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Native Board Makes Millions; Shareholders Feel Exploited & Live in Unnecessary Poverty!

This petition had 649 supporters

UPDATE: On May 19th, CIRI announced their plan to develop a site in Virginia as part of an investment plan in order to raise shareholder dividends. This has been mentioned every time they make new investments yet the people have seen no increase in their dividends. In fact, they went down again this year and shareholders are angry! “The strength of this market segment positions us well for strategic growth. It’s part of an investment strategy to grow shareholder dividends – CIRI’s No. 1 priority.” -said CIRI’s Chad Nugent, vice president, Real Estate.



CIRI (Cook Inlet Region Incorporated) is the largest [Alaskan] Native shareholder owned Corporation in the United States, founded in 1972. The Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA), passed in 1971, would become the largest land claims settlement in United States history and the first settlement of its kind between Native Americans and the federal government.

Original enrolled shareholders receive quarterly benefits from major investments, in small amounts comparable to what the board members make, which seems like peanuts, and the majority of CIRI's shareholders are living in poverty while board members make millions! Since CIRI was founded, corporate leaders have been telling their shareholders that what their rich corporation makes is being saved for "our children's future" but it seems that future has been passed-by going on 3 generations with little results for shareholders.

Original shareholders are dying off before they can see these promises being fulfilled for their children & grandchildren. Shareholders are locked into their stocks without being able to sell, leaving them exploited to make major investments that does nothing for CIRI's people. Many shareholders are wary of gifting their shares to their decedents for fear of [them] being exploited by CIRI Board.

Yearly, CIRI developments include substantial investments and sales, such as T-Mobile and Target, yet, the future generations of shareholders continue to live in poverty as they wait for promises to recent generations to be fulfilled.

In 2000, shareholders received a special dividend, leaving most major shareholders with $50,000. While this seems like a lot, there are only around 8,800 living shareholders, but somehow CIRI can afford to pay their board members an estimate of $1.3 million dollars per board decision, annually and separate from their salaries, on a decision to only pay out shareholders at about $8.00 per share, per quarter, and some estimated $400 for quarterly elders trust settlement. And this quarter, it was even lower than usual. 

It doesn't make any sense. Why continue to develop and invest in a crashing economy rather than helping Native shareholders directly to be self sufficient to fight poverty? Part of their mission statement: "Act in the best long-term interest of shareholders" meaning they get rich 'now' while shareholders continue to be exploited as the "future."

Many CIRI shareholders feel the board relies on shareholder silence and even ignorance on the issues in order to thwart a much needed special dividend. This dividend requested by shareholders is not an outrageous, unrealistic, "get-rich quick" amount; it is merely a fraction of their salaries so that we might feed, clothe, educate, and house our families TODAY.

Shareholders feel they are being exploited by the board. Without Native shareholders, there would be no Native corporations! CIRI would have nothing without its people but the board keeps getting richer while shareholders grow poorer! Soon there will be nothing left of our Native corporations, lands and trusts -- the time is NOW to act on seeing that shareholders are awarded a special dividend to take care of their families before it's too late! Before there are no more Native Corporation PERIOD! NO MORE PROMISES! Future generations the board mentions have come and gone. When is The Future? The answer: The future is NOW!

Do you think it's fair that board members make millions while original shareholders are locked into their shares, only to live in poverty?  Do you feel it's time for Native shareholders to get what they deserve? If you stand behind Native rights and feel that it's only fair that shareholders get what they've been promised while being exploited, please sign this petition letting CIRI know that you stand behind shareholders and their right to lift stock restrictions and be paid more fairly every quarter; specifically with a 2017 special dividend of $50 -$100 per share. If CIRI can afford to pay their board members millions, they can afford to deliver on their promise to their people.

I am one of many direct descendants of an original shareholder. My voice is as important as any shareholder and descendant as I am part of that future CIRI made promises about to our elders/original enrollee's. If we don't wake up now, we may as well hand the corporation to the board members entirely. We can't let that happen! Please sign this petition to help raise awareness. Anyone can sign, you do not have to be Native or a CIRI shareholder to show your support.

Shareholders: Write to your President & CEO and tell her your thoughts and concerns as a shareholder. Please keep yourself informed and educated on these matters, that is the first step in taking care of the future generations! 

On behalf of shareholders and descendants, we thank you for your support!


*Take into consideration; during the standoff at Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota, CIRI was completely silent on the issue when they could have been a powerful voice in raising funds for the water protectors' camps, such as holding fundraisers to provide fire wood, blankets, food and water. Not a peep was heard out of CIRI during that entire standoff about Standing Rock. It kind of makes you wonder when the biggest Native corporation stays silent and doesn't promote any interest in being supportive of that cause, which is protecting our water and our indigenous peoples lands. Now that land belongs to the federal government to be torn into to build another oil pipeline -- more land stolen from our fellow indigenous people. When will it end? Why didn't CIRI step in to show support? Draw your own conclusions.




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