BSNC Young Providers Nomination Committee Announces 2017 Awardees

Bering Straits Native Corporation (BSNC) has announced the awardees of it 2017 Young Providers Award as Fisher Dill of Unalakleet and Corey Ningeulook of Shishmaref. The Young Providers Award honors young people from the BSNC region who contribute on a daily basis to the health and well-being of their families, communities and culture. The BSNC Board of Directors has chosen to posthumously honor Norbert Kakaruk by presentation of the awards. Dill and Ningeulook will be recognized at the 2017 Annual Meeting of Shareholders on Oct. 7 in Nome, Alaska.

Fisher Dill is a provider throughout the year and spends a great deal of time outdoors in the Unalakleet countryside hunting, fishing and gathering subsistence foods for his family, community members and Elders. He learned how to hunt and fish from his late grandmother Janet Koutchak and his late great-grandfather Jack ‘Papa” Koutchak Sr. Dill honors their memories by respectfully continuing their traditions. Dill is a student council member, active volunteer at Unalakleet High School and an Alaska Federation of Natives Youth and Elders representative. Dill also owns his own award-winning photography business.  His photographic depictions of rural Alaska show traditional life in a positive light while supporting traditional cultural values and helping instill pride and confidence in his community.

Corey Ningeulook serves as a role model for his community of Shishmaref by engaging other youth in positive, healthy activities such as playing Eskimo baseball and other traditional games and teaching other youth how to repair ATVs, snowmachines, motorcycles and build new bicycles. Ningeulook is an active hunter and often shares his catch with Elders and families in Shishmaref who do not have subsistence hunters in their families. Ningeulook’s in-depth knowledge of ice conditions helped him and six other hunters get back to land safely after they were stranded in sea ice during a walrus hunting trip in July 2016.

This year’s awards are named in honor of the late Norbert Kakaruk, a Qawiaramiut Elder from Mary’s Igloo who passed away on Dec. 22, 2013.  Born in a sod house, and three months premature, Norbert faced a number of physical obstacles as he grew up, spending time at Igloo and Pilgrim Hot Springs.  He lost his eyesight at a young age and attended trade school, becoming an excellent mechanic and carpenter. In recent decades he came to be recognized as a true culture bearer, and gave his time freely to anyone interested in Qawiaramiut history and culture. Norbert’s lifelong perseverance in the face of difficult challenges stands as a model for young and old alike.  His traditional knowledge, generosity, and kindness will be remembered by all who were fortunate enough to know him.

BSNC Announces 2017 Shareholder Dividend Distribution

The Bering Straits Native Corporation (BSNC) Board of Directors has declared a record-high dividend of $3.75 per share to be issued in December. The average BSNC shareholder who owns 100 shares of stock will receive $375. The total 2017 distribution will be approximately $2.4 million to BSNC’s shareholders of record. Since 1972, BSNC has distributed $17.9 million in regular dividends.

There are many benefits that come with being a BSNC shareholder or descendant, including eligibility to receive scholarships from the Bering Straits Foundation and hire preference for qualified shareholders, descendants and shareholder spouses. In addition to these benefits, BSNC provides Shareholder Bereavement Assistance in the amount $1,500 to help defray the cost of funeral expenses for an original BSNC shareholder, a lineal descendent of an original BSNC shareholder, or the spouse of a living original BSNC shareholder.

“BSNC is pleased to fulfill its pledge to return tangible benefits to its shareholders and descendants,” said BSNC Board Chairman Henry Ivanoff. “This dividend comes on the heels of continued growth. BSNC’s board and management is thankful for the support we have received from our shareholders.”

BSNC Declares Special Elders’ Dividend Distribution

The Bering Straits Native Corporation (BSNC) Board of Directors voted on Aug. 10 to declare a one-time 2017 special Elder dividend distribution of $750, an increase of $250 more than the 2016 special Elder distribution. This special distribution will be paid to original BSNC shareholders who are 65 years of age or older on Nov. 30, 2017, the date of record. Checks will be mailed on or by Dec. 31, 2017. Since 1972, BSNC has distributed a total of $2.1 million in Elder dividends.

