Our People of the Calista region of Alaska will live and share our Yuuyaraq traditional way of being, value education, provide for our families, contribute to the well-being of our communities and set a good example for future generations

Who We Are    “We call ourselves Yupiit, “Real People.”  In our language yuk means “person” or “human being.”  Then we add pik, meaning “real” or “genuine.”  We are the real people.”      -Paul John, Calista Elder   http://www.calistaeducation.org/home.html

Our Culture

The Yup’ik, Cup’ik and Athabascan cultures of the Calista Region are the most preserved in Alaska. The majority of the residents within the Region still speak their traditional languages, and most still practice a subsistence lifestyle; their culture is a primary characteristic of their economy. It is also a cherished way of life, vital to the survival of Alaska Native cultures.

The economic base in the Calista Region is very limited. Commercial fishing, construction, trapping and arts have provided residents with some earnings but unemployment in the Region still remains high. Because of sparse employment opportunities, many families do not have the income to pay for their children’s college or vocational school education. This creates a hindrance for many students who are academically fit to further their education or career goals.

Our Languages

The U.S. Census Bureau recently reported Yup’ik, with approximately 19,000 speakers, is the second most commonly spoken native language in the U.S. Only five percent of Alaska Native and American Indians speak a Native language with 65 percent of native speakers living in Alaska, Arizona or New Mexico. Language is an important part of culture and preserving our culture is critical to keeping our communities healthy and vibrant. The Calista Elders Council was formed to help protect and preserve our Yup’ik, Cup’ik and Athabascan cultures. It is our traditions, our heritage, our customs and our cultures that define us as a people, helping us to grow and be successful in our personal and community lives.

Anguyagtem naaqistai, apqiitnek U.S. Census Bureau-t qanertut Yugtun-gguq qantulit maa-i yuinaunrita’ar tiissitsaat cipluku amllertariniluki. Alaska-m nutem yuini Ingqilini-llu Yugtun qantulit amlleqrita kinguqlirraqaa. Alaskam nutem yuini Ingqilini-llu kiingan five percent-aat maa-i nutemllaq qaneryarateng atularaat. Cali-ll’ nutum qantulini taukuni sixty-five percent-ait nutem qantulit Alaska-mi, Arzona-mi New Mexico-mi-llu uitatuluteng. Qaneryaput arcaqalriaruuq man’a-llu yuucimta piciryaramta-llu tamanritlerkaa arcaqalriaruuq nunamta assirluki eglertellerkaat pitekluku. Calista Elders Council-aaq calillgutekluku Calista Heritage Foundation-aaq piurtellruuq qaunqellerkaa maryartellerkaa, tamavkanritengnaqlerkaa-llu pitekluku Yupiit/Cupiit/Ingqiliit-llu yuuyaraat, piciryaraat, qaneryaraat-llu. Yuuyaraput piciryaraput-llu wangkuta arcaqalriaruuq wangkuta pikngamteggu ikayuutnguciqngan-llu wangkutnun yuungnaqlemteni uitanqegciluta piluaqerluta-llu.

Economy

The economic base in the Calista Region is very limited. Commercial fishing, construction, trapping and arts have provided residents with some earnings but unemployment in the Region still remains high. Because of sparse employment opportunities, many families do not have the income to pay for their children’s college or vocational school education. This creates a hindrance for many students who are academically fit to further their education or career goals.

Calista Corporation is one of thirteen Alaska Native Regional Corporations created under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971 (ANCSA) in settlement of aboriginal land claims. Calista was incorporated in Alaska on June 12, 1972.    http://www.alaskan-natives.com/983/calista-regional-corporation/

The Calista Region covers Alaska’s Bethel and Wade Hampton census areas and includes 48 permanent communities and eight seasonally occupied villages, located along the banks of the lower Yukon and the middle and lower Kuskokwim Rivers, Nunivak Island, and the Bering Sea coast from the mouth of the Yukon River, south to Cape Newenham.

Calista Regional Corporation Map

Although the Calista region is in western Alaska, Calista Corporation is headquartered in Anchorage, Alaska. Calista is a for-profit corporation with 17,300 Alaska Native shareholders primarily of Yup’ik descent.

The name Calista (worker) is a combination of the Central Alaskan Yup’ik words cali, meaning “to work,” and ista, meaning someone or something which does. The Yup’ik language does not have a word for “corporation.”

Land Holdings

As part of ANCSA, Calista received patent for 4,997,263 acres (20,223.21 km2) from the federal government as well as approximately $80 million, making it the second largest corporation established under ANCSA.

Because of to the importance of the land to the traditional subsistence economies of the region’s Yup’ik residents, including the bulk of Calista’s shareholders, Calista concentrated most of its land selections under ANCSA in the areas surrounding the region’s 56 villages.

