Letter from Sealaska Chair Joe Nelson
Wednesday, April 8, 2020
These are extraordinary times, as we hunker down across the globe. Extraordinary, but not unprecedented. One hundred years ago, a flu pandemic swept the globe taking up to 50 million lives, including many lives in Alaska. But as indigenous people, we are survivors.
“Social distancing” is not our thing. As a collectivist people, we live and socialize in multi-generational groups at a higher rate than most in the western world. But our community leaders can and should encourage people to do the right thing, even when it is painful and difficult.
For the sake of our Elders. For the sake of our health care providers. For the sake of our children. We encourage you to take transmission reduction measures seriously. Stay at home. Put the gadgets down. Spend quality time with your family. Tackle the chores you have been neglecting. Find safe ways to help others.
Perhaps most important, find ways to take care of yourselves as you hunker down—strengthen yourself mentally, physically, and spiritually. There will be plenty of work ahead as we come out of this slow down.
There will no doubt be a huge economic toll because of the dramatic measures that are being taken now. To that end, Sealaska’s board of directors has approved a $1 million COVID-19 relief and recovery package to help Alaska Native communities respond to the impact from the coronavirus. This pledge provides emergency response funding for several nonprofit organizations delivering urgent recovery services. There will be lives lost, possibly as a result of the measures that we are not taking. But we have ancient knowledge, experience, and values to guide us through this difficult moment.
Like every other cycle, there will be a rebuilding phase. We will recover. The berries will come back. That is why we make jam to help get us through the winter.
At Sealaska, we are moving forward but just like everyone else, we are doing things a bit differently in these uncertain times. Our offices are currently closed to the public but you can take care of most business by email, phone, or through the MySealaska portal.
We will support our communities in the coming weeks and months. This work has already started. The spring distribution was made ahead of schedule on March 31st to provide relief to our shareholders. The board recently authorized contributions to the Food Bank of Alaska and Southeast Alaska Food Bank to support immediate needs in our traditional communities.
We will continue working with Sealaska Heritage Institute, Spruce Root, and community partners to find ways to help where we can. We will get through this together.
Every day is a gift. Make the best of today.
Kaaxúxgu | Joe Nelson
Irish company will expand global geosciences capabilities Roto-sonic drilling at Scapa Flow, Orkney – January 2022 June 28, 2022 (Seattle, WA)—Sealaska and Causeway Geotech Limited, one of the leading independent ground-investigation contractors in Ireland and the United Kingdom, today announced Causeway is becoming part of Sealaska’s ocean-health business platform. Run through a Seattle-based company called …
The Causeway team mobilizes out of Stornoway Harbour in November 2018, with jack-up barge OCM 80 to commence drilling operations at Smooth Point. A deep appreciation for the outdoors, for people and for problem-solving united Darren O’Mahony, Paul Dunlop and Ciaran Doherty when they were colleagues at Glover Site Investigations in Northern Ireland. So when …
Sealaska shareholders gave strong support to a resolution that will extend eligibility for Class D (Descendant) stock in Sealaska to lineal descendants of original shareholders without respect to their documented Alaska Native blood quantum. Sealaska joins Calista and Arctic Slope Regional Corporation in rejecting the practice of quantifying degree of Indian blood in order to …
Q: What did the blood quantum resolution do? A: When it was approved by shareholders, the resolution on this year’s proxy eliminated the requirement for applicants for Class D (Descendant) stock to prove they have at least one-quarter Alaska Native blood quantum. Q: Who is eligible for Class D stock? A: Lineal descendants of …
New Language Award Honors Founding Director Clarence Jackson, Sr. The inaugural Clarence Jackson Sr. Language Awards were presented at the 2022 Annual Meeting of Shareholders. The award recognizes individuals for the tremendous impact on Lingít, Xaad Kíl and Sm’álgyax language revitalization. The first awards recognized Elder/birth speakers. The new Sealaska language awards are named after Galtín …