“BSNC is honored to be able to give back to the Elders of our region who pass on cultural knowledge and contribute so much to our communities,” said BSNC Board Chairman Henry Ivanoff. “BSNC thanks each and every one of you.”

Summer 2017

A Message from the President & CEO

Summer is a beautiful time of year in the Bering Strait region. Ice and snow have given way in the warmer weather to open tundra and flowing waters. I have enjoyed reading the posts on social media of our Spring subsistence activities, including the harvests of abundant amounts of herring roe on seaweed, migratory bird eggs, salmon and marine mammals. Soon, salmonberries, blueberries, blackberries and cranberries will ripen and be harvested and either frozen, canned or made into jams or jellies for future use. I am thankful for all that our lands and seas provide, and proud that our time-honored tradition of sharing our rich subsistence harvests with our Elders and others continues to be a core value for us. Our subsistence way of life is a critical cornerstone of BSNC’s mission: “To improve the quality of life of our people through economic development while protecting our land and preserving our culture and heritage.”

I would like to take the opportunity to congratulate all of the 2017 high school and college graduates, and deliver a special message to young people starting out in their careers. To the friends and families of graduates, I applaud you too for the sacrifices you have made in your efforts to support your loved ones as they worked to earn their educational degrees.

Graduation marks the end of one chapter in a person’s life and the beginning of the next. The current successes of many Alaska Native Corporations (ANCs) like BSNC have meant that a generation of Alaska Natives have grown up benefitting from scholarships, dividends and other shareholder benefits that ANCs provide.

I share this because it’s important to take note of progress and to remember our early Native leaders who made these benefits possible. They fought for our rights with very little formal education and financial resources. They did the best they could with available resources, despite being thrust into a corporate world that few understood or had prior experience working in.

Today’s graduates have the opportunity to serve Alaska Native people during a very complex time. Our state faces major challenges ahead. On the positive side, ANCs currently have a profound positive impact on the state’s economy, while at the same time delivering benefits to our shareholders and descendants. ANCSA corporations rank among the top revenue-generating companies in the state. However, ANCSA has not solved all of the social ills that our people currently face. Today’s graduates have an opportunity to help make things better. They can build upon early mistakes that were made, apply what we have collectively learned since then, and make progress from a stronger position.

We Alaska Native people have thrived in remarkably difficult conditions for thousands of years. We are resilient. We adapt to changes and yet remain steadfast in our tradition of looking out for each other. One universal value found across all Alaska Native cultures is a strong responsibility to our families and communities. Young people — you are in a unique position to leverage your achievements and special responsibilities to build upon the successes and failures of ANCSA to make the work you do a blessing to the people you serve.

I challenge you to work with purpose to build alliances and tackle the social and other issues that we face. Ensure that your company’s mission is upheld. I also challenge you to take on meaningful projects throughout your career and serve as an ally to Alaska Native people. Work to empower the next generation with the tools, knowledge and skills they will need to make their own positive impact.

Step outside of your comfort zone and do something that generations before you never thought possible. Making an impact requires more than a vision and passion. Your education has taught you to be organized. To be strategic. To see a problem and not view it as such, but as an opportunity use your creative skills to find solutions. Use those skills well to light your path with purpose, and to pave the way for the next generation to improve upon your successes.

Quyaana and I hope everyone has a safe and productive Summer.

Gail R. Schubert

Larry Pederson Promoted to VP of Nome Operations, Lands

BSNC shareholder Larry Pederson was promoted to Vice President of Nome Operations and Lands. Peterson formerly served as Vice President of Lands and Resources. In his new role, Pederson is responsible for the corporate and subsidiary operations in Nome.

Pederson assumed many of the responsibilities of Jerald Brown, former Vice President of Nome Operations. Brown retired on April 15 after a 23-year career with the Company.

Pederson earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Environmental Biology from Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colo. In addition to his employment with BSNC, Pederson is currently the president of Council Native Corporation and chair of the Nome Planning Commission and Golovin Bay Watershed Alliance.