Under ANCSA, Calista Corporation also holds subsurface estate correlating to 6.2 million acres (25,000 km2) of surface lands selected by the 46 ANCSA village corporations in the Calista region. Calista’s own entitlement includes 238,000 acres (960 km2) of fee estate lands. Of the lands so far conveyed to the corporation, about half are in areas with high mineral potential or current mineral production. Sand, gravel, and quarry rock also form a significant portion of Calista’s subsurface estate. Calista is encouraging exploration for oil and natural gas resources in the region.

In a land exchange with the federal government, finalized in 2001, some of Calista’s surface land parcels and a portion of its subsurface estate were incorporated into the Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge, while preserving subsistence hunting and fishing rights.

Calista is also a land owner to subsurface rights from ANCSA, and holds title to the large Donlin Creek gold deposit, which is leased to Barrick Gold and NovaGold Resources.

Calista Shareholders

At incorporation, Calista Corporation enrolled 13,303 Alaska Natives, each of whom received 100 shares of Calista stock. The total number of shareholders has fluctuated since due to transfers through inheritance and gifting of shares, but the total number of shares remain the same. As an ANCSA corporation, Calista Corporation has no publicly traded stock and its shares cannot legally be sold.

Currently, Calista has almost 14,000 shareholders, almost all of whom are Central Alaskan Yup’ik people, and most of whom still speak the Yup’ik language and live a largely subsistence lifestyle of hunting, fishing, and gathering.

All 56 of the Region’s communities are organized into 45 for-profit ANCSA village corporations, each receiving ANCSA surface estate land entitlements.

The village corporations for the communities of Kalskag, Lower Kalskag, Aniak, Chuathbaluk, Napaimute, Crooked Creek, Georgetown, Red Devil, Sleetmute and Stony River merged to form The Kuskokwim Corporation.

The village corporations for Nightmute and Umkumiute merged to form Chinuruk, Incorporated.

Native Villages and Native Corporations in the Calista region:

Community Name Corporation Name
Akiachak Akiachak Limited
Akiak Kokarmiut Corporation.
Alakanuk Alakanuk Corporation.
Andereafsky Nerklikmute Native Corporation
Aniak Kuskokwim Corporation. (FF-014813)
Atmautluak Atmauthluak Limited
Bethel Bethel Native Corporation
Bill Moores Slough Kongnikilnomuit Yuita Corporation
Chefornakes Slough Chefarnrmute Inc.
Chevak Chevak Co
Chuloonawik Chuloonawick Corporation
Crooked Creek Kuskokwin Corporation. (FF-014990)
Eek Iqfijouq Co
Emmonak Emmonak Corporation
Georgetown Kuskokwim Corporation (FF-014860)
Gold Creek/Susitna Gold Creek/Susitna Native Assoc.
Goodnews Bay Kiutsarak Inc.
Hamilton Nunapiglluraq Corporation
Haycock Haycock Native Group Corporation
Hooper Bay Sea Lion Corporation
Kalskag Kuskokwim Corporation (FF-014817)
Kasigluk Kasigluk Inc
Kipnuk Kugkaktilk Limited
Kongiganek Qemirtalek Coast Corporation
Kotlik Kotlik Yupik Corporation
Kwethluk Kwethluk Inc
Kwigillingok Kwik Inc
Lime Village Lime Village Co
Lower Kalskag Kuskokwim Corporation (FF-014888)
Marshall Maserculig Inc
Mekoryuk Nima Corporation
Mt. Village Azachorok Inc.
Nagamut Nagamut Limited
Napaimute Kuskokwim Corporation (FF-014900)
Napakiak Napakiak Corporation
Napaskiak Napaskiak Inc.
Newtok Newtok Inc.
Nightmute NGTA Inc.
Nunapitchuk Nunapitchuk Limited
Nunivak Nima Corporation
Ohogamiut Ohog Inc
Oscarville Oscarville Native Corporation
Paimiut Paimiut Corporation
Pilot Station Pilot Station Native Corporation
Pitkas Point Pitkas Point Native Corporation
Platinum Arvig Inc.
Quinhagak Qanirtuuq Inc
Red Devil Kuskokwim Corporation (FF-014924)
Russion Mission K Kuskokwim Corporation (FF-014926)
Russion Mission Y Kuskokwim Corporation (FF-014927)
Scammon Bay Askinuk Corporation
Sheldon Point Swan Lake Corporation
Sleetmut Kuskokwim Corporation (FF-014936)
St. Marys St. Marys Native Corporation
Stoney River Kuskokwim Corporation. (FF-014941)
Toksook Bay Nunakauiak Yupik Corporation
Tuluksak Tulkisarmute Inc.
Tuntutuliak Tuntutuliak Land Limited
Tununak Tununrmiut Rinit Corporation
Umkumiute Umkumiute Limited