Sealaska drops ‘blood quantum’ requirement for shareholders, opening up applications for descendants

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Sealaska shareholders last month voted in favor of a resolution extending eligibility for Class D (Descendant) stock in Sealaska to lineal descendants of original shareholders, without respect to their documented Alaska Native blood quantum. Lineal is a blood relative in the direct line of descent – children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, etc. of a person.

The blood quantum resolution was approved by a vote of 750,283 to 497,946, or 57% of shareholders in favor and 40% opposed.

Sealaska joins Calista and Arctic Slope Regional Corporation in abandoning the practice of quantifying degree of Native blood in order to be a shareholder. 

Blood quantum laws were established in the British Colonies to define membership in Native American tribes. For example, 1/4 Tlingit, or 1/16 Haida. When the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act was passed in 1971, it established eligibility for shareholder membership in one of the 13 Alaska Native Corporations and village corporations as one quarter Alaska Native blood quantum. Over time, the number of original shareholders has died, and some of their descendants don’t have the required blood quantum.

Sealaska President and CEO Anthony Mallott approved of the change.

“I want to thank our shareholders for having the difficult conversations and doing the soul searching that so many did as we discussed this resolution in virtual meetings and on social media this spring,” said Mallott. “This result is consistent with our traditional values as well as our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion as a company.” 

“Elimination of the blood requirement is a monumental step in our healing journey. We, no doubt, have our share of challenges in our communities. This arbitrary rule will no longer be one of them organizationally,” said Sealaska board chair Joe Nelson. “I believe that most of our grandparents wanted to hold the door open for all their grandchildren, not just some of them. Whether or not the grandchildren walk through the door and enroll, that is up to them.” 

The meeting included a 2021 business and financial report to shareholders. Sealaska’s net income grew by $5 million over 2020 to $61 million in 2021. Shareholder benefits spending was $26.7 million in 2021, down from $28.5 million in 2020, when Sealaska provided $1.8 million in pandemic-related additional benefits. The Southeast Alaska-based Native Corporation has a $700 million business portfolio.

31 COMMENTS

  1. What they did is to cut the dividend for others, the families always had the chance to gift shares to their children.

  2. Not enough babies being made? No thank you to medicaid paying for abortions, contraceptives, and same-gender attraction, enough to decline any community’s population.
    You know native families used to be as big as 16 children steadily dropping to 12-7-5-2 and 1 if you are lucky to have one baby.

  3. Don’t most corporations actually produce something, like a good or service? What exactly does a Native corporation produce? And don’t shareholders of corporations invest their own money as an equity share of the corporation, so as to impose risk as well as potential profit in their investment?
    .
    Maybe I’m asking too many uncomfortable questions.

    • Yes, Judie, very uncomfortable. Here, “shareholder” means voting the way you are told to vote. Sweeney. Murkowski. Walker. And for that alone, you may receive your quarterly check for free, and get your teeth fixed.

      • Being a shareholder in a Native corporation is somewhat akin to being a union member. Large membership means everything, even if they can’t feed you. Numbers are power, and voting is mandatory and controlled. The equity is what they don’t take from you. The government will step in, if needed, to support the corporation/union. Everyone is the same within the organization, at the exclusion of all others. Sort of like being a member of the Communist Party. You don’t have to produce one damn thing. Just be a good little member and keep your mouth shut, and we’ll fix your teeth for free.

          • Maybe not mandatory if voting in internal union elections (which are all rigged with fraud), or, in internal Native corporations.
            ChrissyB is probably talking about mandatory (or at least highly encouraged) to vote Democrat by unions and Native corps.
            That includes voting for numbskulls like Lisa Murkowski and special Native interest only …..Tara Sweeney. Also, unions and Native corporations use the member’s dues money or other ministerial accounts for advertising only for the candidates that the union bosses and Native corp administrators desire.

  4. …diversity, equity, and inclusion…” I think I’ve heard this phrase before but I can’t place where (he did forget to add “seat at the table”). Which has me thinking, if they truly mean what they say can’t anyone become a shareholder? Wouldn’t turning someone away be racist? I think we should all walk through the door and enroll.

