I was 18 years old when the ANCSA was passed. I am now 61 years old and most of the original shareholders have passed on. There are still opportunities for the Board of Leisnoi to provide something for the use and benefit of each shareholder besides the devastation of and clear-cutting of Chiniak.
Our Annual Shareholder report tells us that there is no further money to be distributed in order to maintain the corporation’s viability for “future generations.” I have to say that the “future generation” is here and now. They can keep all the money and waste it as most corporations do. The corporate model is such that the corporation must survive above all else, regardless of the needs or desires of the shareholders.
The Board has indicated that they will sell the rest of the land that has not been clear-cut to EVOS. They have refused to entertain the idea of granting 1.5 acres of TAX FREE land forever to each shareholder. A small portion of the total land received under ANCSA.
I do not expect that I will receive any money, as was the original idea of the land claims act, and I would walk away and shut my mouth if ONLY they might see fit to grant a small 1.5 acre piece of land to the shareholders who have waited so long for something tangible, and to the other new shareholders’ descendants.
I want a piece of land that I can sit on until I die. I am too old to build my own home, as I had wished for so many years ago. I am NOT the only one who wants this. I have friends who are already deceased; and, ones who are not deceased shareholders, that want this now. A place to go, where no one could ever take it away for taxes or any other debt. A place to call home, even if for just a short moment or whatever time we have left.
There are some things worth more than money. It rips at my heart, what our ancestors gave up. ANCSA was a social experiment and it is still “playing itself out” as David S. Case stated last year when asked “Do you think that ANCSA was or is a success?” by KTUU Channel 2 news.
But then again, lightening could strike. Maybe the new shareholders are smart and will figure it out.