Sealaska Corp. doubles April payout to shareholders

Sealaska directors on Friday approved a spring distribution totaling $23 million. The amount paid to each shareholder depends on the class of their shares. (Graphic courtesy Sealaska Corp.)

Sealaska’s spring shareholders’ payout is more than twice the size of the previous year’s.

The Southeast regional Native corporation announced Friday it will distribute $23.1 million to tribal members beginning April 13. Last spring’s dividends totaled $10.6 million.

The Juneau-headquartered corporation has more than 22,000 shareholders, almost all of Tlingit, Haida or Tsimshian descent. Dividends will range from approximately $236 to $1,586 each, depending on the class of shares and the number owned.

In a press release, officials said the corporation is also investing more money into its scholarship endowment. President and CEO Anthony Mallott cited rising costs for secondary education and the need to advance shareholders and their descendants.

The corporation’s board will also look into creating a burial-assistance program. Some Sealaska critics have lobbied for the benefit.

Officials cited increased business earnings as one reason for the larger payout and scholarship increase.

Sealaska began investing in Seattle-area fish-processing businesses in 2016.

Ed Schoenfeld is Regional News Director for CoastAlaska, a consortium of public radio stations in Ketchikan, Juneau, Sitka, Petersburg and Wrangell.

He primarily covers Southeast Alaska regional topics, including the state ferry system, transboundary mining, the Tongass National Forest and Native corporations and issues.

He has also worked as a manager, editor and reporter for the Juneau Empire newspaper and Juneau public radio station KTOO. He’s also reported for commercial station KINY in Juneau and public stations KPFA in Berkley, WYSO in Yellow Springs, Ohio, and WUHY in Philadelphia. He’s lived in Alaska since 1979 and is a contributor to Alaska Public Radio Network newscasts, the Northwest (Public Radio) News Network and National Native News. He is a board member of the Alaska Press Club. Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, he lives in Douglas.

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