Dear fellow shareholder,
The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has had extraordinary impacts on communities across the world, with tragic effects on people’s health and way of life. There are understandable concerns about the spread of COVID-19 in our region and areas we operate. While we should not panic, Ahtna is taking the pandemic very seriously and you should too. We have been closely monitoring the situation and proactively responding to the impacts to our organization and those we care deeply about. We have one simple objective that guides us: keeping our employees, shareholders and communities safe.
To assist our shareholders during this time, the Trustees of Ahtna Hwt’aene (People’s) Trust declared a special shareholder distribution of $10.00 per share to be distributed in April. We hope this distribution helps to relieve some of the financial stress our people are experiencing during these uncertain times. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you.
To address the rapidly evolving situation, Ahtna’s Crisis Management Team has been called into action and is meeting regularly to ensure that we are evaluating our policies, communicating quickly and adjusting our actions based on current developments and guidance from federal, state and municipal officials and health agencies.
We are taking important precautionary measures at our Ahtna offices to protect everyone’s health and safety. Our Glennallen, Anchorage and Sacramento offices have been closed since mid-March and we have directed employees to work from home. We are maintaining communications and collaboration while reducing large group meetings by utilizing web conferencing to the maximum extent possible.
Currently, we are limiting visitors to our Ahtna offices to essential needs only. If you need assistance, please call our Glennallen Corporate Headquarters office at (907) 822-3476 or our Corporate Anchorage office at (907) 868-8250 for guidance. Most requests can be handled over the phone, and our shareholder portal (MyAhtna.com) allows you to easily update your contact information and view and print shares and financial information.
We are asking our employees to follow the recommended guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and our shareholders should do the same. It’s easy to get overwhelmed during these times, but we must remember that our own actions can save lives. Individual practices such as self-quarantining, physical distancing, proper hygiene, and monitoring for symptoms all help in the battle to slow the spread of this virus.
Following the example of our sister ANCs, Ahtna, Incorporated is taking extra precautions with this year’s Annual Meeting. Senate Bill 241 temporarily relaxed the State of Alaska’s meeting requirements for Alaska Native corporations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Board of Directors approved limiting attendance to Ahtna Board Members and essential staff. There is no shareholder registration or voting the day of the meeting, and the agenda includes only the election of directors. There will be over $47,000 in proxy prizes given away this year and shareholders who vote early and online at www.ahtnavote.com will be eligible for more drawings. Other changes can be found in your Annual Meeting packet that was recently mailed.
We appreciate your understanding and participation. I will miss seeing you at the Annual Meeting and look forward to the time we can be together again.
The Ahtna people have survived countless adversities throughout history by working together, sharing and showing compassion to others. We must look out for our families, colleagues, friends, neighbors and fellow shareholders, especially our Elders who we are told are at an increased risk. Our united efforts will get us through this difficult time, and we appreciate your continued support. Please follow all the CDC, state, tribal and municipal guidance that is intended to keep you safe and healthy!
Michelle Anderson, President
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov
- World Health Organization: www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus
- Alaska Department of Health and Human Services: dhss.alaska.gov/dph/Epi/id/Pages/COVID-19
- Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium: anthc.org/news/resources-coronavirus
- Copper River Native Association: crnative.org/crna-update
- Mt. Sanford Tribal Consortium: www.mstc.org
- Copper River Country Journal: www.countryjournal2020.com
Mental Health Resources:
Need help? Know someone who does?
Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions. Coping with stress will make you, the people you care about, and your community stronger.
If you, or someone you care about, are feeling overwhelmed with emotions like sadness, depression, or anxiety, or feel like you want to harm yourself or others:
- Call 911
- Visit the Disaster Distress Helpline (www.samhsa.gov/disaster-preparedness) or call 1-800-985-5990 and TTY 1-800-846-8517
- Text TalkWithUs to 66746