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