 

BSNC mourns passing of Jack Carpenter, former President and CEO

Bering Straits Native Corporation (BSNC) will remember Jack Carpenter, former President and CEO of BSNC, as a friend and tireless advocate of the Corporation. Jack passed away on Sunday, April 9, 2017. Jack was hired in 1990 as BSNC’s Chief Operating Officer, was promoted to Executive Vice President in 1991 and was again promoted to President and CEO in 1992, a role in which he served until his retirement in 2000. The BSNC Board of Directors and family of companies express sincere condolences to Jack’s loved ones.

“Jack understood the value of perseverance and resolve,” said BSNC President and CEO Gail R. Schubert. “He will be missed and I express my heartfelt sympathy to his family.”

Please keep Jack’s family in your thoughts as they go through this difficult time.

BSNC congratulates shareholder Robyn Emery

BSNC congratulates shareholder Robyn Emery, who will start the University of Washington’s Pathology / Molecular Medicine Ph.D. program next fall. She plans to focus on infectious disease research. She encourages other young people in their pursuit of higher education, “Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do it! The opportunities are out there, you just need to actively be pursing them.”

Robyn graduated with high honors from Northwest University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology in 2016 at the age of 20 years old. She has previously attended Ocean Research College Academy during her high school Junior and Senior years. Summer 2014 and 2015 Robyn interned at Penn State’s National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network Program and at Seattle’s Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. She is currently doing post-baccalaureate work at UW Medicine’s Tuberculosis Laboratory.

She is the daughter of BSNC shareholder/artist Susan Ringstad Emery and John Emery. Robyn thanks the Bering Straits Foundation, Sitnausauk and Kawerak for scholarship assistance during her undergraduate studies. Robyn is an enrolled tribal member of Native Village of Shishmaref.

Winter 2017

A Message from the President & CEO

I hope that everyone had a wonderful winter filled with seasonal outdoor activities with your loved ones and friends. Daylight is starting to return and many are already preparing for the return of spring hunting of migratory waterfowl, seals, other marine mammals and king crab harvesting!

For thousands of years, the people of our region have sustained their families and communities with the abundance of natural resources that our region is blessed with. Time-honored traditions such as replenishing subsistence food supplies with fresh seal, walrus and oogruk, all kinds of migrating birds and their eggs, and fresh crab are all part of our Native way of life.

It has been heart-warming seeing photos that our shareholders and descendants have submitted to the annual BSNC Photo Contest sharing their successful hunting and harvesting efforts. It is gratifying seeing that our tradition of sharing with Elders, the infirm and others is still as important now as it was hundreds of years ago. I am proud that our youth have demonstrated a strong dedication to this tradition and their deep connection to the land and their culture. While changes in our environment and lifestyles have occurred, our traditions are what bind us together and ensure that our Native way of life will live on well into the future.

As we head into 2017, I would like to take the opportunity to thank BSNC’s shareholders for their continued support for and involvement in their corporation. 2016 was a noteworthy year for BSNC. 2016 marked the ninth consecutive year the corporation has paid dividends to its shareholders.

The record high dividend of $3.50 per share declared by the BSNC Board of Directors is a reflection of BSNC’s commitment to providing meaningful benefits to its shareholders. BSNC’s Board of Directors also issued a $500 special Elder dividend to original BSNC shareholders who were 65 years of age or older on Nov. 10, 2016. This dividend was given in gratitude of the contributions of Elders to our region’s communities and people. BSNC looks forward to focusing on delivering strong financial results to you, our shareholders, while focusing on operational excellence, diversifying revenue and enhancing shareholder opportunities.

The achievements of the past year(s) are the result of the collective dedication and resilience of BSNC’s Board of Directors, and the continued efforts of management and staff to the ongoing growth of our Company. We have built a successful Alaska Native corporation that holds true to its mission of improving the quality of life of our people through economic development, while protecting our land and preserving our culture and heritage. Heading into 2017, we look forward to continuing the growth and diversification of BSNC. Thank you to our shareholders for your ongoing support and involvement in your company.

