BSNC announces 2018 Young Providers Awardees

BSNC has announced the awardees of its 2018 Young Providers Award as Summer Sagoonick of Unalakleet honoring Irene Katchatag and Edgar Kuzuguk of Shishmaref honoring Clarence Trigg. 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. Sagoonick and Kuzuguk will be recognized at the 2018 Annual Meeting of Shareholders on Oct. 6 in Anchorage, Alaska.

Summer Sagoonick is a subsistence hunter and gatherer who provides food for her family and Elders in her hometown of Unalakleet. This past winter and spring, Summer harvested her first caribou, ptarmigan, fox and spotted seal and provided each to Elders and neighbors in the Inupiaq tradition. Summer is an Alaska Youth for Environmental Action trainer and an Our Children’s Trust youth plaintiff. She works tirelessly to raise awareness of how climate change affects our region. Summer is a mentor to younger students, maintains excellent grades and is an accomplished athlete in cross-country running, volleyball, basketball and Native Youth Olympics.

Edgar Kuzuguk is a successful hunter who provides subsistence foods to his family and extended family. He learned the way of the land from his grandfather and passes on his knowledge of hunting to his younger brother. He lives an active lifestyle free of alcohol and drugs and participates in community activities. He also provides care for his great-grandmother.

Summer will be recognized in honor of the late Irene Katchatag of Unalakleet. Irene worked as a homemaker, unpaid health aide and bilingual teacher for the Bering Straits School District. Irene was an active subsistence hunter and gatherer and was a vocal advocate of Alaska Native people.

Edgar will be recognized in honor of the late Clarence Trigg of Nome. Clarence was a family man and operating engineer. Upon his retirement, he was an active community member and subsistence hunter who generously shared what he harvested with the community.

Summer Sagoonick

Edgar Kuzuguk

 

BSNC Announces 2018 Elder Dividend Distribution

The Bering Straits Native Corporation (BSNC) Board of Directors has voted to declare a 2018 special Elder dividend distribution of $1,000, an increase of $250 more than the 2017 special Elder distribution. This special distribution will be paid to original BSNC shareholders who are 65 years of age or older on Nov. 5, 2018, the date of record. Checks will be mailed on or by Dec. 31, 2018. Since 1972, BSNC has distributed a total of $2.8 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.”

BSNC Announces 2018 Shareholder Dividend Distribution

The Bering Straits Native Corporation (BSNC) Board of Directors has declared a record-high dividend of $5.00 per share to be issued in December, an increase of $1.25 per share more than the 2017 shareholder dividend. The average BSNC shareholder who owns 100 shares of stock will receive $500. The total 2018 distribution will be approximately $3.2 million to BSNC’s shareholders of record. Since 1972, BSNC has distributed $20.3 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.

“Your Board of Directors and executive team have worked hard to lay a solid foundation for long-term performance,” said BSNC Board Chairman Henry Ivanoff. “It makes me proud to see BSNC Shareholders benefit from BSNC’s continued growth.”

Chinese Research Vessel Visits our Region

This Summer starting in mid-July, the Chinese icebreaking research vessel XUE LONG will travel through the Bering Strait conducting research in close proximity to several of our communities. It is expected that Nome and Little Diomede will have good views of the research vessel as it traverses the Strait. This will be the vessel’s sixth trip to the Arctic through the Bering Strait. Its last transit of the Bering Strait was in 2012. The vessel is used to collect data which plays a significant part in climate change research.

If you see the vessel, please take photos and send them to our Media Department at media@beringstraits.com. We will pay $100 for each photo we select to use in current and future presentations we are developing on the Arctic, and the important role of the Bering Strait Region as northern waters open to increased marine traffic.

Statement to Shareholders Regarding El Paso Contract

Dear BSNC Shareholders,

Some of you may know that one of our subsidiaries, Global Precision Systems LLC (GPS), has a contract to provide detention, transportation and meal services at the El Paso Processing Center located in Texas. Our duty at the Center is to ensure the security, safety, health and welfare of individuals placed at the Center.

