This page provides company-specific information and updates for Shareholders and our customers.
Calista Corporation is closely monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic and adjusting our business practices, travel, and event schedules.
As of March 21, 2020, visitors are no longer allowed at Calista’s corporate offices in Anchorage and Bethel. Calista offices will remain closed to visitors until further notice. We strongly encourage you to check this page for any updates.
All key operations and services of Calista and subsidiaries remain active. We urge Shareholders and our customers to conduct their business with Calista online or by email (details below).
Authorized measures to protect our employees include but are not limited to: travel restrictions, home quarantine procedures for any staff returning from impacted areas, and teleworking/alternative work schedules.
The most current federal and state public health advisories are available at:
- CDC: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov
- State of Alaska: covid19.alaska.gov
- YKHC: www.ykhc.org/covid-19
Calista Advocacy on Tribal Coronavirus Relief Fund
April 24, 2020 Update
Calista Corporation submitted the following letters to the U.S. Department of the Treasury regarding its implementation of the CARES Act’s Tribal Relief Fund.
- Calista Requests Minimum of $2M per Alaska Tribe (April 11, 2020)
- Calista Responds to Treasury Tribal Advisory Committee (April 23, 2020)
April 20, 2020 Update
Calista Corporation staff worked until 8 p.m. on Friday, April 17, helping YK Tribes and Village Corporations with their submissions necessary to be considered for participation in the CARES Act’s Tribal Relief Fund. With their approval, Calista submitted information on behalf of 13 Tribes and Village Corporations. The Calista Land Department also assisted over a dozen more by providing land base information.
April 17, 2020
The current novel coronavirus pandemic is deeply impacting individuals, communities, non-profits, Tribes and for-profits alike. One of the measures Congress made was passing the CARES Act in late March, which was also signed into law. This package includes an $8 billion set aside for a Tribal Relief Fund.
The U.S. Department of Treasury is requesting data from Tribal governments, including Alaska Native corporations, to assist in making a determination as to the distribution of the Tribal Relief Fund. Calista Corporation has provided its data. Calista is also actively assisting YK Delta Tribes and village corporations with their submissions upon request. The Treasury web portal and additional information is located at https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/cares/state-and-local-governments.
The U.S. Treasury Department will make the final determination on which entities will receive funding, and how much each entity will receive. Should Calista be allocated Tribal Relief Funding, we will redirect COVID relief support to YK Delta communities and/or directly to Shareholders in accordance with any directives or conditions the U.S. Treasury attaches to such funding.
“We will hold consultations with YK Delta Tribes to determine how best to use any Tribal Relief Funding provided to Calista,” said Calista Corp. President/CEO Andrew Guy.
“Additionally, Calista will seek to absorb managements costs so that as many dollars as possible reach the YK Delta communities. Calista’s sole focus in participating in the Tribal Relief Program is to benefit YK Delta people and communities and not Calista’s corporate finances.”
The U.S. Treasury and federal agencies have been clear that any and all Tribal Relief Funding may be audited to confirm compliance with the CARES Act.
If the U.S. Treasury provides Tribal Relief Funding to Calista, we will host consultation conference calls with YK Delta Tribes. Details will be announced later, pending federal determinations.
Calista’s Bethel and Anchorage offices CLOSED to visitors.
Please contact Shareholder Services digitally. We appreciate your patience as we transition as many staff as possible to working remotely. Your messages will be answered in the order they are received.
- Use the free and secure MyCalista service (update your contact info, create a distribution / dividend confirmation report, and more)
- Send questions via email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions
- Scholarship and burial assistance questions to email@example.com or visit www.CalistaEducation.org
- Download forms at www.CalistaCorp.com/CommonForms. These forms can be faxed to our secure Shareholder fax number (907-275-2922)
- Need a notary or in-person assistance? Calista’s Bethel and Anchorage offices are currently closed to visitors
- Enrolling to become a Shareholder? Enroll online at Enroll.MyCalista.com. This site also has downloadable forms. Questions can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org (for enrollment only questions)
Calista’s Bethel and Anchorage offices CLOSED to visitors.
Please contact your Calista Corp. business partner digitally. We appreciate your patience as we continue transitioning as many staff as possible to working remotely.
