by Ana Hoffman
Bethel Elkartaa Settlement Trust (BEST) distributions in the amount of $4.47 per share will be made to its shareholder beneficiaries on December 7, 2023. This results in an average payment of $447 for shareholder beneficiaries with 100 shares in Bethel Native Corporation (“BNC”). The BNC Board of Directors determines an annual cash contribution to BEST, which funds this payment, based on BNC’s five year average net income. Distributions from BEST will be tax free to the shareholder beneficiaries.
BEST will also issue its first ever Elders Benefit this year. On June 30, 2023, shareholder beneficiaries approved an amendment to BEST authorizing an optional BEST Elders Benefit program. As a result, the BEST Board of Trustees has approved a special distribution of $300 per eligible elder to be payable on December 7, 2023.
Combined with the $4.47 per share distribution by BEST, eligible elders with 100 shares in BNC will receive a total of $747.00 from BEST this year. Eligible elders are those BNC shareholders who are sixty five years or older as of December 1, 2023.
With the majority of shareholders residing in and around Bethel, these annual distributions have a significant impact on the local economy. This December an aggregate amount of nearly $1 million is set to be distributed by BEST. Since 1987, annual payments have consistently been made, reaching approximate $15 million in total distributions to date.
For fifty years, Bethel Native Corporation has remained proudly headquartered in Bethel. Any elder desiring to opt out of the elder benefit program over concerns that the payment may impact their eligibility for state or federal assistance, may contact Ana Hoffman, BNC President & CEO. For more information please call 907-543-2124 or email [email protected].
Elkartaa is a Yup’ik word meaning: to settle in place.