Open enrollment begins!
For the first time in Choggiung’s history, Descendants and Missed Enrollees will be able to apply for enrollment as Shareholders of the corporation! At the 48th Annual Meeting held on September 24, 2022, Shareholders passed a resolution to amend the Articles of Incorporation to issue new shares of settlement common stock to descendants of original shareholders and missed enrollees.
It was a long process with months of studies and preparation to bring open enrollment to a vote of the Shareholders of the corporation, and by the vote of current shareholders we will be working on a process to make it reality. Choggiung’s enrollment team is now spending time working through the details to ensure the application and verification process goes smoothly for new applicants and the corporation. Be patient, as with all good things, this stage will take some more time. Watch for announcements in the mail and on Facebook for the date when enrollment opens, and applications are made available. In the meantime, read more about qualifications and verification documents that will be required to enroll.
Shareholders have important responsibilities that are essential to the success of the corporation including voting on Choggiung leadership and other corporation issues. We are excited for future generations of shareholders who will strengthen the corporation by bringing new ideas, voices, and leadership.
How can you PREPARE FOR enrollment for class B stock?
STEP 1: Make sure you are eligible.
WHO IS QUALIFIED TO APPLY FOR CLASS B LIFE ESTATE STOCK?
Eligibility Criteria for Descendants
(Must answer yes to all three)
- ✓ I was born after December 18, 1971
- ✓ I am a lineal Descendant by birth or adoption of an original Choggiung Limited Shareholder
- ✓ I have not enrolled as a Descendant in another ANCSA Village Corporation that has already gone through the process of open enrollment.
Eligibility Criteria for Missed Enrollee
(Must answer yes to all four)
- ✓ I was born on or before December 18, 1971
- ✓ I am a U.S. citizen
- ✓ I have at least ¼ Alaska Native Blood Quantum
- ✓ I have not enrolled as an original or missed enrollee shareholder of another ANCSA Village
STEP 2: Get your documents in order.
VERIFICATION DOCUMENTS REQUIRED
Descendant applicants should be prepared to submit verification documents to show proof of applicant’s legal name, date of birth, and lineal descent. Acceptable documents include original or certified copy of a birth certificate, adoption papers or other documentation showing the applicant’s relationship to a lineal family member who is an original Choggiung Shareholder. Additional documents may be required if applicable such as: Proof of Name Change, Proof of Custodianship, Paternity Affidavit, Certificate of Indian Blood (CIB), Social Security Card or Adoption Court Order. If sponsoring an applicant, the sponsor’s legal name and proof of relationship to and responsibility for the applicant must be established.
Missed Enrollee applicants must meet ANCSA requirements and should also be prepared to submit verification documents to show proof of legal name, date of birth, lineal descent and or birth/residency tie to Dillingham, Ekuk or Portage Creek. The applicant must show proof of U.S. citizenship, and ¼ Alaska Native blood quantum. Acceptable documents include an original or certified copy of a birth certificate, adoption papers, Certificate of Indian Blood (CIB), and other documentation showing the applicant’s birth in, or residency, Social Security Card, relationship to or lineal descent from someone from Dillingham, Ekuk, or Portage Creek.
For Alaska vital records, contact: Anchorage (907) 269-0991; Fairbanks (907) 452-4863; or Juneau (907) 465-3391. Or apply online for an Alaska birth certificate at: http://www.hss.state.ak.us/dph/bvs/birth/default.htm
For births outside of Alaska, apply online at: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/howto/w2w/w2welocm.htm
Missed enrollees can request a Certificate of Indian Blood (CIB) by contacting the Bureau of Indian Affairs at: Anchorage (907) 271-3519; Fairbanks (907) 456-0522; or Juneau (907) 586-7635.
Q: When will the enrollment process begin?
The tentative timeline to begin enrollment is January of 2023.
Q: Who are original Choggiung shareholders?
An individual who was born before December 18, 1971, participated in ANCSA’s original enrollment process, had their names included on the BIA rolls, and were issued 100 shares of original Choggiung settlement common stock. Shareholders who were born after December 18, 1971 who were gifted or inherited shares are not original shareholders.
Q: What is a lineal descendant?
- A person who is the child, grandchild, great grandchild, etc. of an original Choggiung Limited shareholder; descendants must be able to trace a direct ancestor as an original Choggiung shareholder.
- A lineal descendant of a Native, or of an individual who would have been a Native if such individual were alive on December 18, 1971; or
- An adoptee of a Native or of a descendant of a Native, whose adoption occurred prior to his or her majority, and is recognized at law or in equity.
Q: What is a missed enrollee?
A missed enrollee or “left-out” is a Native alive when ANCSA became law on December 18, 1971 and who was qualified for original enrollment as a Choggiung shareholder, but who missed the original enrollment deadline. They must be a citizen of the United States and of ¼ degree or more of Alaska Native blood.
Q: Is there an Alaska Native blood quantum requirement?
No, there is no blood quantum requirement for descendant enrollment.
Q: If I already own shares as a descendant (through gifting or inheritance) can I still enroll and receive 25 new shares?
Yes, if you are qualified and your application has been completed, verified, and approved, you will receive 25 shares of Class B stock in addition to any original shares you already own. The original Class A stock can continue to be gifted and inherited, but the Class B stock cannot.
Q: Can I enroll if I have shares in another Village Corporation?
You can enroll if you have been gifted or inherited shares from another Village Corporation; however, if you are a descendant who has already enrolled in another Village Corporation who opened enrollment, you are not eligible to enroll with Choggiung.
Q: Do Class B shares (new enrollees) have voting rights?
Class B descendant shares will not have voting rights until the shareholder to whom they were issued reaches the age of 18.
Q: What is Life Estate Stock?
Life estate stock are shares that go back to the Corporation, without compensation, upon the death of the owner of the shares. The shares can then be re-issued to a new descendant in the future. Life estate stock cannot be gifted or passed on by inheritance.
Q: Can I get my shares back that I gifted to my descendants now that they can get their own?
No. ANCSA only allows gifting laterally to brothers and sisters, and downward. Once those shares have been gifted, they cannot be returned to the original shareholder.
Q: Now that the amendment passed, will my dividend distributions get smaller?
The Board and Management intend to maintain its expectation of ‘predictable and ever-increasing dividends/distributions.’ However, the initial enrollment of shareholder descendants will have a large impact on dividends/distributions. Because funds will be distributed to a larger number of shares outstanding, and because the distribution is dependent on Corporate & Trust financial health, a smaller distribution per share may result.
Q: What will be the financial impact on Choggiung?
The financial impact depends on the number of descendants who enroll. Having more shareholders means administrative costs will increase, and dividends will be distributed among a larger number of shareholders.
Q: When I receive my Class B stock, will I receive past distributions?
No, new enrollees will not receive past distributions. New enrollees will receive their first distribution once their application has been verified and approved.
Q: How many new shareholders would be enrolled if descendant enrollment takes place?
Choggiung does not have a definite number at this time; however, it is estimated (by the ISER study) that approximately 1,800 descendants would qualify. If the vote passes, the Board has approved 80,000 new shares. Each descendant who enrolls will receive 25 shares which leaves room for up to 3,200 new enrollees and an opportunity for newborn descendants to enroll long after this vote is approved.