Calista, Doyon deny rumors they are poised to exit AFN

Calista is the regional Native corporation for much of Western Alaska. (Image courtesy of Calista Corp.)

Calista Corporation has reaffirmed its Alaska Federation of Natives membership in response to a caller on a Feb. 28 KYUK talk show who claimed that Calista had pulled out of the organization.

In a statement, Calista said “a Calista Board Director attends and participates in AFN board meetings. Additionally, Calista staff are actively supporting and participating in efforts with AFN staff, including Census outreach.”

Anchorage-based Calista is made up of Yup’ik and Athabascan shareholders from the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta.

Related: Longstanding tensions underlie Arctic Slope Regional Corporation’s withdrawal from AFN

Rumors also continue to surface about another corporation leaving AFN: Doyon Limited, the regional corporation for Interior Alaska. A video circulating social media recently showed Doyon CEO Aaron Schutt saying that the regional corporation is having discussions about its AFN membership. As of last week, however, Doyon and AFN say that Doyon is a current member.

The rumors follow Arctic Slope Regional Corporation’s decision to depart AFN after a hotly-contested decision to pass a climate resolution at the October convention last year. The Utqiaġvik-based corporation serves Inupiaq shareholders living primarily in the North Slope region. ASRC was the biggest opponent to the climate resolution, saying that it would hamper the corporation’s ability to pursue oil and gas resources.

The corporation said that the decision to pull out took about a year and a half to make, and was not exclusively based on the resolution passing.

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