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Sealaska Corp. has distributed $4.9 million to its shareholders this month.
The Native corporation for Southeast Alaska announced that the average urban and at-large shareholder, who has 100 shares, received $308.
Sealaska's dividends come from the corporation's permanent fund and revenue from natural resources, known as 7(j) funds. The corporation's primary investments include timber, plastic injection and manufacturing and environmental services.
The corporation's board of directors evaluates the fund every spring and fall. The dividends are issued in April and December.
This April, every shareholder got $2 per share from the permanent fund.
Board Chairman Albert Kookesh said the permanent fund has been performing well. "The positive returns allow for this distribution while maintaining the board's commitment to grow the fund," he said.
A $1.08 per share 7(j) revenue sharing payment was made directly to urban and at-large shareholders and all Southeast village corporations.
Todd Antioquia, Sealaska's communications director, said the performance of the funds have been consistent.
Sealaska has about 17,000 shareholders living in 23 countries. But more than 50 percent of them live in Southeast Alaska.
With the dividend money, shareholder John Morris, a Juneau wood carver, made a nice dinner for his wife of 35 years, Linda.
"John split the shares with our son," Linda Morris, 56, said. "He went to Fred Meyer to buy some food. He bought me roses, too. Whenever he shops at the store, he buys me flowers and gives me little cards that say 'I love you.'"
Tuesday evening, Morris made adobo with a recipe he had learned from his Filipino brother-in-law. Linda said she would use the rest of the money to resume her subscription to the Juneau Empire.
"John likes to read," Linda said. "I used to use the money to pay for the newspaper subscription. But I have been sick for a long time and haven't been able to do that. Now that I started feeling good again, I want to buy him some magazines and newspapers."
I-Chun Che can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.