- Visitors no longer allowed at Calista’s corporate offices in Anchorage or Bethel
- Have a meeting at Calista? Email or call your point of contact
- Please refrain from visiting our offices and work sites if you (1) in the past 14 day have visited, or reside with someone who has visited, the Level 3 CDC countries or communities within the United States that have experienced massive outbreaks, or (2) are showing symptoms of or otherwise have reason to believe you may have been exposed to COVID-19 in the past 14 days
COVID-19 and Rural Infrastructure Gap
Op-Ed: COVID-19 Highlights Lack of Basic Infrastructure in Rural Alaska
Lack of Infrastructure Limits Results of Best Practices
By Robert Beans, Board Chair, and Andrew Guy, President/CEO
March 20, 2020
(Anchorage, Alaska) – Calista Corporation appreciates the leadership of elected officials, health experts and many others that have guided Alaska and the nation through the novel coronavirus pandemic. However, many of the guidelines to minimize transmission and to “flatten the curve” are difficult, if not impossible, to implement across rural Alaska. For those unfamiliar with remote Alaska, we want to illustrate some of the challenges rural families are currently facing and hope that together we can find solutions.
Since the days far before Statehood, Alaska Native people thrived on our traditional homelands, in one of the harshest environments known to man. We are survivors. But today’s world is much different than days past. A cash economy and high-speed internet has changed the way we live, work, and socialize. While many rural Alaskans enjoy the advantages of urban living, it is easy to see in an emergency, like the one we currently and collectively face, those privileges, sometimes life-saving, do not benefit Alaskans and rural Americans equitably.
Urban centers across our great nation have enjoyed and benefitted from extensive infrastructure development for decades, greatly increasing the quality of life for millions of people. American tax dollars have contributed to access and use of clean water, ease of transportation, improved safety, and much more. While we are all seen as equal under the law, citizens in rural Alaska are treated differently and have not received the same benefits of taxes paid. While it is challenging to provide equitable benefits across an area as vast as Alaska, as Americans we expect to have infrastructure for our basic health needs.
At breakneck speed, due to COVID-19, the world is again changing before our eyes. UN experts warn that close to three billion people worldwide, mainly in developing nations, lack basic infrastructure like running water to protect people. Yet, right here in America, there are dozens of Alaskan communities included in that group of people without basic sanitation. Focus on that for just a moment: Alaskan communities … American citizens … without basic running water and sanitation. Alaska is long overdue for systemic and transformational change. It is time for us to come together as a state and as a nation, urban and rural, to ensure our most vulnerable populations of Americans benefit from the same basic infrastructure and protections guaranteed to urban centers.
Federal and state governments have issued preventative methods and actions that should be strictly followed to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Much of the mandated guidance are things most people easily take for granted such as social distancing, washing hands, staying home when sick, cleaning and disinfecting. However, such simple mandates pose serious challenges for rural Alaskans. Schools and businesses across the country have closed and online learning, shopping, and working are being promoted as the replacement for in-person interaction; a virtual reality that is virtually non-existent in remote communities.
Social distancing and staying home is challenging at best in rural Alaska due to limited and overcrowded housing. Multiple generations often live in small, poorly ventilated homes with mold, and it is not uncommon for multiple children to share the same small room; often, the same bed. Combined with a lack of potable water, disease can quickly explode in a small, crowded environment where the ability to simply wash hands in clean water poses an obstacle. Frigid winters cause pipes to freeze and entire communities are often left dry. Access to clean water alone is directly correlated to health, safety, and quality of life.
The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation’s (DEC, dec.alaska.gov) most recent July 2017 report shows more than 30 communities “where 45% or more homes have not been served either via pipe, septic tank and well, or covered haul system.” More than 1 in 3 of these communities are in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta. Further, the DEC’s Clean Water Challenge cites three studies and the impact of water. For example, one featured study found the lack of access to piped water caused “higher rates of invasive pneumococcal disease among Alaskan children” (Wenger).
Cleaning and disinfecting supplies are also not readily available in areas where all goods are delivered by plane or barge. In Alaska, 82 percent of communities are off the road system (Alaska Dept. of Transportation, Fast Facts). This lack of access to transportation has a direct impact on access to health care, options for food and supplies, and results in astronomical energy costs. Not only are things like toilet paper, diapers, and cleaning supplies expensive because they must be flown to communities, they are limited in supply.
School closures and online learning also remain a challenge despite GCI’s achievements in providing land-based cellular service in rural Alaska. However, technology has advanced exponentially since GCI launched the TERRA project in 2011. At that time cellular 3G technology was common and maximum speeds were about 2Mbit/s. Currently, the FCC defines broadband as speeds of 25Mbps download and 3Mbps upload. (About 100 times faster download and 12 times faster upload compared to 3G speeds.)
The cost of 6Mbps download residential service with a 40GB monthly data cap in Bethel is $165/month and in Kotzebue $150/month. In Dillingham the cost is $165/month for 6Mbps download and 100GB data cap. This makes it cost-prohibitive for the average family in rural Alaska to purchase high-speed Internet. That can leave 82 percent of Alaskan communities without an affordable option to provide distance education to children or the option to telework. The Calista region is also one of the economically poorest in the nation and many families do not own a home computer.
