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Ahtna Kanas Winter 2024

Shareholder Employee Spotlight: Natalia Yazzie

Ahtna shareholder Natalia Yazzie has recently been hired by the Human Resources department as an HR Associate. Natalia is a graduate of Ahtna’s P.A.T.H. Program, which is designed to provide shareholders with the opportunity to work in different departments and companies within the Ahtna family of companies. This program encourages shareholders to discover their strengths and passions that will lead to advancing in their career path within Ahtna. In Natalia’s case, she started out in the on-call program and within a month transitioned to a full-time receptionist, working at Ahtna’s Anchorage office at the front desk.

Natalia’s first introduction to working for Ahtna came when she was just 14 years old, taking a job as a youth server for an Ahtna Annual Meeting. She went on to graduate from Glennallen High School in 2018 and is currently a freshman at Alaska Pacific University, working on her bachelor’s degree in business administration.

Natalia is a member of the Naltsiine (Sky) clan. Her mother is Natasha Gessells (Yazzie) and her father is Phillip Frankson. Natalia’s paternal grandmother is Phyllis Yazzie and her grandfather is Virgil John. Natalia shared, “I want to thank my great-grandmother, Christine Craig. I lived with her and my grandpa Lynn Craig almost my whole life. They taught me how to be respectful, how important my education is, and many more essential skills that made me who I am today. My grandparents kept our culture alive by singing our traditional songs to me, cooking our traditional foods, teaching me how to count in Ahtna, and taking me to potlatches. My grandma, Chris, is the most influential woman in my life. She was the first woman president of Ahtna, and her father, Walter Charley, played many roles in the Ahtna company and our Native community. I am so proud of where I come from and the leaders from whom I am descended.”

More About the Ahtna P.A.T.H. Program

Ahtna’s Career P.A.T.H. participants support departments while learning new skills and gaining experience. This exposure and mentorship helps shareholders determine a career plan within the Ahtna family of companies. Shareholders are encouraged to contact Shareholder Employee Career P.A.T.H. Supervisor Ve’dra Bechtol at (907) 868-8204 or or visit to learn more. The program is a wonderful introduction to the Ahtna family of companies and can lead to many different career path opportunities.