Facebook pixel

CBPP Proud to Host “Alaska Native Values in Modern Governance: A Gathering”

February 20, 2024
Sharon Lind Dr. Sharon Guenther Lind, UAA College of Business & Public Policy

On January 11 and 12, the College of Business and Public Policy (CBPP) and the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) partnered with various Alaska Native organizations and leaders to host “Alaska Native Values in Modern Governance: A Gathering” on UAA’s campus. The two-day conference attracted 220 participants from around the state for an innovative approach to Alaska Native training.

Sharon Guenther Lind, CBPP assistant professor of management and member of the organizing committee, said that the event was born out of a 2017 board training session hosted by Lind and Joe Nelson, Chair of Sealaska Corporation. “The event was wonderful, but we immediately realized that we had to do more,” she noted. “Our patchwork of tribes, corporations, municipalities, and non-profit organizations in Alaska consume a lot of governance time and energy and continue to add to the livelihood of our local economies through jobs and needed tasks, while many of our communities continue to struggle to provide basic services.”

They envisioned the conference as an extended opportunity for Alaska Native leaders to experience a training rooted in indigenous values in Alaska Native governance.

CBPP Dean John Nofsinger Dean John Nofsinger, UAA College of Business & Public Policy

The 2024 gathering offered 28 sessions ranging from fiduciary duties and reading financial statements to nonprofit board service and grant writing. Sessions addressed issues unique to Alaska Native Tribes and corporations, including ANCSA, open enrollment policies and tribal financials.

General sessions covered topics vital to all attendees. These included panel discussions on “Hiring Our People” and “Working Together for Housing in Our Homelands” and an informative report by Dr. Maria Williams, UAA professor of Alaska Native studies, on UAA Alaska Native programs and opportunities.

“Training together across these various organizations brings positive results both regionally and statewide,” said Lind. “Although we have differing missions among Tribes, ANCs and Alaska Native non-profits, we are one and we do have one mission: Our People.”

The conference was made possible through generous support from UAA, CBPP, CAS, multiple sponsors and the work of the organizing committee.


Calista Corporation, Goldbelt, Inc., Sealaska Corporation, JW Industries Group, and Afognak Native Corporation

Organizing Committee

  • Greta Goto, Vice-Chair, Bristol Bay Native Corporation
  • Teresa Jacobsson, CEO, JW Industries Group & Founder/Chair, ATAA
  • Sharon Guenther Lind, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Management, College of Business & Public Policy
  • Joe Nelson, J.D., Chair, Sealaska Corporation
  • Tiel Smith, CEO, Rural Alaska Community Action Program, Incorporated
  • Maria Williams, Ph.D., Professor, Alaska Native Studies, College of Arts and Sciences