Birch bark texture.

Ahtna Kanas Winter 2024

Looking Forward With Excitement

Michelle Anderson President, Ahtna, Inc.

Dear fellow shareholders,

Happy New Year from all of us here at Ahtna! This is a wonderful time to look ahead and prepare for what this New Year may bring, including exciting news about the Elder benefit distributions. The Trustees of the Ahtna Hwt’aene (People’s) Trust have declared that the Elder benefit distributions will be made quarterly, and each distribution in 2024 will be $875. That is a total of $3,500 in annual distributions to Elders this year – an increase of $500 from last year. Since 2009, an Elder benefit has been provided to original Ahtna shareholders who are 62 years of age and older. We want our Elders to know they are appreciated.

I am also pleased to share with you an exciting initiative aimed at promoting the importance of having a valid Testamentary Disposition on file. Our Shareholder Records department is launching a Testamentary Disposition Prize Drawing, featuring two annual drawings, each with a combined prize pool of $1,000. Each drawing will include a prize of $300, a prize of $200, and five prizes of $100 each. These drawings are scheduled to take place in June and December, providing our shareholders with regular opportunities to participate and potentially win! Read more about the drawings on page 15.

In 2019, the Ahtna Board of Directors initiated the H.O.P.E. Program (Helping Our People Excel) to give our people hope. The Board recognized that sometimes just a little bit of extra help makes all the difference in finding and advancing careers. The primary objective is to support shareholder employment opportunities and create opportunities to gain valuable work experience. The Board has made a strategic investment in our people, so that our shareholders can secure meaningful full-time employment.

The H.O.P.E. program provides the following opportunities:

  • Ahtna Intern Program
    The Ahtna Internship is an intensive study program that provides work experience to shareholders to assist them in achieving successful employment within the Ahtna family of companies. Internship participants receive valuable on-the-job training in one of many specialized fields. The intern work experience will give students a chance to see the Ahtna family of companies from the inside, which hopefully puts their classroom instruction to practice. Most importantly, this experience allows our interns to explore their career options at Ahtna. This program is open to college-based shareholders aged 18 years of age or older.
  • National Park Service (NPS) Intern Program
    Funded through our partnership with the National Park Service (NPS), Ahtna offers four intern positions at the Ahtna Cultural Center on the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve Visitor Center campus in Copper Center, Alaska. Taking place during the summer season (May to September), the paid internship is focused on enhancing Ahtna culture comprehension, public speaking and presentation skills, and knowledge about Ahtna cultural resources. Responsibilities include on-site collaboration with Ahtna and NPS personnel to develop skills in interpretation, customer service, education programs, and other professional areas.

    Additionally, the position may involve supporting NPS or Ahtna field projects, including work at remote sites in data collection, with a primary focus on providing Ahtna traditional and cultural history at the Ahtna Cultural Center. The NPS Youth Intern age range is 16-17 years of age. The NPS Adult Intern age range is 18-30.
  • Walter Charley Memorial Scholarship
    The Walter Charley Memorial Scholarship is provided exclusively to Ahtna shareholders and available to full or part-time college-level students. The scholarship provides funding from $2,000-$4,000 per semester to undergraduate students and $3,000-$6,000 per semester for graduate students.
  • Ahtna Vocational Scholarship Program
    The Ahtna Vocational Scholarship Program provides Ahtna shareholders with funding to meet their educational goals in the trades or vocational schools. The scholarship funds up to $12,000 for qualified vocational programs and enrollment is open all year round.
  • Career Assistance Program
    The Career Assistance Program provides Ahtna shareholders with funding to assist with pre-employment preparation, job improvement and training. The goal of the program is to help eliminate hurdles a shareholder might have to being employed.

Our Shareholder Enrichment staff is dedicated to helping shareholders get into the workforce and find a career, whether it is here at Ahtna or somewhere else. If you are interested in any of the programs above, or are looking for educational, training or career assistance, please email our helpful staff at or contact Tracy Parent in Anchorage at (907) 868-8250 or Starr Knighten in Glennallen at (907) 822-3476.

For those new to the job market or seeking an entry-level position at Ahtna, we have the P.A.T.H. (Partnership, Accountability, Training, Hope) program. Ahtna’s P.A.T.H. Program is designed to provide Ahtna shareholders with the office and professional skills necessary for Administrative Assistant positions within Ahtna and its family of companies. The Administrative Assistants provide support to departments while gaining experience and the ability to pursue a career within the Ahtna family of companies.

New this year – for senior or junior high-school aged students seeking work experience, we now offer the Student PATH Internship. The Ahtna Youth Pathway Program is designed to provide Ahtna high school students in our Anchorage office with entry-level customer service and receptionist skills. Students are provided with a supportive work environment that emphasizes both soft and hard job skills — aiming to increase our youth’s ability to pursue careers that pay well and are personally meaningful. To learn more about this program please turn to page 12. If you are interested in either program, please contact Ve’dra Bechtol at 907-868-8204 or

As a shareholder, I am thrilled that we have so many impressive resources for college, vocational training and career opportunities that are generously supported by our Board of Directors! I encourage shareholders seeking employment to make sure your contact information is current on the Shareholder Portal, and please check out our HOT JOBS social media posts and the Careers page on our website.


Michelle Anderson, President
Ahtna, Incorporated