We’re an Alaska Native Corporation with strong ties to our land, our people, and our past. Just like our ancestors, we’re always striving to build common strength.
Courageous, resourceful, resilient—these qualities have defined the three cultures of Bristol Bay since before they encountered one another. Centuries ago, the Eskimo, Aleut, and Indian people ventured from their homes, tackling tough terrain in search of resources. Along the way, they discovered each other. Differences in language and customs eventually gave way to mutual support and shared strength as our earliest ancestors united to form a thriving network of traders.
Today, BBNC embodies the bold, cooperative spirit of our ancestors, not just in Bristol Bay but far beyond. In that sense, we mirror our more than 10,000 shareholders, who are tied to this magnificent region whether they live in Anchorage, Fairbanks, Seattle, Puerto Rico, New Zealand, or points between.
As a corporation, we seek out opportunities for growth across the globe. We convert our profits into benefits for our shareholders in the form of dividends, economic development, employment, and educational opportunities. It’s not an accident that our forward-looking corporate strategy leads to the greater good of our shareholders. It’s our commitment.
Experience an unforgettable place
The Bristol Bay region is another world—where wildlife flourishes across stunningly varied terrain, where vivid strands of our Native traditions run throughout the culture. Built on the shores of Lake Aleknagik and steeped in a blend of both Native and western history, BBNC’s Mission Lodge draws travelers from all corners of the globe with some of the best fly-out fishing anywhere. First-class accommodations, trophy sport fishing, great hiking, fine dining, spa services, and caring staff all combine to make a stay at BBNC’s Mission Lodge an unforgettable Bristol Bay experience.
In Mission Lodge’s gift shop, visitors get an authentic experience—one that supports and celebrates Native art. Launched by Mission Lodge in 2014, AlaskaNative.Life produces artwork and designs created by Native Alaskans from Bristol Bay. Now, visitors to Bristol Bay can show their appreciation for the culture of this special part of the world—and Native Alaskan artists have the chance to share their work. Interested in purchasing work or submitting a design? Visit alaskanative.life to learn more.
AlaskaNative.Life is a new brand operated by Bristol Bay Native Corporation [BBNC]. The goal of the brand is to support Alaska Native artists first in Bristol Bay and ultimately statewide, by providing a sales channel to help sell and promote their art.
The idea for the AlaskaNative.Life brand arose from Mission Lodge [BBNC subsidiary in Bristol Bay], which operates a small gift shop that sells clothing, apparel, gifts and accessories. In the summer of 2014, the gift shop management began to sell jewelry for the first time. Even though customers bought the jewelry that we had in stock, they found that their clients were more interested in buying locally made crafts and art rather than something they could get at home. Further, their clients wanted to be able to tell a story that matched their unique experience in Alaska and compliment it with a gift just as unique as Alaska its self.
To respond to this need, the Mission Lodge management staff plans to expand its gift shop offerings to include a variety of Native artwork. The inventory will include both mass production items such as t-shirts and stickers, as well as traditional art of all kinds. But why stop at the little Mission Lodge gift shop? Why not take the idea to the entire region? Or entire state? Or better yet, let’s take it to the entire world – aka. the internet. And thus, AlaskaNative.Life was born.
As this grows, proceeds from sales will be used to set up scholarship funds for young artists and continuing education. If you are an Alaskan Native, we encourage you to join us and share your work.
http://www.alaskan-natives.com/187/bristol-bay-native-corporation/ Bristol Bay Native Corporation is a diversified holding company. Investments and services include a stock portfolio, architectural design, cardlock fueling, corporate services, corrosion inspection, environmental engineering and remediation, oilfield and environmental cleanup labor, and surveying and government services.
Natives from the Bristol Bay region played an important role in achieving the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) by encouraging the Native Claims movement.
The Alaska Natives Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) offered an alternative to the Indian reservation system in the Lower 48. When ANCSA was signed into law on December 18, 1971, it required each of the 12 newly formed regions to create a for-profit corporation.
Bristol Bay Native Corporation was incorporated in 1972 and became entitled to receive approximately 3 million acres of land, primarily subsurface estate. Roughly 5,400 Alaska Natives with ties to the Bristol Bay region received 100 shares of stock in BBNC. Today, BBNC has more than 9,600 shareholders.
The Bristol Bay region is 150 miles southwest of Anchorage, Alaska, and is approximately 40,000 square miles in size — slightly larger than the State of Ohio.
The region has spectacular landscapes, a fascinating and complex history, three diverse Native cultural traditions, volcanoes, unspoiled wilderness, and diverse state and national parks and refuges.
Among the wide-open spaces are black sand beaches, mountain ranges, lowland tundra, wetlands, abundant flora and fauna, and many wild and scenic rivers. Iliamna Lake, located in the north of the region, is the largest freshwater lake in Alaska.
