I hope each of you had a good summer and early fall, spending time outdoors with family and friends. Autumn is traditionally a busy time of engaging in subsistence activities in preparation for the coming winter season.
I am pleased to welcome Isaiah (Ike) Towarak to the BSNC Board of Directors. Ike was appointed to fill the Board seat
previously held by the late Henry Ivanoff Sr. Ike, who resides in Unalakleet, will serve the remainder of the late Chairman
Ivanoff’s term until the 2023 Annual Meeting election. Ike was selected from a pool of 26 applicants, the highest number of applicants ever to apply to serve on the BSNC Board. I am confident Ike’s familiarity with our region’s cultural values and his rural business experience will provide valuable perspective as BSNC continues to grow in pursuit of its mission to improve the quality of life of Our People through economic development while protecting our land and preserving our culture and heritage.
The BSNC Board of Directors declared a record-high 2022 dividend of $10.25 per share, a 7.9% increase over the 2021 shareholder dividend. The Board also voted to declare a 2022 Elder dividend of $1,500. This Elder dividend will be paid to original BSNC shareholders who are 65 years of age or older on the record date of Nov. 7. These distributions will be paid by Dec. 31 through the BSNC Beringia Settlement Trust and are not taxable.
Many residents may have heard about IPOP, LLC’s, proposed mining project in Safety Sound. BSNC cares deeply about protecting Our People’s spiritual, physical and cultural well-being through our sacred connection with the land. The Safety Sound/Bonanza Channel estuary is an important area for Our People’s subsistence way of life. We will continue to oppose irresponsible mining in fragile wetlands.
BSNC announced its endorsement of U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski for reelection to the United States Senate. Sen. Murkowski is considered the leading expert in Congress on Arctic policy and polar affairs. Sen. Murkowski works to raise awareness amongst her colleagues on Capitol Hill that the U.S. — because of Alaska—is an Arctic nation. She has worked hard to represent all Alaskans, working diligently on issues important to our state – responsible natural resource development, protecting our subsistence lifestyle and growing a stronger military presence in Alaska.
I encourage shareholders and descendants of voting age to exercise their right to elect a candidate of their choice and to vote. Every vote counts, and Alaska Native representation matters. No matter whom you personally support in the upcoming elections, I hope you make your voice heard by casting your vote this fall.
I am pleased to share that BSNC will host its Annual Meeting of Shareholders in person on Saturday, Oct. 1, at 10 a.m. in Nome, Alaska, at the Nome Recreation Center, 208 E. 6th Ave. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, BSNC has not been able to host the Annual Meeting in person since 2019. I look forward to seeing and meeting with shareholders and descendants who reside in the Nome area.
In closing, I am saddened to share the passing of former Board Director Percy Nayokpuk. Percy was elected to the BSNC Board in 1985 and served for 30 years on the Board. Percy was first a family man, and then a successful businessman. He will be remembered as an active and dedicated community member who valued and practiced our subsistence way of life. Percy passed away on Aug. 2, 2022.
Please continue to look after yourselves and your families. Thank you for your continued support and involvement in your Corporation.
Gail R. Schubert
BSNC President & CEO