Calista Corporation Clarifies Misunderstandings by YKHC Resolution

Tribes are Stronger Through Partnership

February 25, 2021

(Anchorage, Alaska) – Calista Corporation is clarifying misunderstandings in the recent resolution passed by YKHC’s executive board opposing a regional tribal government. Calista is merely the most recent organization seeking to support Yukon-Kuskokwim Tribal sovereignty.

YouTube video: Regional Tribal Governance Q&A

As YKHC noted, for decades Tribes have discussed creating a regional tribal government. The earliest discussions by Elders occurred prior to ANCSA. The most recent in-person gatherings were held in 2014 and 2015. Those gatherings were attended by over 40 Tribes and over 40 village corporations with 76 percent of attendees voting in support of creating a regional tribal government.

Tribal unity in the YKHC is an example of how Tribes are stronger through partnership. YK Delta’s tribal healthcare is stronger for it, as evidenced by the incredible success of the COVID vaccination program.

Another example is the Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska. They were federally recognized in 1935 and are now a successful example of Alaska regional tribal governance. Each individual Tribe in the Central Council southeast region maintains independent sovereignty as Central Council works to support every tribal community in the region.

Unity can work to strengthen sovereignty, not take it away. A united region can potentially secure more funding for critical issues like infrastructure projects, emergency planning, education, public safety and more.

Tribes and each tribal member that support the RTG each have a vote in the structure and governance of the regional tribal government. Calista does not have a vote or a voice in the purely tribal RTG process.

We respect the autonomy and sovereignty of the Tribes in our region and encourage YKHC and other tribal support organizations to do the same.

Learn about regional tribal government and the YK Delta history around this effort. Watch the video at  


Video: Regional Tribal Governance (Feb. 2021). Calista Corporation hosted an interview with Tribal and corporate leaders to discuss the concept of Yukon Kuskokwim Delta Regional Tribal Governance.

Participants included Calista Board Director Willie Kasayulie, Calista President/CEO Andrew Guy, Calista General Counsel Walter Featherly, attorney Rob Porter, Central Council Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes President Richard Peterson, and Holland and Knight attorney Phil Baker-Shenk. The panel was moderated by Calista Government Relations Manager Kristi Williams.

  1. What is a Regional Tribal Government? Are there any in Alaska? (0:53 – 6:46)
  2. Forming a YK Regional Tribe (6:47 – 7:50)
  3. Whose idea was it to form a Regional Tribe? (7:50 – 9:47)
  4. Nunavut and the YK RTG (9:49 – 11:59)
  5. ANCSA’s role (12:00 – 14:32)
  6. Calista engagement (14:35 – 17:00)
  7. Past RTG efforts (17:05 – 19:22)
  8. Regional non-profit focus (19:24 – 20:37)
  9. Tribe only vote & vote by mail (20:40 – 22:01)
  10. Impact to sovereignty & tribal enrollment (22:02 – 23:16)
  11. Regional elections & strengthening sovereignty (23:19 – 28:47)
  12. Creating jobs in the YK (28:48 – 31:30)
  13. Addressing regional challenges (31:31 – 35:26)
  14. Difference between AVCP & a Regional Tribe (35:30 – 39:01)
  15. Impact to AVCP (39:02 – 40:45)
  16. Can the RTG operate without Federal Recognition? (40:46 – 46:17)
  17. Federal Process & Advocacy (46:18 – 48:35)
  18. Tribal Self Determination & Self-Governance (48:36 – 54:11)
  19. Regional Tribe vs. Borough (54:12 – 1:04:05)
  20. Generating tribal revenue (1:04:06 – 1:06:32)
  21. Funding a Regional Tribe (1:06:33 – 1:08:17)
  22. Ties to Donlin (1:08:27 – 1:09:26)
  23. Taxes (PILT/PILOT) (1:09:27 – 1:12:09)
  24. Downside & Risk (1:12:10 – 1:12:44)
  25. Closing thoughts … (1:12:45 – 1:16:45)