      • @George,
        Seems to me that the real racists are the Native corporations who apply an exclusionary rule to the extent of percentage blood quantum. A Caucasian Corporation?
        Now, there’s a real LOL.

  5. All corporations have a tendency to earn through their best efforts failure. All of them. What is the fall back position at failure for Exxon? Do you know? Exxon has the granddaddy of contingency plans. Many non-essential fake persons, corporations, found out recently in Alaska what failure “looked like” to use liberal contemporary vernacular. Each stockholder has heirs of one stripe or another. Those heirs will receive the stock. The stockholders may frequently inexplicably and naively act against their own interests for reasons of pride and ignorance etc. A large percentage of all stock holders reject education of any type. They don’t know what they don’t know. Try kindly telling them casually. They are too busy angling for your mate’s genetics and pocketbook to care what you think and take great offense. When you give kind advice you are saying that they are not already all wise, imnipotent and keenly perfect as they already are. So there’s that. Speaking from first hand Alaskan experience. Be that as it may, it is my opinion that such decisions imperil all similarly situated corporation identies in a competitive environment and is completely unnecessary and unwise. Exxon has a culture. All corporations do. Most only care about the bottom line – dividends. That is why it was so pro-Klaus Schwab WEF for the US President to recently command and interfere with private oil corporation dividend strategy flows which already compares unfavorably with other European G7 corporations that SO HIGHLY value as a national cultural ideal a flow of respectful high consistent dividends to private investors to thank them for capitalizing with their corporations. Historically in the US marketplace corporations are VERY bad instruments for storing cultural uniqueness but are instruments for productivity and gaining wealth for the corporation to return to private owners through dividends. To do this as proved with cultural blood quantum maintains this unusual and competitive edge for longer instead of wasting marketable title.

  6. So if a person does not have to be Native to a significant degree to be a member of the corporation, why should the corporation continue to enjoy tax-exempt status? Asking for a friend. (Someone please correct me if the tax status of Native corporations has changed.)

    • The 12 regional and 227 village corps are regular corp. Nothing special except we can’t sell our shares on the open market. We don’t have any “Special” tax exemptions that any other corp has … and nowhere near that of non-profits.
      To “get in on” this latest you must be a direct descendant of a shareholder … who had to be at least one quarter blood to have been eligible in the first place.

        • Sections 7(j)(10) and 8(a) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. §§ 636(j)(10) and 637(a)) authorizes the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to establish a business development program, which is known as the 8(a) Business Development program. The 8(a) program is a robust nine-year program created to help firms owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals.
          Any C class corp that qualifies can take advantage of this program. The 12 regional Native corp have all outgrown the 8(a) but they have smaller subsidiaries which still qualify.
          The Native Indian Reorganization Act villages are normal city charters with BIA regulations for oversight.

  7. Right now anyone can be gifted shares or inherit them regardless of blood quantum. Votable shares are blood quantum shares. If you are a direct blood descendant your quantum (whatever it is) is qualifying to vote the shares and receive dividends. The natives owned by deed at Treaty of Session three-quarters of the state by the written document. In order to accommodate the taking for “the pipeline” the natives were not required to make a deal, this deal, or any deal to extinguish authenticated, recorded title to the entire state. The natives worked out this corporation deal to extinguish their authentic recorded bona-fide claim to all of Alaska and to give instrument to share in extracted resource wealth. This alone allowed the pipeline to be built. Some people feel it was a bit of a coup in non-natives favor. Most felt the pipeline made sense at the cash-flow problem time.

  8. Native economic experience in Alaska has been historically horrible a bit on the auschwitz side. Negotiators wanted adequate compensation. Most natives were not welcomed among the newcomers for work and were murdered on the job, otherwise killed in accidents and overworked to a pauper’s death as we still plainly see. Things are improving but barely perceptibly.

    • Oh for gosh sakes, A.G., you can quit crying into your beer and give up that preposterous victim’s card you’re trying to play any time.

