Voting in the annual election of directors and participating in advisory and other votes ensures that your voice is heard in any decision making process. Many people think that their vote does not matter, but imagine if everyone felt that way. There have been many elections that have been decided by just a few votes.

CIRI has 627,600 outstanding shares of stock, and nearly 93 percent of those shares carry voting rights. Although all original shareholders had voting rights, the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) initially extended voting rights to inherited shares only if the person receiving the shares was “Native,” which ANCSA defined as an individual who is least one-quarter blood quantum Alaska Native.

The ANCSA Amendments of 1987 changed that: Regardless of blood quantum, inherited shares also carry voting rights if the recipient is a “descendant of a Native.” The amendments define “descendant of a Native” as a lineal descendant of a Native, or an adoptee of a Native or descendant of a Native whose adoption occurred prior to his or her majority and is recognized at law or in equity.

To ensure voting rights remain in Alaska Native hands, a shareholder who inherits CIRI stock must provide proof that he or she is Alaska Native or is of Alaska Native descent before voting stock can be issued.

If you are Alaska Native or an Alaska Native descendant but you hold nonvoting shares of CIRI stock, we urge you to provide proof of your Native descent so that your shares can be reissued to carry voting rights. To encourage participation and ensure the presence of a quorum CIRI provides a mix of prizes in connection with its Annual Meetings of Shareholders, and by voting (for any proxyholder or candidate), you would become eligible to have your name included in those prize drawings. Additionally, service on the CIRI Board of Directors and Shareholder Participation Committees is limited to voting CIRI shareholders.