Shareholder 101

Members of an SPC meet to talk about shareholder issues.
Members of an SPC meet to talk about shareholder issues.

Ever wanted to be an SPC member? Ever wondered what, exactly, an SPC is?

The Shareholder Participation Committee (SPC) was organized in 1995 to advise CIRI on specific issues and activities identified by the committee members themselves, other shareholders or the corporation. Since its inception, the SPC has addressed a broad range of matters, including consulting with the corporation on a special shareholder vote in 1998. The SPC also helped establish the Northwest Potlatch as an annual CIRI event and created an Elders’ survey that led to the creation of the annual CIRI Elder of the Year award. The committee has been key in maintaining open communication between CIRI and its shareholders and descendants.

Any voting shareholder age 18 or older can apply to be an SPC member, although CIRI directors, management staff and employees of CIRI, its subsidiaries and nonprofit affiliates are not eligible. To apply, all you have to do is correctly complete a questionnaire about CIRI and turn it in no later than the day of the Annual Meeting of Shareholders. The questionnaire is mailed each year to every voting shareholder prior to CIRI’s Annual Meeting and is meant to ensure that interested, knowledgeable shareholders are selected for the SPC.

Correctly filled-out questionnaires are entered into a drawing, and new SPC members are selected at random one week after the Annual Meeting.

SPC members typically serve a three-year term; former members must wait six years before applying again. Because CIRI shareholders live all across the state and in the Lower 48, there are three SPCs: one for Anchorage shareholders; one for shareholders who live in Alaska but outside of Anchorage; and one for shareholders who live in Hawaii and the Lower 48. Each committee has nine members.

Interested in serving on an SPC but under the age of 18? Don’t worry—you can still be a vital part of advising CIRI on shareholder matters. Each SPC also has a youth representative who participates in the SPC’s two- day October meeting, held in Anchorage, and advises CIRI on what’s important to the next generation of shareholders.

To become an SPC youth representative, you must be 13 to 17 years old and either a CIRI shareholder or a confirmed descendant. To apply, you must submit an application, a letter of introduction, a reference letter and a short essay explaining why you want to serve and what you know about CIRI and your Alaska Native heritage. Each year, the Raven’s Circle newsletter announces the application period and deadline, around July. A selection committee chooses a youth representative for each of the three SPCs.

Disclaimer: Shareholder 101 is a new column intended to help answer common questions shareholders and descendants might have. It is in no way intended to be a thorough exploration of each topic; instead, it’s meant to provide general information only. For additional information, visit the CIRI website. Have a question for Shareholder 101? Submit it to [email protected]