Published July 2019
Board Member of the Year:
Karen L. Linnell (Seat D, Cheesh’na) was honored as Board Member of the Year and as an outgoing board member. A big thank you for her dedication and many years of service.
2019 Recognition Awardees:
Several Ahtna shareholders were recognized at the meeting for their service to the Ahtna people.
Cantwell shareholder Mr. David Nicklie. David and his wife Lorraine reside in Cantwell. David has served the people of Cantwell for many, many years where he has represented them on both the Copper River Native Association and Copper River Basin Regional Housing Authority boards. David also has served on the Cantwell Village Council and Cantwell SVO. David’s love for his people and advocacy for the protection of our lands and our way of life are just a few of the reasons why David is receiving a village leader recognition.
Mentasta shareholder Mrs. Nora David. Nora and her husband Charles live in Mentasta where they raised their family. A Mentasta council member since 1985, Nora is a strong tribal leader. She has been a health aide for 34 years. Nora also serves on the Mentasta SVO. If you talk to Nora about her job, she will tell you she loves her job and she loves her people! Like her mother before her, Nora believes in teaching our culture to anyone willing to learn. Ahtna is proud to recognize Nora’s service to the people of Mentasta.
Gakona shareholder Mrs. Charlene Nollner. Charlene currently serves as the Gakona tribal administrator and Chair of the Copper River Native Association. Charlene volunteered her time for several years helping to coordinate the Copper River Basketball Tournament. Charlene is a leader worthy of recognition for her steadfast, calm, thoughtful leadership to the people of Gakona and the beneficiaries of the Copper River Native Association. Charlene also serves our people as a board member of the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium. Ahtna is proud to recognize Charlene’s service.
Gulkana shareholder Ms. Brenda Tyone. Brenda is being recognized for her service over the years to the people of Gulkana. Brenda has served on the Copper River Native Association and the Copper River Basin Regional Housing Authority, Gulkana Council and Gulkana SVO. Ahtna wishes to thank Brenda for her service.
Tazlina shareholder Mrs. Marsha Armstrong. Marsha contributed in Ahtna’s early days by working with our first management teams to build the foundation of our corporation today. Former presidents always mention her name as one of the young leaders who helped Ahtna get started. Marsha has never been thanked for a special contribution that we still use today and that is the artwork on our letterhead with the cache, mountain, and trees. Marsha was the artist and this contribution has gone unspoken until today. We want to thank Marsha for her service and for giving us a gift that we still use proudly.
Cheesh-Na shareholder and beloved elder Mrs. Lena Charley. Lena has been featured in many news and magazine articles. Lena lives a traditional Ahtna lifestyle. An avid hunter and trapper in her younger years, if you stop by Lena’s home today, she’s almost certain to have a traditional food warming on the stove or in the oven. Lena graciously shares our culture with anyone who is willing to learn. She’s participated in recording the upper Ahtna dialect so that it can be taught for generations to come. Lena was an avid and successful dog musher, she worked in construction for many years as a flagger, and her beadwork is exceptional and perfect. Ahtna wants to show our appreciation to Lena for her generosity and kindness by sharing what she knows and being a positive example for all of us.
Kluti-Kaah shareholder Mrs. Mary Ella Hicks. Mary Ella is appreciated today for the help and kindness she gives our families by managing the kitchen and meals during a potlatch. This is a tremendous blessing during a major traditional event in our Native community. When she’s not helping the village, Mary Ella’s home has been a safe haven to many young people in need of guidance and a warm, nurturing home environment. Mary Ella currently serves on the Kluti-Kaah SVO. Ahtna thanks Mary Ella for her kind and generous spirit in serving our people.
Chitina shareholder Mr. Martin Finnesand. Martin is a longstanding leader for the Ahtna people. Today, Martin contributes to the village of Chitina by serving as honorary elder on the Chitina Village Council. For many years, Martin worked tirelessly to establish Chitina Electric for Chitina Native Corporation. Ahtna wishes to thank Martin for his leadership and many contributions to our people.
Former board member Mrs. Lillian Boston was from Cheesh-na. If you look at the early pictures and read the minutes of Ahtna, Incorporated in the 1970’s and 1980’s, you will see and read the late Lillian’s contributions to her village through her service on the Ahtna Board and village council. Uncommon for the time, Lillian had a degree in business which was a blessing to all of us. Lillian was well spoken and a devoted leader to the Ahtna people. Ahtna became a strong corporation because our foundation was built by strong, smart young leaders like Lillian Boston. We thank the Boston family for their mother’s service to our people.