Shortly after ANCSA was made law, five incorporators within each region signed Articles of Incorporation to conduct business for profit. BSNC’s original articles of incorporation were signed on June 17, 1972 by Jerome Trigg, Martin Olson, Fred Katchatag, Sr., Charles W. Fagerstrom and George Bell. BSNC Director and original incorporation Charles “Chuck” Fagerstrom shares his thoughts surrounding ANCSA at the time of passage.
WHAT WERE THE THOUGHTS SURROUNDING ANCSA AT THE TIME IT WAS INTRODUCED?
“I felt proud and appreciated the efforts of our Natives Leaders, who were strong and courageous to stand, as a united group, to face strong opposition to win a just land settlement and be awarded millions of dollars. It was great to witness shareholders develop courage and discipline themselves to be our corporate leaders and our employees, while remaining well-rounded citizens.”
DID THE BERING STRAITS REGION FACE ANY UNIQUE CHALLENGES COMPARED TO OTHER REGIONS DURING THE IMPLEMENTATION OF ANCSA? WHAT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF IN REGARD TO ANCSA?
“There were many challenges at the beginning. I feel all twelve regions, as well as all village corporations, shared the same challenges: shareholder enrollment, election of board members, land selection, hiring management, financial investment and financial reporting. All regions had to learn who to trust and how to protect ourselves from the unscrupulous. Many board members were eager to serve but lacked business acumen, which contributed to the failure of some ANCs.”
WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE YOUNG PEOPLE TO KNOW ABOUT ANCSA?
“Young people should appreciate the efforts, of past and current board to form the Beringia Settlement Trust to provide benefits to BSNC present and future shareholders and descendants. Young People should utilize, protect and appreciate the subsistence lifestyle of past generations. Protect our land. Share. Be energized from the accomplishments of the past. I believe that ANCSA was an instrument for us to lean into our cultural values of generosity and sharing.”
“Growing success is not based solely on financial stability, but also on grass-roots, people power.” – BSNC 1975 Annual Report