      The fact of the matter is that Native people didn’t even have the wheel, let alone the honey bucket, literacy, fire-making devices, toilet paper, modern medicine with attendant enhanced lifespans and qualities of life, spectacles, the rifle, fiberglass and aluminum boats with outboard motors, snow machines, airplanes, permanent abodes, Pilot Bread, Carhartts, computers, corporations, photography, nor any of the rest of the niceties enjoyed by Natives today before White folks came along with civilization.

      Not even the wheel…

      Moreover, one needn’t look much further than the list of Alaska’s largest companies to see what a warped imagination you have or what a shameless prevaricator you are: ‘https://digital.akbizmag.com/power-list/2022-power-list/2021-top-49ers

      Please try to pull yourself together and be happy that you don’t live in the stone age, Sonny. You’re no victim at all.

      • I don’t drink beer. Beer is swill. You drink it. White folks didn’t have toilet paper either. They had outhouses and Sears and Roebuck like everyone else. If you had been here you would know that. Prevaricators do not collect data that they don’t want. People like you have no conscience. You apparently have burned it up long ago. I was a victim. Alaska still has not issued a death certificate for my Dad who died at “work”. My mother’s years of poverty, drudgery is your family’s laughing place. Alaska has been transformed into a hell hole. I have hated each moment of life around spiritual ne’er do wells such as yourself. I hope you get the wealth of empathy you deserve and the wrath of God. I am part Brit myself. They at least sometimes have civil manners unlike “Alaskans”. You don’t need to tell me about white people.

  9. Your prior comments are coming into better focus as having come from a man w/ a limited understanding of his surroundings. Perhaps someone that’s enjoyed the hospitality of the Sully in recent months.

    – Mr. Seward bought Alaska from Russia and the document that equates to a bill of sale mentioned the indigenous population but as something akin to chattel that went along w/ the real estate.

    – There is no value in buying stock that never provides a dividend.

    – Much as w/ Slavery and reparations nonsense you can bet your ass there will be a self important jew that comes along shortly to tell you that he’s vicariously harmed by some Germans that dies long before he was born and you have to provide pics of ovens and economic genocide if you want to borrow their patented Auschwitz sob. Every war has always had an enemy and that enemy is never treated well. I have a limited view of what that group may have done to garner such negative attention (and I don’t have any interest) but what they rec’d is pretty much how rival cultures treated one another historically. That said, your use of the Auschwitz reference is a clear indication that you’re deeply confused.

  10. Groups unfavored by the narcissist eugenicists of an era went to Auschwitz. Alaskan natives are viciously shoved away from economic advancement. Some have chosen not to see how Alaskans are refused opportunity to participate economically. My Dad was killed on the job. Dead. Not one letter to my mother. Not one sympathy card from one damned person in this state because he was perceived to be a native. God provided. Alaska is spiritually bereft however. The native corporations hire very few natives. They do the best they can. Unemployment of Alaskan natives remains a static 45 percent of adults in Anchorage.

  11. My mother worked in canneries. The pay was really minimum. I went with her as an infant. People were injured, scalped and other injuries. Let’s go play.

  12. Norwegian stocks have paid paid $10 per share every quarter. XOM pays .88 cents per share per quarter. America or democrats believes very firmly in pauperization. Norwegians don’t belief this.

  13. I hate to be a party pooper but the Aleuts were trundled off to live in empty cannery buildings in Southeast and they were forgotten. Many got sick and died. They didn’t want to tell us kids what “happened”. Do you see how I am jeered at? Same old same old. Also some got taken as POWs to Japan. So yeah a wee bit of sensitivity etc. How do you feel about “green spaces”? Let’s change the subjects.

  14. You may be unfamiliar with Russians. They were often familiar type faces as those they met here in Alaska. There was a concern to teach the natives orthodox catechism so they too could go to heaven. What if that is the one true faith? It is up to God to decide. Catherine the Great was truly wanting to help the Alaskan people spiritually. She had to give up eventually reluctantly. Times change.

  15. My great grandmother and her sister were both blind. Probably volcanic ash swirling around. Very abrasive. Remember what Redoubt did to windshields? NO? Didn’t think so. My Great Grandmother most certainly wore spectacles. Her sister was married to a great Canadian Sea Captain.

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