Virtual policy update connects shareholders with policy and advocacy priorities
Wednesday, February 7, 2024

Sealaska’s Nax̱too.aat/Wayi Wah/Hágwsdaa (Let’s Go!) policy committee hosted a virtual shareholder update on Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2024 for an audience of over 170 shareholders. The event was focused on Sealaska’s policy priorities for the 2024 year and offered shareholders an opportunity to learn more about ongoing initiatives, supportive advocacy and how they can get involved on an individual level.  

Sealaska director ‘Wáahlaal Gíidáak, who serves as the committee chair, was joined by fellow committee members La quen náay and Nicole Ch’aak’Tlaa / Tix̱oosheí Hallingstad. The hosts provided an overview of Sealaska’s public policy priorities and advocacy focuses for the year: 

High Level Advocacy 

  • Landless Legislation
  • Subsistence Amendments
  • ANCSA Technical
    Amendments
  • Fisheries Amendments
  • Alaska Native Veterans
  • Value Added Efforts for Sealaska Businesses
  • Access to Monumental Art Logs – USFS

Supportive Advocacy

  • Rural Infrastructure – ferry, roads, docks, hydro/energy
  • Subsistence Protections
  • Workforce Development
  • Economic Development
  • Carbon Program 
  • T&H and Village Tribal Priorities
  • Elections and Voting
  • Appropriations – BLM surveys and conveyances, education, secure rural schools, workforce development, USDA programs, energy

Monitoring/Commenting

  • Engagement on land  management of USFS
  • Engagement with State of Alaska, Mental Health Trust, University of Alaska, other land owners
  • Small Business Program Protections 

The event also included a lively chat, with engagement from shareholders across the state and country. Key questions addressed during the event included: 

  • Sealaska’s Stance on Trawling: Understanding our position on trawling in Alaska and how that differs from how trawling is carried out by our operations in Europe.  
  • Internal Policy on Records Requests: Clarification on how Sealaska handles records requests. 
  • Support for Landless Shareholders: Exploring avenues for shareholders to support the landless initiative, complemented by a comprehensive overview of landless legislation. Notably, the event opened with the screening of an advocacy video: Landless Shareholders Advocacy Video 
  • Impact of Ultima Service Corporation v. SBA Case: Discussion on the case’s implications for Sealaska’s 8a businesses and providing general awareness. 
  • Relationship with the Federal Government: Examination of the dynamics between tribes, corporations and the federal government and the relationships between each entity. 
  • Engagement in Housing and Education Policies: Delving into Sealaska’s role in addressing affordable housing and education in Alaska. 
  • Participation in the Arctic Encounter Symposium: Confirming Sealaska’s representation at this event. 

The Landless portion of the program offered shareholders an opportunity to learn more about the most recent progress on Landless legislation and included real-time shareholder action, with attendees actively signing the Landless petition and engaging in advocacy efforts with their federal representation. Sealaska works closely with Alaska Natives Without Land in their advocacy efforts to advance Landless legislation currently before Congress and we were excited to share video of Director Rinehart’s testimony before Congress in support of the legislation with shareholders in the chat during the event.  His testimony can also be viewed here

We appreciate the engagement and participation of the shareholders who tuned into the event, and the feedback we received from those who completed the post-event survey. Those who completed the survey were eligible to win one of three $100 cash prizes.

If you missed this policy update, we invite you to tune into one of our upcoming virtual events:  

  • Feb. 20 – Sealaska New Shareholder Orientation, hosted on MySealaska from 12-1 p.m. Alaska time 
  • Feb. 29 – First Quarter Board Q&A, hosted on MySealaska from 12-1 p.m. Alaska time 

View the full stream, including the chat, on MySealaska by following this link: https://mysealaska.com/News/MeetingArchiveView/129  

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