Sealaska Corporation is the largest of thirteen Alaska Native Regional Corporations created under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971 (ANCSA) in settlement of aboriginal land claims. Sealaska was incorporated in Alaska on June 16, 1972. Headquartered in Juneau, Alaska, Sealaska is a for-profit corporation with 17,600 Alaska Native shareholders primarily of Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian descent. In 1981 Sealaska Corporation sponsored the creation of the non-profit Sealaska Heritage Foundation, now the Sealaska Heritage Institute, which manages its cultural and educational programs.
Officers and Directors
A current listing of Sealaska Corporation's officers and directors, as well as documents filed with the State of Alaska since Sealaska's incorporation, are available online through the Corporations Database of the Division of Corporations, Business & Professional Licensing, Alaska Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development.
Sealaska directors often serve for decades, due to the election laws which make it difficult for independent candidate to gain a seat on the board. Occasionally long standing board members are not selected to appear on the management endorsed slate. In 2016, Patrick Anderson was forced to run for re-election as an independent and was one of the candidates receiving the lowest number of votes. In 2017, Rosita Worl announced she would not be seeking re-election after 29 years on the Sealaska Board. She is continuing on in her position as the Sealaska Heritage Institute Executive Director.
As of April 2016, the number of years current board members have served
- Albert Kookesh - 37 years
- Rosita Worl - 29 years
- Ed Thomas - 23 years
- Jackie Pata - 17 years
- J. Tate Nelson - 10 years
- Sidney Edenshaw - 10 years
- Jodi Mitchell - 10 years
- Barbara Cadiente Nelson - 7 years
- Bill Thomas - 7 years
- Richard Rinehart - 3 years
- Ross Soboloff - 3 years
- Michael Beasley - elected June 2016
Sealaska Board Compensation - 2015/2016
- $2,000 per month, Board Chair - $3,500 per month, Vice-Chair - $3,000 per month
- $750 for each day of formal board, subsidiary, committee meetings or specified events in the corporate interest he or she attended, or $500 if they attended via telephone.
- A fee of $250 was paid for any meeting called as an informal teleconference.
- When there are multiple meetings on the same day, only a single meeting fee is paid.
At incorporation, Sealaska enrolled 15,782 Alaska Natives, each of whom received 100 shares of Sealaska stock. Approximately 1,800 additional Alaska Natives have since received Sealaska stock through inheritance of shares or gifting. As an ANCSA corporation, Sealaska has no publicly traded stock and its shares cannot legally be sold.
Sealaska shareholders will vote on June 23, 2007 whether to enroll qualified descendants of original shareholders by issuing them 100 shares of life estate stock in Sealaska. If the proposal passes, about 5,500 additional shareholders could be immediately enrolled, with additional descendants being enrolled when they reach age 18. However, unlike shares of original shareholders, the new shares would expire on the descendant's death and could not be willed or gifted. To be eligible, descendants must be children or grandchildren of original Sealaska shareholders, must be of at least one-quarter Alaska Native descent, and must not be a member of any other regional corporation unless through inheritance or gift. One effect of passage would be to dilute the corporate dividends and voting power of current shareholders. Shareholders will also vote whether to grant senior shareholders an additional 100 shares (nonvoting life estate) and whether to give 100 shares of life estate stock to eligible Alaska Natives born before 1972 who were not enrolled in Sealaska ("leftouts").
Sealaska has established a Permanent Fund, comprising investments in stocks, bonds, real estate and private equity funds, as a source of shareholder dividends. At the end of the 2005 fiscal year, it was valued at $90 million.
Shareholder receive dividends twice a year with amount dependent on the type of stock they own. Sealaska profits often make up a small portion of the overall dividend. The April 2016 dividend was for Non-Elder Urban Shareholders was $953. Of that amount, $824 (86%) came from 7(i) funds. ANSCA law requires regional corporations to share a portion of their proceeds from natural resource development with other regional corporations. $50 came from Sealaska profits and the remaining $79 was from the Marjorie Young Permanent Fund.