Gail R. Schubert

Iyabak Construction, LLC Completes Major Renovation to BSWG Shelter

Iyabak Construction, LLC, a subsidiary of Bering Straits Native Corporation, recently completed a major renovation to the Bering Sea Women’s Group (BSWG) Shelter as part of the State of Alaska’s Domestic Violence Shelter Deferred Maintenance Project. Located in Nome, BSWG is a nonprofit that provides programs and shelter for domestic violence victims. The shelter, originally constructed in 1959, was in a severely deteriorated state due to heavy use and limited funding.

Iyabak began the onsite construction work in June 2016. Due to temporary displacement of the clients, women and children of the community, Iyabak aimed for the work to be complete by September. Iyabak not only met this goal, but clients were able to move back into the facility on Aug. 16, several weeks ahead of schedule.

Improvements included interior finishes, a new heating fuel tank, plumbing and light fixtures, power and data upgrades, doors and windows. These solutions not only included all of the safety code compliant upgrades, but allowed the entire facility to be renovated into modernized living quarters and office spaces, and all within the available funding.

 

Pilgrim Hot Springs Celebrates First Harvest

In 2015 BSNC, the managing member of Unaatuq, LLC, was awarded a U.S. Department of Agriculture Conservation Innovation Grant for a geothermal greenhouse at Pilgrim Hot Springs. In September approximately 15 lbs. of lettuce, 10 lbs. of chard, 30 lbs. of assorted onions and a variety of potatoes, radishes, carrots, turnips and herbs were harvested at Pilgrim Hot Springs for donation to the Nome Community Center and Nome Eskimo Community. The vegetables were in turn distributed to Elders and those in need.

The new infrastructure at Pilgrim Hot Springs includes a bathhouse near the earth pool, an outhouse at the parking lot and a gate with pedestrian access. There has also been a great deal of effort put into collecting debris and general cleanup of the property. A soil enhancement project of composted horse manure mixed with seaweed collected from Nuuk will be tilled to prepare for the 2017 agriculture growing season.

BSNC, the managing partner of Unaatuq, LLC thanks the volunteers, residents of Nome and the surrounding communities, as well as the visitors to our region for their support with the test garden and activities this year.

2016 Annual Meeting Results

BSNC held its 2016 Annual Meeting of Shareholders on Saturday, Oct. 1 in Anchorage, Alaska. Shareholders voted on the election of five board directors. Incumbents Gail R. Schubert, Louis Green, Eugene Asicksik and Tim Towarak were reelected and Charles Fagerstrom was newly elected to the Board. Directors serve three-year terms.

Drawings were held for door prizes for those present and prizes were drawn for shareholders who turned in a valid proxy. Checks were mailed to winners who were not present at the meeting. Shareholders who could not attend the annual meeting this year in Anchorage were invited to join via live webcast at www.beringstraits.com.

BSNC is pleased to announce the results of its 2016 Election of Board Officers.

Chairman: Henry Ivanoff
Vice Chairman: Lee Ryan
President: Gail R. Schubert
Secretary: Roy Ashenfelter
Treasurer: Tim Towarak
Assistant Secretary: Fred Sagoonick
Assistant Treasurer: Jason Evans

BSNC hires Craig Richards as General Counsel

Contact:
Matt Ganley
BSNC Vice President of Media & External Affairs
Mganley@beringstraits.com
(907) 632-7197

Bering Straits Native Corporation (BSNC) announced today that it has hired attorney Craig Richards as its Vice President & General Counsel. Mr. Richards will report to BSNC President & CEO Gail R. Schubert. Richards will offer counsel on legal matters and ensure legal compliance and oversee risk management.

“We welcome Craig’s experience in project development and negotiating and managing complex transactions, including identifying and creating financial solutions,” said BSNC President and CEO Gail Schubert. “His extensive experience in integrating legal and financial analytical skills in project development will also serve BSNC well as we move forward.”