I am providing this information to you because border control centers have become the subject of recent national attention. As indigenous people applying strong traditional values, we at BSNC strive to ensure that all individuals who work for us and our subsidiaries, or who are placed in our care, are treated with dignity and respect. During a recent site visit, I visited the Center and observed our subsidiary employees interact at several levels with individuals placed at the Center. I found our subsidiary employees to be respectful, courteous and responsive, while still ensuring that our subsidiary met the standards of our contract.

As confirmation of this, just prior to my visit, one of our subsidiary’s employees and his staff received Commendation Awards for exemplary service and performance of duties during a Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL) office inspection at the Center. The review determined that our subsidiary employees met and exceeded all CRCL standards. The CRCL office supports the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s mission to secure the nation, while preserving individual liberty, fairness and equality under the law.

We at BSNC remain committed to our strategic vision for the Company, which includes providing shareholder benefits (e.g., regular and elder dividends, bereavement payments, jobs, internships, scholarships and support for nonprofit entities that provide services to our shareholders and descendants), and pursuing economic development opportunities while protecting our lands and preserving our culture and heritage. I ask you, as shareholders, to read our upcoming Annual Report to understand the role that government contracting has served in our growth and ability to provide the benefits described above, and what we have done to ensure that our government contract work has been utilized to provide benefits to our People. Thank you for your continued support.

Quyaana,

Gail R. Schubert
President & CEO

Spring 2018

A Message from the President & CEO

I am excited to share with you news about an opportunity that the new tax law created for BSNC and other Alaska Native Corporations (ANCs) to enhance the benefits we provide to our shareholders and descendants. ANCs have been authorized to create “Settlement Trusts” since the 1980s, and several regional corporations have already created these trusts. Under the law, a Settlement Trust is authorized to promote the health, education, and welfare of its beneficiaries, and to preserve the heritage and culture of Alaska Natives.

At its February 2018 meeting, the BSNC Board authorized the creation of the BSNC Beringia Settlement Trust. This trust will be a separate legal entity from BSNC, and its board will be appointed by BSNC. In order to create a BSNC Settlement Trust, shareholders must approve its creation by a vote of the majority of shares present (in person or by proxy) at a meeting for which a quorum is established. We are asking that you vote YES to authorize the creation of the BSNC Beringia Settlement Trust at the 2018 Annual Meeting.

You may wonder why BSNC wants to create a Settlement Trust right away. The answer is that the new tax law created financial incentives for BSNC to save money on taxes by making contributions to the Trust for the benefit of our shareholders and descendants. The Trust could be used to fund dividends, elder distributions, and bereavement assistance payments. The Trust may also be used for scholarships and funds for cultural preservation and promotion programs. Finally, contributions received by the Trust from BSNC would be taxed just one time at the low flat rate of 10%, and dividends and other distributions from the Trust to shareholders and descendants are expected to be tax free.

Once BSNC contributes cash or other assets to the Settlement Trust, they can only be used for the generation and distribution of benefits to the shareholders and/or beneficiaries of the Trust. BSNC cannot take any money out of the Trust for its own uses once contributions are made.

The BSNC Beringia Settlement Trust will serve to provide a dividend distributions, elder benefits, bereavement assistance, scholarships and support cultural preservation and promotion programs. Additional information will be included on the BSNC website and Facebook page, and in the Annual Report and proxy you will receive prior to the 2018 Annual Meeting.

Again, we ask that you vote YES to allow BSNC to create the BSNC Beringia Settlement Trust. Quyaana to you our shareholders for your ongoing support and involvement in BSNC.

Gail R. Schubert

BSNC Shareholder Presents Proclamation Honoring Sami Reindeer Herders

Inga Kemi Turi, the youngest granddaughter of Sami reindeer herder Samuel Kemi, and BSNC shareholder Pearl Johnson hold the Alaska Legislature’s honorary proclamation. Kemi was the first Sami reindeer herder to contract with Sheldon Jackson, arriving in Alaska in 1894. Photo courtesy of Nils Johan Heatta.

On March 16, 2016, the Alaska State Legislature recognized the 122nd anniversary of the arrival of the Sami reindeer herders and their families from Scandinavia with an honorary proclamation for their humanitarian endeavors.

