Frequently Asked Questions
- How do I become a CIRI shareholder?
- If I am the descendant of a CIRI shareholder, am I also a shareholders and am I eligible to receive distributions?
- Whom do I contact for a Certificate Degree of Indian Blood?
- Does CIRI provide business loans or otherwise assist shareholders who are starting a business?
- What are the Requirements for Submitting an Investment Proposal to CIRI?
- Does CIRI offer medical and dental assistance?
- How do I submit a newsletter announcement?
- How do I notify CIRI of an address change?
- How do I notify CIRI of a name change?
- Does CIRI provide legal assistance?
- Where can I find information on the next distribution payment to be made?
- How do I update my direct deposit information?
- Does CIRI offer burial assistance?
- When a shareholder dies, do his or her descendants automatically inherit the CIRI shares?
- Why do stock estate settlements take so long? Also, why does it take so long to respond to my inquiries and why haven’t I been regularly updated on the progress?
1. How do I become a CIRI shareholder?
CIRI stock cannot currently be sold, and enrollment to the corporation closed in the 1970s. Today, the only way to become a shareholder is to receive stock through inheritance or as a gift from a CIRI shareholder. A gifting packet with complete instructions and eligibility requirements is available on this website.
2. If I am the descendant of a CIRI shareholder, am I also a shareholder and am I eligible to receive distributions?
Payments from CIRI or the CIRI Settlement Trust (CST) that are made on a pro rata basis (according to how may CIRI shares is owned) are only made to CIRI shareholders. As such, a descendant of a CIRI shareholder is not eligible to receive distributions unless the descendant owns CIRI stock. A descendant may be eligible for other benefits from CIRI, the CST and/or CIRI’s affiliated non-profit entities.
3. Whom do I contact for a Certificate Degree of Indian Blood?
To obtain a Certificate Degree of Indian Blood (CDIB), contact the Bureau of Indian Affairs at 3601 C Street, Suite 1200, Anchorage, Alaska, 99503, telephone (907) 271-4477, toll-free 1-800-645-8465 or fax (907) 271-4090. CIRI does not assist its shareholders or others in obtaining CDIBs.
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4. Does CIRI provide business loans or otherwise assist shareholders who are starting a business?
Neither CIRI nor any of its nonprofit organizations or subsidiaries is chartered to provide financial or technical assistance for starting a business. Assistance may be available through:
- University of Alaska Anchorage Business Enterprise Unit www.uaa.alaska.edu/business-enterprise-institute/
- Alaska Growth Capital www.alaskagrowth.com
- The Small Business Administration www.sba.gov
- Bureau of Indian Affairs www.bia.gov
The SBA provides a business loan program, workshops and free counseling on how to start a small business, and you may qualify for federal programs that steer a portion of government contracts to businesses owned by minorities, such as the SBA’s “8(a) Program.” The BIA also administers a small business loan program and provides workshops and counseling on how to start a small business. Additionally, many universities and community schools also provide reference libraries, workshops, and technical assistance on starting a small business, developing business plans, and preparing commercial loan proposals.
5. What are the Requirements for Submitting an Investment Proposal to CIRI?
In general, CIRI does not provide start-up capital for new businesses. However, if you wish for us to consider investment requests, we ask for the following information to be submitted in writing:
- Background information about the business concept and its growth potential,
- Proposed organizational structure,
- Five-year business plan,
- Five-year pro forma financial statements (income statement, balance sheet and cash flow analysis),
- Capital Structure of the proposed business, including amount of capital to be contributed by sponsors,
- Qualifications of the management team, and
- Target value of the enterprise at the end of the five-year period.
This information may be sent to the attention of the Business Development Department.
6. Does CIRI offer medical and dental assistance?
No, but CIRI shareholders (and other Alaska Native and American Indian individuals) who live within the Cook Inlet region are eligible for a variety of services offered by Southcentral Foundation at the Anchorage Native Primary Care Center, and by the Alaska Native Medical Center. Alaska Native individuals living elsewhere in Alaska or the Lower 48 states may be eligible for services provided by the Indian Health Service and/or through local tribal providers.
For shareholders living in the Lower 48, please contact the Alaska Native Health Resource Advocate Program directly as follows:
Roberta Hallam, Resource Advocate Supervisor
Alaska Native Health Resource Advocate Program
P.O. Box 2045
Milton, Washington 98354-2045
(541) 997-5778 phone
(907) 729-5033 fax
(866) 575-6757 toll-free
7. How do I submit a newsletter announcement?
In Touch announcements for the CIRI newsletter “Raven’s Circle” must be about a CIRI shareholder or descendant. Shareholders may submit an announcement to the attention of CIRI Newsletter, CIRI, PO Box 93330, Anchorage, AK 99509-3330, or e-mail it to email@example.com, or drop it off to the CIRI reception desk at 725 E. Fireweed Lane, Suite 800, Anchorage. Photographs are also welcome in print or digital format with at least 300 dpi resolution. CIRI reserves the right to edit announcements for grammar, brevity and taste. All photos will be returned as addressed on the back.
