Wow, it’s been a busy quarter since I last reported to you. I hope you are enjoying summer.
Thank you for your patience with our delayed annual meeting. This is prime time to stock our freezers and pantries,and we at Ahtna appreciate you taking time to participate in this important event.
The meeting was rescheduled out of respect for beloved Ahtna shareholder and Elder Ina Lincoln. In her 96 years on this Earth, Ina and her husband, Nick, raised a large family and took in students from the Copper Valley High School. It would not be an understatement to say everyone loved Ina. She was a born teacher and cultural advisor. Ina knew the Ahtna clans so well that she became the one others would come to for advice when planning a potlatch or questions about genealogies. Ina’s sense of humor, her willingness to share her cultural knowledge and her kind and fun way of being will be missed by all who loved her.
ANNUAL MEETING RECAP
We are happy to welcome newly elected and returning directors Ken Johns and Albert Fleury to the Ahtna, Inc. Board of Directors. A special shout-out to Karen Linnell, Ahtna Board Member of the Year. Karen has dedicated her life to making our communities better places to live. We greatly value her wildlife management expertise and commitment to cultural revitalization. She is a thoughtful leader with a unique ability to foster collaboration among diverse groups, which is a talent we have put to great use. We are especially thankful for the wisdom she has brought to the Board over the past decade.
The primary goal of Shareholder Development is to maximize the potential of our shareholder-owners by developing and engaging them as they pursue meaningful career and life goals. We also work diligently with Ahtna subsidiaries and management to provide opportunities for our shareholder owners, increase shareholder-owners hire and develop programs to advance shareholders in their careers. We spotlight these efforts in this newsletter – and introduce you to several young shareholder-owners firmly on the path to success.
Speaking of Shareholder Development, please join me in welcoming shareholder-owner Tracy Parent as our new shareholder Development Coordinator. Tracy comes to us with over 17 years’ experience working in human resources,
during which time she implemented and developed work readiness programs for K-12 students. In taking this position, Tracy is returning to Anchorage after living in the Lower 48 for many years.
We also want to wish the Class of 2017 congratulations, the best of luck – and encourage each of you to follow your passion.
This issue visits Chitina, home to the Ahtna for thousands of years. The Chitina Native Corporation and Ahtna have enjoyed a special relationship for generations, and that connection was recently strengthened with Chitina signing a Declaration of Friendship. It was an honor to be invited to speak at Chitina’s annual meeting, where I had the
opportunity to welcome Ed Herndon, Chitina’s new CEO, to our region.
Our lands sustain us and we have been hard at work to make sure that our lands endure for generations to come.
Last summer, Gov. Bill Walker visited Gulkana and walked some of Ahtna’s most sacred land and burial sites that were taken by the federal government nearly seven decades ago. I am happy to announce that Ahtna, Inc. has reached a proposed settlement with the State of Alaska regarding Klutina Lake Road, which also includes lands near the
Historic Gulkana Village. You can find all the details on page 6 and, if you’re able, I encourage you to attend one of the upcoming settlement public meetings. Another outstanding land-use issue involves lands in the Klutina Lake area off the Richardson Highway. We sued the state in 2008 over public access to lands we own. While we believe the public should be allowed to access recreational areas, we think it incumbent that we ensure the desires for convenient access are not superior to our rights as property owners.
It is rewarding to see that so many of our land issues are nearing completion. We had a great 2016 and are well on our way to an even better 2017. Thank you for your continuing support.
Michelle Anderson, President