In 1894 and 1898, Sami were recruited by the U.S. government with assistance from Sheldon Jackson reindeer herders to teach reindeer husbandry to Alaska Native apprentices from western Alaska. Despite language difficulties, this large-scale teaching and hands-on training program transformed the lives and culture of many Alaskans by providing a marketable, locally available protein source. In addition, tanning hides made fur available for outerwear and by-products through present day. The Sami’s heroic efforts included traveling with reindeer from Haines to Circle City to save miners stuck in snow without provisions. They also herded reindeer from Teller Mission to Barrow to save the crew of a ship trapped in ice.

On Aug. 19, 2017, BSNC shareholder and Sami Cultural Center of North America Board Member and consultant Pearl Johnson traveled to Jokkmokk, Sweden, to participate in the 6th World Reindeer Herders Congress. Every four years the Association of World Reindeer Herders brings reindeer herders from across the circumpolar North to network, share experiences and traditional knowledge, hear from scientific experts, learn of cultural practices and celebrate. While attending, Johnson presented the proclamation to the descendants of the original Alaska Sami herders.

NAPLP Accepting Applications for 2018 Program

The Native American Political Leadership Program (NAPLP) is accepting applications for the 2018 Program. The summer semester for this full scholarship program, offered to Native American, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian students, will take place June 4 to July 27, 2018 at the George Washington University. The NAPLP program involves rigorous coursework in applied politics, hands-on professional internships, development of relationships with mentors and interactions with Washington’s political and policy decision makers and leaders in the Native American political community.

The application deadline for the summer semester has been extended to March 1, 2018. For more information and to apply, please visit Semesterinwashington.gwu.edu/apply.

BSNC’s Vice President and General Counsel Appointed to Permanent Fund Corporation Board

Governor Bill Walker announced today that he has appointed BSNC Vice President and General Counsel Craig Richards to the Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation Board of Trustees. Richards provides general legal counsel to BSNC and its affiliated companies and oversees legal compliance and risk management.

Richards has more than 16 years of legal experience, including as the Attorney General of the State of Alaska from 2014 to 2016. While serving as Attorney General, he played a key role in developing the concepts that underpin the Permanent Fund Protection Act, a proposal now being considered by the Legislature that would ensure the longevity of the dividend program while leveraging the state’s wealth to help pay for government services. Prior to serving as Attorney General, Richards was in private practice where he specialized in tax, finance and oil and gas law. He holds a Master of Business Administration from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and a Juris Doctor from Washington & Lee University. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Finance from the University of Virginia.

“Craig is an asset to the Board because of his extensive knowledge of public finance and Permanent Fund policy,” Governor Walker said.

Congratulations, Craig!

Autumn 2017

A Message from the President & CEO

I hope everyone had a successful summer fishing, hunting, and harvesting berries and greens in preparation for winter. The summer flew by and as we head into the winter months, we will be able to enjoy the fruits of our labors. Our Region is blessed to have many subsistence resources close to our villages, and I am proud that our youth have continued the centuries-old practice of sharing our resources with Elders and other households, both in the village and in urban Alaska. That has been the stronghold of our survival for many, many generations.

This year, the BSNC Board of Directors declared a record-high dividend of $3.75 per share to be issued in December. The Board also voted to declare a one-time special Elder dividend distribution of $750, an increase of $250 more than the 2016 special Elder distribution. We have been fortunate that our business development and support staff have had success in securing both government and commercial work, which has allowed us to focus on shareholder hire and development, hire and retain top quality employees, and increase the benefits we provide to our shareholders and Region. Because of our efforts, Alaska Business Monthly announced BSNC as #10 of the Top 49 Alaska-owned business as ranked by 2016 gross revenues.

During the 2017 Annual Meeting in Nome on Oct. 7, BSNC honored the lifelong efforts of Arthur “Guy” Martin to preserve and promote the rich cultural and historical resources of our Region. It was with great sadness that we learned of Guy’s passing on the evening of the Annual Meeting. On behalf of BSNC and our Board of Directors, I extend sincere condolences to Guy’s loved ones. During various points in his career, Guy worked for BSNC, Kawerak, Inc., Nome Eskimo Community and Sitnasuak Native Corporation. He was active in the community and served on many boards. Guy was a great believer in the power of persistence, even in the face of setbacks, and he worked tirelessly to see that our Region’s traditional knowledge is continued and respected.

