Vol. 3 No. 8 — November 26, 2008
President's Perspective: Thankful
As a child growing up, my parents taught me to be thankful not just for what we had, but also for the people we had around us. It is the relationships in our lives that matter the most. When we turn to our memories, it is not the physical things that we remember, but rather the fond memories of people we shared our lives with.
Today’s business world seems large and out-of-control, with national debt numbers too large to fathom and complicated legislation that holds our country’s economic future in the balance. There is a great deal of bad news in the press of late about the economy, and there is plenty to be worried about as we gather our families around the Thanksgiving tables this year. But, there is so much more for which to be thankful.
NANA Greetings from Around the World
An Interview with Willie Hensley
By Carol Richards
Willie Hensley, the first president of NANA Development Corporation, was a strong voice in organizing the Alaska Federation of Natives, the fight for aboriginal land rights, and a co-founder, with John Schaeffer and Robert Newlin, of the Northwest Alaska Native Association, the precursor of NANA.
"I'm not a writer," claims Willie Hensley.Yet his book, Fifty Miles from Tomorrow, A Memoir of Alaska and the Real People, will be published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux in December.
"I had never seen myself as a writer," Willie said. Yet some 42 years ago, while at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF), Willie wrote a groundbreaking paper for a constitutional law course taught by Judge Jay Rabinowitz. "Researching my paper, What Rights to Land Have the Alaska Natives: the Primary Issue, gave me an understanding of law, history and potential solutions for securing rights to our land." That year, 1966, Willie started to organize meetings to discuss the land situation. (He goes into more detail in the book.)
NANA Family Gives Back for the Holidays
Congratulations to all who generously donated to the NANA United Way campaign. As of this post 11/25/2008, we have exceeded our NDC company goal of $225,000 by roughly $500! You have made many holidays happy this year! Thank you for your generosity!
Shareholder Spotlight: The Loss of Words
This month, the NANA Family lost a person who helped the Inupiat of Northwest Alaska find their voice – through their language. Shungnak resident Ruthie Lee Tatqavin (Ramoth) Sampson, wife of NANA Board Chair, Luke Sampson, age 54, died of a massive stroke on Nov. 16, 2008, at Alaska Native Medical Center in Anchorage.
Read the Anchorage Daily News Article.
Ruthie was born Oct. 18, 1954, in Selawik. She was a professional linguist at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. She earned an Associate of Arts degree at Ellensburg College in Ellensburg, Wash. She worked for the NANA Regional Corp. at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, Chukchi Campus for the Northwest Arctic Borough School District and KOTZ Radio.