildlife-management agreement with the Department of Interior. We will keep you posted.
In late June, the governor and several of his staff met with our Traditional Chief Fred Ewan and Gulkana tribal members to address an issue that pre-dates statehood. Governor Walker met Chief Ewan and tribal members in Gulkana and walked the former village land that is now under state ownership. Prior to statehood, the Federal Highway Administration bisected what was a thriving village on the Gulkana River and forced Ahtna families to move to the other side of the road. The families had to pick up what they could, leaving behind family homes, belongings and family graves. We are thankful this very sad chapter in our state’s history caught the governor’s attention and that he wants to work with us to respectfully address the matter. We will keep you informed of our progress. My appreciation to Gulkana’s tribal council and tribal members for walking the governor through the former village lands, the cemetery and the history of what happened. Your words were very powerful.
As a final point, CONGRATULATIONS to all the graduates this year! Your accomplishment is a source of pride not only for your families but for all Ahtna people. We are all so proud of you. On behalf of our Board and staff, I wish each of you great future success!
Michelle Anderson, President
Governor Walker and representatives from the Departments of Natural Resources, Transportation and Fish and Game visited Gulkana and toured the old village site on June 29. The meeting was very successful and allowed Ahtna leadership and Elders to share the history of the village and the outcomes sought by the Gulkana Village Council. The governor has committed to replying by the end of July to our requests to sign over ownership of the land to Ahtna. We’ve been working since 1943 to get the title to our old village site. We’ve worked through many administrations and departments to no avail. We are hopeful that this will be the year that our grandparents see the return of the old village site. We truly appreciate the governor and his staff taking the time to visit the region.