Shareholders who object to perceived nepotism and unfair practices are often branded as "dissidents" by the Sealaska board and staff. In response, shareholders have begun networking on Facebook pages to share information and concerns. The largest active groups are Sealaska Shareholders (closed group) with over 3,600 members and Shareholders of Sealaska .
Sealaska owns 290,000 acres (1,170 km2) of surface estate and 560,000 acres (2,270 km2) of subsurface estate in Southeast Alaska, making it the largest private landholder in the region.
Sealaska's principal economic enterprises have been the harvesting of timber and marketing of wood products to Pacific Rim countries and the Pacific Northwest, along with land and forest resource management. Sealaska has also diversified its business ventures to include, manufacturing, environmental consulting, construction and manufacturing aggregates, information technology, and machining and prototyping.
Although Sealaska is one of the largest Native corporations created under ANSCA, Alaska Business Monthly ranks the Top 49 Alaskan-owned and Alaska-operated companies ranked by gross revenues. In the 2016 list, Sealaska has fallen to 27th and is surpassed by 15 other Native corporations. Sealaska employs over 1,000 people, 52 per cent of whom are shareholders and descendants working in non-manufacturing sectors of Sealaska's enterprises.
Under federal law, Sealaska and its majority-owned subsidiaries, joint ventures and partnerships are deemed to be "minority and economically disadvantaged business enterprise[s]" (43 USC 1626(e)).
Sealaska's subsidiaries include:
|Sealaska Timber Corporation (STC)||1979||Ketchikan||Wholly owned||Timber production and land resource management.|
|Alaska Coastal Aggregates||Juneau||Wholly owned||Supplier of construction-grade aggregate material.|
|Sealaska Environmental Services (SES)||2003||Bellevue, Washington||Wholly owned||Environmental consulting, engineering and remediation.|
|Synergy Systems||Redmond, Washington||Wholly owned||Prototype and limited-run machine shop.|
|Kánaak Corporation||2005||Juneau, Alaska||Wholly owned||Certified diversity supplier; survivor of a merger with Sealaska subsidiary Triquest Corporation in 2005.|
|Managed Business Solutions LLC (MBS)||1993||Colorado Springs, Colorado||Majority-owned||Information technology services. Sealaska acquired majority ownership in December 2006.|
- Corporations Database. Sealaska Corporation. Division of Corporations, Business & Professional Licensing, Alaska Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development. Retrieved on 2007-03-18.
- Bluemink, Elizabeth. (2007-03-18). "Sharing Sealaska corporation with eligible descendants: Owners will vote on whether to add thousands to their corporation." Anchorage Daily News, pp. F1, F5. Retrieved on 2007-03-18.
- Sealaska Corporation. (2006). "Frequently Asked Questions." Sealaska Corporation (official website). Retrieved on 2007-03-16.
- "About Us". Sealaska Heritage Institute. Retrieved 7 June 2010.
- Sealaska Corporation. (2007). Our Sealaska: For Our Children. Retrieved on 2007-03-27.
- "Top 49ers Announced by Alaska Business Monthly". www.akbizmag.com. Retrieved 2017-03-15.
- Sealaska Timber Corporation. (2002). "About STC." Sealaska Timber Corporation. Retrieved on 2007-03-27.
- Sealaska Corporation. (2006). "Kánaak Corporation." Retrieved on 2007-03-27.
- Corporations Database. Kanaak Corporation. Division of Corporations, Business & Professional Licensing, Alaska Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development. Retrieved on 2007-03-27.
- Nypro Kánaak. (2006). "Company." Retrieved on 2007-03-27.
- Nypro Kánaak. (2006). "About Kánaak Corporation." Retrieved on 2007-03-27.
- Managed Business Solutions. (n.d.) "About MBS." Managed Business Systems. Retrieved on 2007-03-27.
- Managed Business Systems. (2007-12-16). "MBS acquired by Native corporation Sealaska: IT company repositions itself to fill supplier diversity role". Press release. Retrieved on 2007-03-27.