8. How do I notify CIRI of an address change?
Shareholders with portal accounts may quickly and easily update their addresses electronically via Qenek. Otherwise, shareholders may either return a completed and signed Change of Address Form to CIRI, or send a signed letter to CIRI that includes the shareholder’s signature, the new address, a working telephone number and the birth date or other information to confirm the shareholder’s identity. Address changes for shareholders under the age of 18 must be signed by the minor’s custodian.
Shareholders should also be sure to update their addresses with the U.S. Postal Service. If the address on a shareholder’s CIRI records does not match the address he or she has on file with the Postal Service, his or her CIRI mail—including payments—is usually returned to CIRI. Forms and information for changing an address with the Postal Service are available at your local post office and on the Postal Service website.
9. How do I notify CIRI of a name change?
If a shareholder has a legal name change, he or she should submit written notification of the name change with a copy of the legal document authorizing the change (e.g. marriage certificate, divorce decree specifically restoring former name, adoption decree, etc.) to the CIRI Shareholder Relations department.
10. Does CIRI provide legal assistance?
CIRI is unable to directly provide, or separately fund, legal representation to its shareholders or other Alaska Native people in personal matters, nor may CIRI provide legal advice. However, the Alaska Native Justice Center (ANJC) was established in 1993 by CIRI as a tribal nonprofit to address the unmet needs of Alaska Native people regarding the Alaska civil and criminal justice system, in response to the increasing disproportionate rates of victimization, incarceration and other justice-related issues impacting Alaska Native individuals throughout Alaska. The Justice Center provides services including informational resources, attorney referral for civil and criminal cases, advocacy and limited attorney services only for victims of domestic violence and/or sexual assault, and pro-se clinics to help those filing for custody and divorce. An Adult Reentry program is available to help those transitioning back into the community after incarceration. ANJC integrates culturally based advocacy programs and intervention initiatives necessary to assist in the resolution of legal circumstances such as family law, abuse, minor consuming or possession violations and adult prisoner reentry. Visit www.anjc.org or call 907-793-3550 to learn more.
11. Where can I find information on the next distribution payment to be made?
Distribution information is announced in the Raven’s Circle newsletter and on our Dividend/Distribution Schedule. Shareholders can receive information regarding deadlines for the most current distribution on our Distribution Deadlines page, or by calling the distribution hotline at 263-5100 or toll-free at 800-764-2435.
12. How do I update my direct deposit information?
Information on how a shareholder may sign up for direct deposit, change his or her existing direct deposit instruction or cancel direct deposit is available on our direct deposit page, or by calling Shareholder Relations at 263-5191 or toll-free at 800-764-2474 and selecting option 3.
13. Does CIRI offer burial assistance?
No, but we have put together a burial brochure listing other agencies and organizations helpful to those who are trying to cope with the death of a loved one. The brochure discusses obituaries, death certificates, wills and probate and other information.
14. When a shareholder dies, do his or her descendants automatically inherit the CIRI shares?
No. ANCSA provides that CIRI stock is subject to special probate or estate settlement procedures, and under these procedures, CIRI descendants do not automatically inherit shares. Rather, CIRI is required to determine the proper heirs of the CIRI stock in accordance with any valid will the shareholder may have executed that is applicable to the stock, or, if no such will exists, under Alaska laws of intestate succession. In cases of intestate succession, state law governs which relatives inherit the CIRI shares and CIRI is required to distribute the shares accordingly. Neither the shareholder’s family nor CIRI can alter who will receive the shares under the law if there is no will. Shareholders may leave their stock to whomever they wish; however, in order to ensure that their CIRI stock will be distributed in the desired manner, shareholders are strongly encouraged to execute a CIRI Stock Will. Even if a shareholder previously executed a CIRI Stock Will or a general will, it is important to remember that it may need to be updated in certain circumstances. Marriage, divorce, the birth or adoption of children, the death of a previously designated beneficiary, inheriting additional shares, receiving or giving a gift of shares, and other life changes are all reasons to complete a new CIRI Stock Will.
15. Why do stock estate settlements take so long? Also, why does it take so long to respond to my inquiries and why haven’t I been regularly updated on the progress?
We work hard to settle as many estates as quickly as possible and appreciate your patience.
Delay in the settlement process is often because many CIRI shareholders pass away without a valid will for their CIRI shares, which greatly complicates the stock estate settlement process. We urge all shareholders to complete a CIRI Stock Will and file it with us.
In all cases, including those cases with a valid will, before CIRI is able to transfer stock, the law requires us to obtain certain legal documentation. Delay of an estate settlement can occur because we do not receive the documents requested in a timely manner, or because the information submitted is incomplete or insufficient.
In the interest of fairness, we process estate settlements in the order in which documentation is complete. In order not to further slow the process, we do not provide status updates.