The Bristol Bay villages are situated in the watersheds of the world-renowned Bristol Bay salmon fishery. The pristine lakes and rivers that empty into Bristol Bay support spawning and harvesting of all five species of Pacific salmon — king, sockeye, silver, chum, and pink — as well as rainbow trout, arctic char, grayling, northern pike, lake trout and Dolly Varden.
Beluga whales and Orcas (killer whales) can be seen following the salmon runs.
Bristol Bay Watershed – Photo by Robert Glen Ketchum
Bristol Bay Cultures
Traditional customs of the Eskimo, Aleut, and Indian are still evident in the Bristol Bay region today. Each of the three Native peoples of the Bristol Bay region has their own distinct Native language and dialect that identifies them as being different from another tribe.
The Aleut/Alutiiq who lived on the ocean side of the Alaska Peninsula were confined to the coasts because of rugged mountainous terrain. Skilled kayakers subsisting mainly on fish and sea mammals.
The Aleut/Alutiiq made two types of sea craft: the small, decked canoe known as the kayak or bidarka, and the large open boat called the angyat or baidar.
The main food sources center around seals, whale, salmon, halibut, shellfish, and other sea creatures. These resources are not only harvested for food, but also for clothing, boats, and as oil for lamps.
Land mammals, such as caribou, were originally taken by spear or bow and arrow. Large nets were used to capture birds such as cormorants, ducks, and sea parrots for use in making parkas. Whales were obtained mainly by use of poisoned spear blades.
Dena’ina Athabascan Indian Culture
The Dena’ina Athabascans occupied lands around Iliamna Lake and Lake Clark. Abundant runs of red salmon and moose and caribou provided a stable food supply for the Indians living in this area. They hunted for bear, beaver, porcupine, and waterfowl, and fished for freshwater fish.
Canoes were made of birch bark, moose hide, and cottonwood.
To the Dena’ina, the raven is the creator of their ancient world and is known as a mischief-loving deity. Their oral history is filled with raven stories meant to teach and entertain.
The Eskimos on the Bristol Bay side of the peninsula were primarily hunters and fisherman, subsisting on caribou, moose, bear, and other land animals as well as waterfowl and ptarmigan.
Salmon was harvested with the use of gill nets made of spruce root, while smaller fish were taken with scoop nets. Fish traps, harpoons, and weirs were also used in the taking of fish. Whitefish and bottom fish were captured using bone hooks.
Caribou were prized not only for their meat but for their skins, which were used in making clothing and for trading purposes. The hunting of caribou was done with bows and arrows and snares.
Brown bear and moose were also hunted by the Eskimos. The brown bear skins were prized by all the Alaska Natives for bedding and as hangings at entrances in place of doors. Brown bears still outnumber people in the Bristol Bay region by more than 2,000.
The Natives of Bristol Bay are also gatherers of berries and plants which are used as a source of food, such as greens, mushrooms, and seaweed. Other plants and berries are gathered for medicinal purposes.
Today, many Alaska Natives of the Bristol Bay region continue to live in the areas settled by their ancestors. They weave a rich culture filled with dancing, songs, stories, food gathering, hunting, and fishing.
Bristol Bay Member Villages and Village Corporations
|Community Name||Corporation Name|
|Aleknagik||Aleknagik Natives Limited|
|Chignik||Chignik Lagoon Native Corporation|
|Chignik Lagoon||Chigik River Limited|
|Chignik Lake||Far West Inc|
|Clarks Point||Saguyak Inc.|
|Ekuk||Ekuk Native Limited|
|Ekwok||Ekwok Natives Limited|
|Igiugig||Igiugig Native Corporation|
|Iliamna||Iliamna Native Corporation|
|Ivanoff Bay||Bay View Inc.|
|Kokhanok||Kokhanok Native Corporation|
|Koliganek||Koliganek Natives Limited|
|Levelock||Levelock Natives Limited|
|Manokotak||Manokotak Natives Limited|
|Naknek||Paug-Vik Inc. Limited|
|New Halen||New Halen Native Corporation|
|New Stuyahok||Stuyahok Limited|
|Nondalton||Nondalton Native Corporation|
|Pedro Bay||Pedro Bay Corporation|
|Pilot Point||Pilot Point Native Corporation|
|Port Alsworth||Tanalian Inc|
|Port Heiden||Meshik Inc.|
|Portage Creek||Ohgsenskale Corporation|
|South Naknek||Qinuyang Limited|
|Togiak||Togiak Natives Limited|
|Twin Hills||Twin Hills Native Corporation|
|Ugashik||Ugashik Native Corporation|