Birch bark texture.

Ahtna Kanas Winter 2023

Taking a Look Back To Be Thankful for Our Blessings

Michelle Anderson President, Ahtna, Inc.

Dear fellow shareholders,

Happy New Year from all of us here at Ahtna! This is a fitting time to look ahead and prepare for what this New Year may bring, but I would also like to take a look back and be thankful for our blessings.

The Board of Directors and the Trustees of Ahtna Hwt’aene (People’s) Trust declared two regular and Elder dividend distributions in 2022. In addition, a special dividend was declared in the fall to help offset the effects of rising prices on essentials such as fuel and heating oil. Over $3 million in dividends were distributed in 2022.

Ahtna’s 5-year strategic plan continues to put focus on increasing profits; diversifying our portfolio; providing benefits to shareholders; protecting our land, our customary and traditional hunting and fishing rights, and natural resources; and preparing shareholders for the next generation of leadership and management within the company. Ahtna uses a strategic-management framework called the Balanced Scorecard (BSC) to align business activities to the vision and strategy of the Corporation, improve internal and external communications, and monitor performance against strategic goals. Ahtna has used the BSC to successfully link long-term strategy with short-term actions.

I had the pleasure of attending last November’s village planning meetings which provided an opportunity to meet with villages in the region and gather shareholder input on future village growth plans. Some of the consistent feedback we heard from the villages included: the need for more land for village growth, requests for Ahtna to consider investing in small businesses within or adjacent to the villages, the need for Ahtna to provide technical assistance to villages for economic development, erosion concerns and the need for mitigation, and requests for data specific to identifying land for village growth and water sources.

The protection of the lands surrounding the villages for Customary and Traditional (C&T) purposes was another common theme at the meetings. We are working to compile the feedback we received and look forward to hosting more land planning discussions with the villages in January. We appreciate each and every shareholder who participated in the 2022 Ahtna shareholder survey. Our business is built on listening to the people we serve, and we thank you for your guidance, feedback, loyalty, and support. The results of the survey have been shared with Ahtna leadership and will be used to drive action plans to help improve shareholder satisfaction. You can view the survey results here.

Congratulations to our 2022 Ahtna Employees of the Year! These employees were nominated by their leadership teams for this special recognition. Along with my deepest appreciation to the entire Ahtna team, I want to especially recognize these Ahtna employees who stand out for their hard work, commitment to the Ahtna mission, and dedication to our shareholders.

We wished long-time C&T Coordinator Gloria Stickwan farewell last year as she embarked on retirement. Gloria instructed by example with her diligence and passion for fighting for our traditional hunting and fishing rights. She worked hard for our people, and I am thankful for her know-how, her hours and hours of research, and her diligent tracking of local, state and federal processes in order to respond and prepare our C&T users and leaders to protect our traditional hunting and fishing rights. We are thankful to Gloria and wish her great success and happiness in her retirement!

You can read about Ahtna’s new C&T Coordinator, shareholder Edward GreyBear, here. Edward has worked for Ahtna off and on since college and has experience with Alaska’s hunting permit system through his previous position as a park ranger with Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve. Please join us in congratulating Edward on his new role!

Last year was extremely busy and fulfilling with the return of in-person events, and 2023 is shaping up to be even better with more opportunities to connect face-to-face and virtually. Check out page 18 to see some upcoming shareholder events for this year. Our Shareholder Enrichment staff will be hosting regular Facebook live events, many of which will highlight the Helping Our People Excel (HOPE) programs that were launched in 2019 to help train and employ shareholders. You can learn more about the HOPE programs and recent success stories by visiting

We are excited to announce the return of the Ahtna Special Forces summer internship program! The program gives college students an insider’s view into the Corporate departments and subsidiary operations. We are always trying to prepare for the future, and as part of our succession planning, we are training our young men and women on good work habits, relationship building, public speaking and presentation skills. The program offers students the opportunity to gain hands-on experience that can make a real impact. Past participants have had the chance to get out of the office on field projects and trips to the region to learn about Ahtna lands, history and culture. You can visit to learn more and apply.

The past year revealed what we can accomplish when we work together to best serve you, our shareholders. May the new year bless you with happiness and good health!


Michelle Anderson, President
Ahtna, Incorporated