I wanted to update you on some recent activity and some exciting new initiatives at Huna Totem Corporation (HTC) and our non-profit affiliate, Huna Heritage Foundation (HHF).
Acknowledging that much of the wisdom and cultural knowledge of the Huna Tlingit elders is irreplaceable and not readily available elsewhere, the HTC Board passed Resolution 2014-10, Creation of Huna Traditional Scholars Council, on June 21st. The Board action was recognition that HTC’s Mission includes advancing the culture of the Xúna Kaawu through education as well as our second Guiding Principal: Take pride in our past and value the wisdom of our elders.
The Board believes HTC’s Mission, as well as the mission of HHF; Working to perpetuate the Huna Tlingit culture and promoting education for future generations, will be greatly enhanced by the establishment of this group; providing a forum for discussion, the holding and passing of cultural knowledge, and advising both HTC and HHF.
HTC established HHF in 1990 to establish, administer, and promote educational and cultural programs. HHF Bylaws require five Trustees, at least three of whom must be HTC shareholders. Trustees are appointed by the HTC Board and serve 3-year terms.
Ozzie Sheakley and Marlene Johnson’s terms as HHF Trustees were up this June. On June 21st, HTC appointed Ozzie Sheakley and Anthony Lindoff to the HHF Board of Trustees with terms ending June 2017. The HHF Board of Trustees met Friday, July 18th, and elected Ozzie Sheakley as Chairman, Gordon Greenwald as Vice Chairman, and Mary Peterson as Secretary.
On behalf of the Board, I’d like to thank Marlene Johnson for her many years of selfless dedication to Alaska Natives, HTC, and HHF. Marlene’s accomplishments merit far greater recognition than it is possible to provide here. The Board will more fully and appropriately recognize her contributions at a later date. It is no exaggeration to say her efforts have improved the available opportunities for every Alaska Native. HTC and HHF would not be where they are today, nor accomplished all they have without her efforts.
I have heard our Chairman, Russell Dick, say many times, “There is no HTC without HHF and no HHF without HTC.” Our organizations serve the same people, HTC shareholders and descendants; they have complementary Missions and are stronger and more effective when they work together. On behalf of the Board, I offer congratulations to the new HHF leadership, and its newest Trustee. We look forward to seeing HHF continue and expand the work it has been doing on behalf of us all.