The 2017 Annual Meeting in Nome was well attended. Shareholders voted on the election of five board directors. Incumbents Henry Ivanoff Sr., Robert K. Evans, Roy C. Ashenfelter and Homer E. Hoogendorn were reelected and Deborah Atuk was newly elected to the Board. I thank outgoing Director Fred N. Sagoonick for his longstanding service as a board member.

BSNC recognizes the importance of uplifting our youth and young adults who represent the next generation of leaders. This year, BSNC honored Fisher Dill of Unalakleet and Corey Ningeulook of Shishmaref with the Young Providers Award at the Annual Meeting. The BSNC Board of Directors chose to posthumously honor Norbert Kakaruk, a Qawiaramiut Elder from Mary’s Igloo through presentation of this year’s awards. I am proud that our youth demonstrate a dedication to the Region and their respective communities, family and culture. I was pleased to see that BSNC’s 2016 Young Provider, Christian Agragiiq Apassingok of Gambell, gave the youth keynote address during the 34th Annual Elders and Youth Conference in Anchorage. As you may know, Christian faced backlash from online bullies after harvesting his first bowhead whale last spring. I commend Christian for providing for his community and standing up for our people and way of life. His message to continue our traditional subsistence activities while facing opposition was powerful and inspiring.

BSNC’s 2017 Summer Internship Program was a success and provided eight interns the opportunity to gain valuable work experience and skills in Nome and Anchorage. Interns participated in trainings and workshops which included leadership skills, public speaking, the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, policy issues that affect Alaska Native people, cultural awareness, business structure, Arctic matters, personal finance and networking opportunities. Several of our past interns have transitioned to full-time employment with BSNC and other ANCSA corporations.

During this year’s Alaska Federation of Natives Convention, you may have been approached by signature-gatherers asking for you to sign a petition that claims to “Stand for Salmon.” In July, the ANCSA Regional Association voted unanimously to oppose this controversial initiative. If the initiative is passed and later becomes law, it may prevent Alaska Native Corporations from developing the lands and resources that were conveyed under ANCSA, and negatively affect our ability to create a sustainable socioeconomic future for our people. It could also delay or deny infrastructure improvement projects and economic development projects on Village lands. We urge you to carefully consider whether you should support this initiative, and for the reasons stated above, recommend a no vote if it is included on the ballot.

Earlier this fall, BSNC’s Anchorage office moved to the third and fourth floors of the Calais II building located at 3301 C Street, Suite 400. To welcome shareholders and business associates to the new location, BSNC will host an Open House and Holiday Bazaar on Thursday, Nov. 30 from 5-7:30 p.m. I hope to see many of you there.

Heading into 2018, we look forward to continuing the growth and diversification of BSNC. I hope that everyone has a happy and safe holiday season. Quyaana for your continued support of and involvement in BSNC.

Gail R. Schubert

2017 Annual Meeting Results

BSNC held its 2017 Annual Meeting of Shareholders on Saturday, Oct. 7 in Nome, Alaska. Shareholders voted on the election of five board directors. Incumbents Henry Ivanoff Sr., Robert K. Evans, Roy C. Ashenfelter and Homer E. Hoogendorn were reelected and Deborah Atuk 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 by the Oct. 4 proxy deadline. Checks will be mailed to winners who were not present at the meeting. Shareholders who could not attend the Annual Meeting this year in Nome were invited to join via live webcast at www.beringstraits.com.

BSNC is pleased to announce the results of its 2017 Election of Board Officers.

Chairman: Henry Ivanoff Sr.
Vice Chairman: Lee Ryan
President: Gail R. Schubert
Secretary: Roy Ashenfelter
Treasurer: Tim Towarak
Assistant Secretary: Eugene Asicksik
Assistant Treasurer: Ella Anagick

BSNC thanks outgoing Director Fred N. Sagoonick for his longstanding service to the Corporation as a board member.

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.