Richards has more than 16 years of legal experience. Prior to joining BSNC, Richards served as Alaska Attorney General from 2014 to 2016, and subsequently provided legal counsel on oil and gas issues to the State of Alaska under contract. Richards holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and a Juris Doctor degree from Washington & Lee University. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Virginia.

 

Ivory Ban – What Does it Mean?

On July 6, 2016, a near-total ban on commercial trade in African elephant ivory went into effect in the United States. This federal ban only applies to elephant ivory but a few states, including California, Hawaii, New Jersey, New York and Washington, have passed laws that include walrus, mammoth and mastodon ivory. Under these laws, residents may face prosecution for buying, owning or bringing home legally acquired ivory from Alaska. The ban also has an economic impact on rural Alaska communities who use the resource, buyers of walrus, mammoth and mastodon ivory products and gift shops that sell them. The ban has caused confusion and concern among many Alaska Native ivory carvers.

Under the Marine Mammal Protection Act, Alaska Native hunters can harvest, buy and carve walrus ivory and anyone can purchase the art. Although the California measure restricts most ivory, Alaska leaders stress that the wording is not specific enough to clearly exempt traditional Alaska Native arts and crafts.

BSNC President and CEO Gail Schubert attended the first Arctic Science Ministerial, an important gathering of Arctic leaders, where she raised the issue of the purchase, sale and possession ban on ivory. She emphasized the adverse impact the ban will have on Alaska Native communities and Alaska Native artists.

BSNC shareholder and ivory carver Susie Silook spoke about the ivory ban at the Alaska Federation of Natives annual convention in Fairbanks. She created an online petition which can be found at http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/protect-indigenous-alaskan.

In addition to signing the petition, you may also voice your support for by contacting your congressional delegation to let them know you support excluding legally acquired walrus, mammoth and mastodon ivory from the domestic ivory ban.

DNR recognizes BSNC subsidiary for Reclamation at Rock Creek Mine

Contact:
Matt Ganley
BSNC Vice President of Media & External Affairs
Mganley@beringstraits.com
(907) 632-7197

The Alaska Department of Natural Resources awarded Alaska Gold Company (AGC), a subsidiary of Bering Straits Native Corporation (BSNC), the 2016 Reclamation Award at the Alaska Miners Association Annual Convention luncheon for reclamation activities at the Rock Creek Mine on Tuesday, Nov. 8.

“On behalf of BSNC and our Board of Directors, I thank the State of Alaska Department of Natural Resources for recognizing AGC’s extraordinary work to reclaim the Rock Creek Mine,” said Gail Schubert, BSNC President & CEO. “BSNC strives to empower our people as leaders in the development and protection of the Arctic. I am proud that our efforts to restore natural habitat have been recognized as an example of environmental stewardship.”

“AGC’s dedication of commitment to reclaiming the Rock Creek Mine is made evident through their exceptional efforts to re-contour, armor and seed disturbed areas to blend with the surrounding natural landscape and promote wildlife habitat,” said Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Andy Mack. “The State of Alaska thanks Alaska Gold Company and NSNC for their excellence in responsible stewardship and for exceeding reclamation standards as required by the State of Alaska. We congratulate Alaska Gold Company as most deserving recipients of this award.”

The Rock Creek Mine was included in the 2012 purchase of AGC by BSNC. After analyzing the potential for restarting the mine, AGC and BSNC chose to proceed with reclamation of the mine in 2014 when it was determined that it could not be reopened as a profitable venture. While the Rock Creek project was not successful as a producing mine, the reclamation made use of local labor and businesses which provided economic benefit to the Bering Strait region and BSNC’s shareholders. Tumet Industries LLC, a construction firm owned by Kawerak, Inc. was contracted to fulfill the reclamation plan and worked with BSNC subsidiary staff. During the 5 months of work at the site more than 30 shareholders or shareholder descendants/family members worked for Tumet.

