Happy holidays to our Shareholders, Descendants and their families! As we gather with family and friends to share food and stories, love and laughter, I hope you will take a moment to share what you are grateful for.
As for me, I am grateful for the special family we have here at CIRI—our Shareholders and Descendants, Board of Directors and employees. Each and every one of us plays a special role in our corporation. Our Elders bring wisdom and perspective, and our young people bring new energy and fresh ideas. Our diversity is our strength, and I feel immense pride in the way we have worked over the last 50 years to make CIRI not only a financial success, but a united and visionary leader that serves as a cultural champion for Alaska Native people.
This issue of the Raven’s Circle is all about sharing and how we work together to uplift and empower our people and strengthen our communities. As you read through this issue, I encourage you to consider how you might contribute to your own community.
One common misconception people have about charity and giving back is that it’s only for those who have a lot to spare—time, money or both. But it can be as simple as shopping locally, donating gently used items to a charitable organization such as the Salvation Army or Goodwill Industries, or bringing a meal to an elderly neighbor.
If you or someone you know needs help during the holidays or at any time of the year, 2-1-1 is a good place to start. A program of United Way, 2-1-1 is a one-stop resource for finding help in communities across the U.S. Simply dial 2-1-1 or visit 211.org to be connected to a specialist who will work with you to understand your needs and connect you to programs and services that can help.
If you live in the Anchorage area, Cook Inlet Tribal Council—a CIRI tribally designated organization—serves families in immediate need with financial support for living expenses, housing and connections to employment, child-care services and transportation. For more information, call (907) 793-3132.
Wishing you a blessed and joyous holiday season.
CIRI President and CEO