Its that time of year again. Bethel Native Corporation is soliciting interested shareholders to file if they are interested in serving on the BNC board. Three seats are open, terms are for 3 years. I encourage anyone interested to please file.
I have serious concerns about the direction of BNC.
•Under the Alaska Land Claims Settlement Act, BNC was awarded land. At least 1,280 acres, maybe even more. This land was intended for use by our People. The land is all we are getting, we won’t get any more unless we buy it. I am concerned that our land assets are being sold and bonuses given for these sales. This has to stop. I believe the BNC should be working with our tribe, the Orutsararmiut Traditional Native Council (OTNC) to put some of this land into trust for the future of our Native Village and children. The OTNC approached the BNC board about this at one time, but nothing came of it.
•The massive and costly efforts by BNC board and management to get Bethel back on booze was to save the Kipusvik and benefit shareholders. It was by sheer luck that old Kilbuck school burned, so there was a save there. Bethel back on booze, we all know the toll it is taking on our People and our relations in the nearby villages.
•The 54 unit apartment complex currently under construction by BNC, is now being treated for extensive damage caused by failure to protect the structure from the heavy rains we had last fall. It is my understanding that at the time this damage occurred, the project was not bonded. The cost to mitigate the damage caused by mold getting into the drywall must be borne by BNC due to the lack of bonding. Those costs as well as the costs for failing to complete the project on time, are costing our corporation, not only huge amounts of money, but also good will within the business community.
•The biggest concern I have is that BNC board members will not or cannot answer questions put to them by shareholders. It is my understanding that board members are under a shroud of silence. If they breach this silence, they are threatened and in danger of being removed from the board. These board members were elected by us, the shareholders. They have a responsibility to us. If they are afraid to ask questions and demand answers, something is terribly wrong.
Furthermore, it is time to deal with conflict of interest at the level of the board members we elect to serve us. Three BNC board members who were also members of the Orutsararmiut Traditional Native Council, (OTNC), at the time, were of the nine BNC board members who voted unanimously to pursue the alcohol initiative currently infecting every one of us. Our Native Council and tribe does not have a united voice to speak on behalf of our tribal citizenship in regard to what effect this is having on our village.
It is time to consider a referendum or amendment to the BNC By-Laws that those seeking to be elected to BNC board must not be affiliated with organizations that have the potential to bring conflict into decision making. It would serve to revisit this at the OTNC also. Corporations are committed to the bottom line. In BNC’s case, the bottom line has ruled over the health and well being of our Native Village. The Bethel Native Corporation base shareholder roll is also the base for citizenship in our Tribal Nation. I believe the initial intent was that the corporation would work together with the tribe to perpetuate the health and well-being of our Native Village. Putting land into trust is a huge step to ensure the land is here for future generations. In some villages, the tribe, village corporation and city actually work together to serve this purpose. I believe this is possible for us. This is my dream for the future of the Bethel Native Corporation and our tribe.
I often hear board and council members complaining that no one wants to run at election time. It seems to me that part of the problem is that we stay in their way by not stepping down and making room for them when it is time. Respectfully,
DO YOU KNOW ANYONE WHO SERVED ABOARD THE USS INTREPID?
August 16, 2018 will mark the 75th anniversary of the commissioning of the USS Intrepid (CVS-11), the World War II-era Essex class aircraft carrier that is now home to the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York City. To mark the occasion, the Intrepid Museum is putting out a coast-to-coast “all call” for former Intrepid crew members to be reunited in a special 75th Commissioning Anniversary Celebration Weekend from Thursday, August 16 to Sunday, August 19, 2018 on board Intrepid.
The Museum is also accepting donations of personal artifacts and memorabilia from former crew members and their families. Each item added to the Museum’s collection helps express and interpret Intrepid’s stories of service, and serves to educate and inspire more than one million visitors each year.
To learn more about this weekend and for registration information, former crew members and their family members can visit www.intrepidmuseum.org/75 or email [email protected]
Amanda Rubin Deveaux
New York, New York
Reaction to military parade suggestion
President Trump’s suggestion of a military parade at the nation’s capital in the same manner of the Communist countries of Russia and North Korea goosestepping probably will not be honored by the military under him thus inciting disobedience which will be very, very bad for the United States of America – USA. This egotistical idea becoming action is a prelude to the rule of law disappearing in the USA. It’s time for the people of the USA to impeach President Donald Trump.
Mount Pleasant, MI