 

BSNC Board of Directors Announces 2016 Shareholder Dividend Distribution

The Bering Straits Native Corporation (BSNC) Board of Directors has declared a dividend of $3.50 per share to be issued in December. The average BSNC shareholder who owns 100 shares of stock will receive $350. The total distribution will be approximately $2.2 million to BSNC’s shareholders of record.

“This is a record high dividend and a 10 percent increase from BSNC’s 2015 distribution,” said BSNC Board Chairman Henry Ivanoff. “This dividend is a reflection of BSNC’s commitment to providing meaningful benefits to its shareholders.”

There are many benefits that come with being a BSNC shareholder or descendant, including eligibility to receive scholarships from the Bering Straits Foundation and hire preference for qualified applicants. In addition to these benefits, BSNC provides bereavement benefits in the amount of $1,500 to families to assist after the death of an original BSNC shareholder or lineal descendant of an original BSNC shareholder.

 

BSNC Declares Special Elders’ Dividend Distribution

The Bering Straits Native Corporation (BSNC) Board of Directors voted on Aug. 11 to declare a one-time special Elder dividend of $500. This special dividend will be paid to original BSNC shareholders who were 65 years of age or older on Nov. 10, 2016, the date of record. Checks will be mailed on or by Dec. 31, 2016.

“This special dividend is given in gratitude of those who have given so much to our communities and our people,” said BSNC Board Chairman Henry Ivanoff. “BSNC honors the contributions of our Elder shareholders.”

BSNC is an Alaska Native Corporation that was established by the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971. BSNC is owned by more than 7,500 Alaska Native shareholders and actively pursues responsible development of resources and other business opportunities. Through its subsidiaries, BSNC serves the federal government and commercial customers throughout the Bering Strait region, Alaska, the United States and the world.

 

BSNC Honors Young Providers and Elders at the 2016 Annual Meeting

BSNC awarded Sierra Tucker of Nome and Christian “Agragiiq” Apassingok of Gambell with the 2016 Young Providers Award at the 2016 Annual Meeting of Shareholders on Oct. 1. The Young Providers Award honors young people from the BSNC region who contribute on a daily basis to the health and well-being of their families, communities and culture. The BSNC Board of Directors chose to posthumously honor the late Irene Tagumaaq Aukongak and Paul Johnson by presentation of the awards.

BSNC also honored Elders selected by their respective village corporation in appreciation for their accomplishments in maintaining traditional lifestyles and the determination to share valuable knowledge with our youth in preserving the culture and heritage of the Bering Straits region. The following Elders were recognized at the Annual Meeting:

Mary “Rose Ann” Titus – Council Native Corporation
Hilda M. Clark – Golovin Native Corporation
Agnes I. Mayac – King Island Native Corporation
Vincent A. Kunnuk – King Island Native Corporation
Lillian Hanaka – Shaktoolik Native Corporation
Robert K. Joe Sr. – Sitnasuak Native Corporation
Joseph Charles Steve – Stebbins Native Corporation
Winton Weyapuk, Jr. – Wales Native Corporation

Historical Spotlight: Ted Katcheak and the Seward Peninsula Reindeer

Reindeer husbandry was introduced to the Seward Peninsula via Port Clarence in 1892 by Sheldon Jackson, due to a severe decline in the Western Arctic Caribou herd population. Currently, there are approximately 21 reindeer herders and 20,000 reindeer in western Alaska. These herders belong to the Kawerak Reindeer Herders Association, which provides assistance in the development of a viable reindeer industry to enhance the economic base for rural Alaska and to improve the management of the herds.

One of those herders is Theodore Katcheak, a life-long reindeer herder from Stebbins. Katcheak learned to herd from his father Benny who tended the Stebbins Community herd. In 1974, Katcheak started managing the Stebbins herd full-time. Today, Katcheak is one of the owners of the tri-party herd, a herd jointly owned by the Katcheak family, the Stebbins Community Association and the Native Village of St. Michael. In 2014, the tri-party herd had to relocate due to an expired lease. Now thousands of reindeer roam on the mainland east and south of Stebbins and St. Michael.

Pilgrim Hot Springs: What’s Going On?