You might ask, why is Calista involved in this discussion? As an Alaska Native Corporation, rather than a Tribal government, we are committed to honoring the mandate given to us under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA), to provide and promote financial and socio-economic benefits to our shareholders. The specific word that is used in ANCSA, “promote,” is key when read together with Section 1601(c):
…no provision of this chapter shall replace or diminish any right, privilege, or obligation of Natives as citizens of the United States or of Alaska, or relieve, replace, or diminish any obligation of the United States or of the State or Alaska to protect and promote the rights or welfare of Natives as citizens of the United States or of Alaska (emphasis added).
These 61 words make it clear and inarguable: ANCs provide benefits that include monetary distributions, internships, hiring preferences, and to promote the social and economic well-being of shareholders through advocacy and awareness. Although, the duty to protect and promote the welfare of Natives as citizens, including providing effective infrastructure, are inherent functions of Tribal, state, and federal governments. In times like these, we support our Tribal governments by helping to bring awareness to issues of equality and urge the federal government to honor its trust responsibility and obligations to Tribes, especially in times of national crisis.
We understand that rural Alaska infrastructure challenges won’t be solved anytime soon. However, the Trans-Alaska Pipeline was completed in less than six years, we set foot on the moon in just over eight years, and we saw 2018 earthquake damaged roads repaired in just days. Adhering to well-established environmental protections and utilizing Alaskan ingenuity, rural infrastructure, including water, broadband connectivity, and more could be completed in a similar timeframe. The United States and the State of Alaska have the capacity and resources to provide the needed infrastructure to rural Alaska. All that is lacking is the political will and an acknowledgement of the urgency of the need. Let’s come together now as an Alaskan community to create a safe environment for all.
Our Elders have long warned that we would one day return to simpler times. Alaska was on the front lines of the Spanish-flu 100 years ago. In 1918, the smallest, mainly Native communities of our state, were decimated. That same year, the salmon run collapsed. Per capita, Alaska lost more people to the pandemic than any place in America. Elderly people are the highest at-risk population to succumb to COVID-19. Our Elders are our culture bearers. Through language and cultural practice, our Elders hold the key to the past, present, and future. Alaska Native people and all Alaska residents should be united in demanding change for our future generations, so we do not open the scars of the last pandemic. Let’s be good neighbors and together demand that history not repeat itself at the expense of our small Alaskan family.
This pandemic is an urgent reminder to state and federal governments to fulfill obligations to U.S. citizens in rural areas. Residents of rural Alaska, fellow citizens and voters, Alaska deserves a program akin to the Works Progress Act. More than 40 years and 17 billion barrels of oil after ANCSA was signed into law, it is well past time for clear and specific action by our elected officials. When you vote in the next election, please keep the people of rural Alaska in mind and help us craft solutions to the challenges we face as a state and as a nation. God bless us all.
Robert Beans, Chair
Andrew Guy, President/CEO
COVID-19 Grant Opportunities for Tribes
Tribal organizations serving the YK Region are encouraged to review a tracking sheet available from the law firm Holland & Knight that lists current COVID 19-related grant opportunities. This list will be updated as new updates are provided by Holland & Knight.
Calista Offers Assistance to Tribes to Request CARES Act Tribal Relief Funding
April 23, 2020
The U.S. Treasury Department on April 22, 2020, released Guidance for State, Territorial, Local, and Tribal Governments for use of the Coronavirus Relief Fund.
April 13, 2020
Deadline, Friday 4/17 at 7:59pm Alaska time. We anticipate heavy online use as the deadline nears. You may experience connection issues. Currently, there are no extensions even for technical issues.
This federal program is for Tribes and ANCSA Corporations only. This is not applicable to individuals.
On April 13, the U.S. Treasury Department announced a request for information from every qualifying “Indian Tribe”, which includes both Federally-recognized Tribes and Alaska Native Corporations, to assist in developing the formula. Details in the Calista Letter Offering Assistance to Y-K Delta Tribes.
Deadline to submit information: Friday, April 17
Tribes that do not submit information by this deadline may not receive any payment from the Tribal Relief Fund.
If you would like Calista to assist your Tribe in this process, please sign and execute the letter below. Please designate the appropriate contact person who will be certifying your application, as well as the person that handles your Tribe’s finances.
You many also contact the Calista Lands Department by email for assistance in determining the land base (number of acres) that must be submitted to the U.S. Treasury Department in your application.
Or to complete the process without Calista’s assistance:
- Contact the BIA Alaska Regional Office (Anchorage) for assistance completing the forms
- 907-271-4085 phone or fax 907-271-1349
- U.S. Treasury Department online submission form