Bristol Bay Native Corporation, or BBNC, is one of thirteen Alaska Native Regional Corporations created under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971 (ANCSA) in settlement of aboriginal land claims. Bristol Bay Native Corporation was incorporated in Alaska on June 13, 1972. Headquartered in Anchorage, Alaska, Bristol Bay Native Corporation is a responsible Alaska Native investment corporation dedicated to its mission of "Enriching Our Native Way Of Life." BBNC works to protect the land in Bristol Bay, celebrate the legacy of its people, and enhance the lives of its shareholders. BBNC's strategic goals are to build the financial strength of BBNC; pay predictable and increasing shareholder dividends; balance responsible development and protection of our lands, fisheries and resources; increase shareholder employment and development opportunities; support educational, cultural and social initiatives that positively affect shareholders and descendants; and help to develop economic opportunities in the Bristol Bay region.
BBNC is governed by a twelve-member shareholder elected Board of Directors, all of whom are BBNC shareholders. A current listing of Bristol Bay Native Corporation's officers and directors, as well as documents filed with the State of Alaska since BBNC's incorporation, are available online through the Corporations Database of the Division of Corporations, Business & Professional Licensing, Alaska Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development.
At incorporation, Bristol Bay Native Corporation enrolled 5,401 Alaska Native shareholders, each of whom received 100 shares of BBNC stock. In 2015, BBNC had about 9,900 shareholders. As an ANCSA corporation, BBNC has no publicly traded stock and its shares cannot legally be sold.
The BBNC Education Foundation is a nonprofit 501(c)(3), organized in the State of Alaska. Its mission is to support and encourage BBNC shareholders to pursue educational opportunities and to promote and preserve cultural heritage.
Vision: Bristol Bay Native Corporation shareholders will reach their potential, assume key roles, direct our future and ensure continued success.
Mission: To provide support for and encourage shareholders to pursue educational opportunities and to promote and preserve cultural heritage. Since 1986, more than 3,263 higher and vocational education scholarships worth $5.4 million have been awarded. Between 2001 and 2017, 318 scholarship recipients have graduated with bachelors, masters, and other advanced degrees, such as a Ph.D. in Anthropology, Doctorates of Medicine, Veterinary Medicine, and Law, and degrees in engineering, business administration/management, education, nursing, guidance counseling, environmental science, social work, economics and philosophy to name a few. Between 2001 and May 2017, 156 students have received associate degrees or other vocational certifications in dental therapy, culinary arts, professional piloting, health and human services, occupational safety and health training, and medical assistant training.
The Bristol Bay region encompasses of about 40 million acres (140,000 km²), about the size of the state of Oklahoma. Of this, BBNC's land entitlement under ANCSA includes 101,500 acres (411 km²) of surface estate and 2,716,000 acres (10,990 km²) subsurface estate.
The Bristol Bay region is situated 150 miles southwest of Anchorage. The region's communities are geographically isolated from the rest of the state and in most cases from one another. Most of the communities in the Bristol Bay region are self-reliant, operating without the benefit of interconnected road and utility systems. The vast majority of households rely on subsistence fishing and hunting for a large percentage of their food. Today, 30 villages in Southwest Alaska are only accessible by air or water. The cost of fuel to heat homes ranges from $4-$10 per gallon.
Villages in the region are situated in the watersheds of the Bristol Bay salmon fishery, which provides all five species of Pacific salmon.
BBNC has adopted a "Fish First" policy and responsible development in its land management. The Fish First policy states that, 1) salmon is and always has been the principal means of subsistence for the cultures of the region and must be protected for that reason alone; 2) salmon contributes to the economic health of our state; 3) because Bristol Bay produces the world's largest wild sockeye salmon fishery, we have a global human and environmental responsibility to protect this stock.
The Fish First policy was adopted to protect the Bristol Bay region's fish and fish habitat for subsistence and traditional cultural uses. Many of the traditional customs of the Eskimo, Aleut and Indian people are still observed today. For the majority of residents living in Bristol Bay, the gathering of plants, fish and animals - subsistence - is an important source of providing Alaska Natives with food, in addition to providing for their economic and cultural wellbeing. Because the villages in the Bristol Bay region are so remote, accessible only by air or water, the goods and services in the region are expensive. Subsistence provides opportunities for food, fuel, clothing, handicrafts and more.
With worldwide interest in the 1,000-mile race to Nome, BBNC hopes its sponsorship of the Fish First Award will promote awareness of the pristine Bristol Bay region, its people and traditional cultures, as well as the region's contribution to fishing economies. BBNC has sponsored several initiatives to promote its Fish First ideals, including Day in Our Bay (a 15-minute video project) and The Bristol Bay Fish First Award (presented to the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race musher who first reaches Galena or Kaltag). The Fish First Award winner receives $1,000, plus 25 pounds of Bristol Bay salmon, a commemorative jacket and a supply of Bristol Bay canned salmon and smoked salmon strips.
BBNC has created a diversified portfolio of subsidiary companies specializing in four major business lines, which include industrial services, government services, construction and tourism.