As the managing partner of Unaatuq, LLC, BSNC thanks the residents of Nome and the surrounding communities, as well as the visitors to our region for their support of new activities at Pilgrim Hot Springs this year. There has been a great deal of effort put into collecting debris and general clean-up of the property.

The agricultural pilot at Pilgrim program took off quickly with the combined efforts of Bering Straits Development Company, Calypso Farms and the Alaska Center for Energy and Power. One area was planted with surface crops to help prepare the soils for future planting and one area was planted with various vegetables. In addition to the agricultural efforts, there is now an outhouse at the entrance to the property, and we are working on getting a bath house set up near the soaking pool.

The historic building survey will be completed this September by NVision Architects, an Anchorage firm. It is expected that their work will give good baseline information and schematics for future stabilization of the historic buildings at the old mission site. This project has been made possible by Kawerak, Inc. and the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Unaatuq, LLC, the consortium of organizations and Native Corporations that own Pilgrim Hot Springs, has kept the property open for public use since it was purchased in 2010. The only requirement is that visitors fill out a permit and liability waiver prior to their visit. This summer more than 300 permits were submitted. The permits are still available at BSNC’s office (Old Fed Building, Front Street, 3rd floor), the Aurora Inn or the Nome Convention and Visitors Bureau.

It is also important that visitors do not venture off the road as they travel to the springs. The surrounding lands along the road belong to BSNC, Mary’s Igloo Native Corporation and the Bureau of Land Management. Please be respectful of Native corporation lands and avoid trespass. Maintaining public use of the springs is important and can only be continued if visitors respect the land and clean up any trash they have brought with them. Please continue to help us keep the property safe and clean and report any vandalism.

People wishing to go to the cemetery are not required to obtain a permit if this is the only reason for their visit. When the property was sold in 2010, the deed included a perpetual public easement to the cemetery so that people might visit and tend to the graves there.

And finally, if you would like to volunteer to help with general grounds work or with the agricultural program, please email: pilgrimproduce@beringstraits.com. We hope to see you at Pilgrim!

BSNC Shareholder Selected as an AFN Keynote Speaker

Megan Alvanna-StimpfleBSNC shareholder Megan Alvanna-Stimpfle was selected by the Alaska Federation of Natives Board of Directors to deliver the convention keynote address with Emil Notti. Alvanna-Stimpfle and Notti will speak on the first day of the three-day meeting taking place Oct. 20-22, 2016 at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks, Alaska.

“Our generation is to inherit our traditions, languages and culture and what a blessing it is to know who we are,” said Alvanna-Stimpfle. “We also inherit the responsibility of managing tribal governments, Native corporations as well as health and fishery institutions. By their very nature they are western democratic institutions, which require us to be engaged citizens and active shareholders. Our responsibility is to the land and to our way of life. We must ensure that our institutions remain firmly guided by our traditional values. With that we have the political and economic opportunity to define our future on our terms.”

“AFN is honored to have both distinguished and emerging leaders speak to our delegates,” said AFN President Julie Kitka. “The Native community gathers for the 50th Convention to not only celebrate, acknowledge and honor the many sacrifices our people made in the land claims movement and the formation of AFN, but also to take stock of AFN’s unfinished business in improving the lives of our people.”

Alvanna-Stimpfle was born and raised in Nome, Alaska. She is of King Island Inupiaq heritage and takes pride in Eskimo dancing and learning her language. She holds a Master’s in Applied Economics from Johns Hopkins University and a B.S. in Economics from George Mason University.

For five years, Alvanna-Stimpfle served as a legislative assistant for Senator Lisa Murkowski in Washington D.C. and was responsible for policies addressing infrastructure and sanitation, housing, health delivery, public safety and justice, land management, as well as fish and wildlife management for Alaska Native and rural Alaskans. She assisted in organizing the Arctic Imperative Summit to bring arctic and coastal Alaskan issues to the forefront of American policy. Alvanna-Stimpfle serves on the Nome Port Commission and is an elected member of the King Island Traditional Council.