Ahtna, Inc.’s Board of Directors is proud to announce the selection of Cecil Sanford as a new board member. Sanford is filling the Seat H Mentasta Lake seat on Ahtna, Inc.’s 13-member board. Pursuant to the Ahtna bylaws, the Board of Directors selected Sanford by a majority vote at a meeting held on Thursday, October 3, 2019. Sanford will serve the remainder of the Mentasta seat term that ends in 2021.
Sanford currently lives in Copper Center but spent most of her life in Mentasta Lake Village. Her grandparents and mentors are Huston and Jenny Sanford (Mentasta) and Herman and Tabessa Gene (Tetlin). Sanford is the Behavioral Health Director for Copper River Native Association (CRNA) and over the years has worked in tribal settings as a Tribal Administrator, Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) Specialist, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Coordinator, and Village Public Safety Officer (VPSO) Coordinator. She has served on the Mentasta Tribal Council and the Mount Sanford Tribal Consortium. Sanford has experience providing fiscal stewardship and management of multi-million-dollar contracts, budgets and grants. One of her biggest achievements was pursuing and being granted funding for the new Mentasta community building.
Sanford stated, “I was taught by my grandparents from an early age the importance of honoring and protecting the sovereignty of our Traditional Lands and Ahtna territory and the resources our lands provide. As the Ahtna Board representative for Mentasta, it is my goal to ensure our Ahtna lands and our resources are protected and to create and sustain economic growth for present and future generations. I will strive to work with the Ahtna Board to be an advocate for not only the people of Mentasta but for Ahtna as a whole. My heart is the Ahtna people and I believe that we can and will continue to thrive and prosper. It is always my goal to share the trainings from my grandparents to benefit the Ahtna people.”