August 12, 2013
Calista Selects Shareholder Awardees
Honoring People That Honor Our Culture
(Anchorage, Alaska) – Calista Corporation announced today the honorees for the 2013 Calista Corporation Shareholder Awards. Nominated by fellow shareholders and descendants, the people below exemplify our cultural traditions in various ways.
· Axel C. Johnson Distinguished Shareholder: Nelson Angapak. Whether it’s fighting for subsistence rights or researching land claims, for decades Nelson has been fighting for Alaska Native rights. He has worked with Calista Corporation and the Alaska Federation of Natives (AFN) to actively champion numerous efforts benefiting Alaska Native people. On June 1, 2013 Nelson retired from AFN leaving behind a legacy of hard work and dedication.
· Calista Elder of the Year: Anna “Quayarr” Alexie. Blessing the region since her birth 98 years ago, Anna was an avid subsistence gatherer in all seasons, known for her skills creating traditional Yup’ik regalia. Fluent in both Yup’ik and English, and partnering with her late husband, a lay pastor, she broke barriers and built bridges.
· Calista Culture Bearer: Louise Matchian Leonard. Born in the old Chevak site, Louise held on to her Cup’ik traditions and values through missionary schools and nursing college in Washington. She has served as a translator and worked at summer camps for at-risk youth, teaching traditional activities including catching and smoking fish, and arts and crafts. An accomplished grass basket artist, she yuraqs with different groups and continues to share and teach our values to people of all ages.
· Calista Youth/Educator of the Year: Peter Twitchell. Peter has shown tremendous passion and belief as a counselor in substance abuse and anger management programs. He has worked for the Tundra Center, Orutsaramiut Native Council, and currently for the Yukon Kuskokwim Correctional Center under contract with Akeela. Peter helps educate and move people toward a healthy life through guidance, humor and living our traditional Yup’ik values.
· Calista Business of the Year: ArXotica. Prior to full operation, the Sparck triplets, Amy, Cika and Michelle, daughters of Lucy (Jones) Sparck, sought approval from Elders. They shared a vision to create steady, healthy employment in our region through sustainable business practices. The Elders approved and the sisters are working hard to create a strong business.
“The Yukon-Kuskokwim region has for generations created strong, humble leaders,” said Calista Corporation President/CEO Andrew Guy. “At the direction of the Board of Directors, we wish to celebrate and honor these real people and how they uphold our traditions. These people are living examples that there can be balance living Yup’ik and Cup’ik historical values in today’s world.”
These recipients will be honored at the 2013 Calista Corporation Annual Meeting of Shareholders. The meeting will be held Sept. 28 in Bethel, Alaska, at the elementary school gym. Each honoree or designated representative will receive transportation to the meeting, a jacket, a plaque and a financial award.
At the annual meeting, registration for Shareholders will begin at 10 a.m. The meeting is scheduled to being at 1 p.m. Due to fire code restrictions meeting attendees are encouraged to arrive early. Calista expects capacity crowds. To accommodate additional attendees Calista has also rented the elementary school cafeteria.
The second largest of the original 13 Alaska Native Corporations, Calista Corporation was established under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971 and represents more than 12,500 Shareholders. The Calista region encompasses more than 6.5 million acres and includes 56 villages, which are incorporated into 46 individual village corporations. Since 1994, Calista has provided more than $3.2 million in scholarships and since inception more than $22.3 million in dividends and Elders Benefit Program distributions to its Shareholders and Descendants.
Calista Corporation is the parent company of 17 subsidiaries, providing services ranging from heavy equipment sales, IT and cloud services, telecommunications and marketing services, to construction and facility management. Calista can be found on Facebook (www.facebook.com/CalistaCorp and www.facebook.com/CalistaCorporation) and Twitter (http://twitter.com/CalistaCorp).