Doyon’s History Brought to Life in Video Produced by Intern
In an effort to preserve its history, Doyon, Limited embarked on an effort this year to capture stories and memories from the corporation’s early days. At the 2018 annual meeting in March, Doyon debuted a short video highlighting some of this work. “Looking Back: Perspectives on the Early Days of Doyon from Former Directors and Presidents” features historical photos, newspaper clippings, and recent interviews with a handful of Doyon leaders from the first five years after passage of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA).
Following the passage of ANCSA in 1971, 12 regional Alaska Native corporations formed to fulfill the duties required under the Act. In the Interior region, leaders from the Tanana Chiefs Conference incorporated Doyon, Limited as the for-profit corporation charged with managing the lands and financial settlement received under ANCSA.
These young leaders had a monumental task ahead of them, from selecting lands and negotiating regional boundaries to creating subsidiaries and settling legal disputes. “It was like we got off the trap line, changed from your winter gear back into like a business suit and a western mindset. It was totally mind boggling,” said Pat Frank, a member of the Doyon interim board. The interim board served both the Tanana Chiefs Conference and Doyon, Limited until each organization was able to hold separate board elections in 1973 and 1974 respectively. The other members of the interim board were John Sackett, Tim Wallis, Melvin Charlie, and the late Lucy Ann Carlo, Jimmy Huntington, Ernest Holmberg, Jonathon Solomon and Ronald Sam.
Doyon’s first president John Sackett reflected, “There was nothing, absolutely nothing, in our backgrounds that gave us any knowledge of how a profit corporation existed in this world. That’s not anything we had in the villages. That’s not anything any of us had, but it was required from the Act. And as a requirement, it was our obligation to our shareholders to learn.”
Doyon extends its gratitude to the early board members, presidents and staff for their leadership and vision that brought Doyon to where it is today.
The video was captured and produced by Doyon administrative intern, Krysten Walker. Watch the full video at https://youtu.be/F95yHUsmjNw.