I am an original Sealaska shareholder, and I own 100 shares and another 100 shares from my brother when he passed on. Like everyone else, I will be giving them to my family in my will when I die. Eventually the amount of shares that are passed on are going to be a very small amount
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When I was president of a village corporation, I asked a shareholder if he thought that this corporation was created just for this generation or did he think that his descendant's should benefit from it, too. He said, "No, these dividends should be mine." Needless to say, I was a little shocked and disappointed. I'm a little disappointed now by the negative letters regarding the possibility of enrolling more of our descendants.
My children didn't stop being Native at the cut-off date. They are proud of their heritage; they have made their own regalia; they dance at Native gatherings. They deserve to be enrolled. They need to feel a sense of belonging and to be able to enjoy the benefits the privileged original shareholders enjoy.
We are getting bigger dividends from Sealaska, and I really appreciate the largess, but I could accept a dilution of dividends for the sake of my descendants. I for one would vote yes to include them in our corporations.
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