Native corporations need new leadership

Letter to the editor

Posted: Thursday, August 31, 2006

Well folks, here we are in 2006, 35 years after the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act was signed into law. Or we could say, 35 years after an act of extermination, social inequality, social injustice, social experimentation, or better yet, an economic stimulation bill for the State of Alaska was passed.

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Now the lawyers are millionaires, and some of the past and present officers of the corporations are well compensated. These Native corporations are above and beyond the banking and securities laws in the state. Where else does a corporation give you $25 for your vote. After three decades of loss, we give big bonus packages to all involved. You don't have to perform and get a good return on any investment - 12 percent on any quarter would be a good.

Our timber, we heard, was sold at times for a nickel a board foot. Just imagine if the timber did not keep this corporate entity a float. We also have a permanent fund that at one time was reported to be more than $100 million, but it was raided to keep the corporation solvent and the payroll bank big and fat.

Now we have a new voting system in place. At any meeting of the shareholders, anything that will be voted on and passed will take a majority of the shares present at the meeting, and not the 50 percent plus 1 as was on the old books. With this advantage, the board will let anything fly. Let's have a meeting in Florida and invite the shareholders who are present or can't travel to the state. Get the idea?

Another item is the new shareholders (left outs) to be issued 100 shares of stock - no book value, zero stock options, no opting out. Anyone have some Enron stocks I could trade for? What will happen is, as we give stock to the left outs, our shares will be watered down to an unknown value. Who can tell me how much our stock is worth? At present, I, as a fisherman, can make more on a black cod boat in two seasons than the corporations have paid in more than three decades. Go figure.

There are chief executive officers and board members who have led to the demise of certain corporations. It is amazing how money and power corrupts the individual. These corporations will never change until we have all new board members and new officers. Until then, you're all fired.

Tim Acherman


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