Updates on COVID-19 Response

In-Region Offices Close as Borough Hunkers Down

May 20, 2020

On Tuesday, May 19, Maniilaq Association reported the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Kotzebue. In response, the Northwest Arctic Borough has amended and extended its hunker down order, which requires residents to stay home as much as possible. To best abide by the order and protect employees in the region, NANA’s Kotzebue headquarters is closed for the remainder of the week (through May 22), and village offices are closed until further notice.

NANA’s main office number in Kotzebue has been redirected to the Anchorage office front desk. Shareholders may contact shareholder relations by calling (907) 265-4100 or (800) 478-2000 or emailing shareholderrelations@nana.com.

NANA leadership will reevaluate plans for headquarters and village offices in the coming days and will keep shareholders informed throughout the process.

The NANA region is guided by strong and capable community leaders – our partners – and we remain committed to working together to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Red Dog Resumes Regional Outbound Travel

May 19, 2020

In late March, and in response to community concerns regarding the threat of COVID-19, NANA and Teck made the difficult decision to temporarily suspend outbound flights from Red Dog Mine to villages in the northwest Arctic region. As of Monday, May 18, Red Dog employees are able to travel home to their communities in the region.

Prior to travel, regionally based Red Dog employees must test negative for COVID-19 and review and acknowledge travel protocols for their specific community.

Red Dog collaborated with community leaders, Maniilaq Association and the Northwest Arctic Borough to inform the new testing and travel protocols, which can be found in detail here.

NANA recognizes and thanks the regionally based employees at Red Dog for their commitment to the travel measures and the selflessness they demonstrated while restrictions were in place.

NANA Offices Closed Week of Memorial Day

May 16, 2020

NANA offices in Kotzebue, NANA-region villages and Anchorage will be closed the week of Memorial Day, Monday, May 25 through Friday, May 29.

During this time, a small number of employees will be on staff to support operations, and shareholders can request medical and burial assistance from shareholder relations by calling (907) 442-3301 or (800) 478-3301 or emailing shareholderrelations@nana.com.

The weeklong closure is a proactive cost-reduction measure to protect NANA’s finances and preserve shareholder interests. Although NANA’s current financial standing remains healthy, we recognize that NANA may need cash savings in the future given the potential economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, low zinc prices, the historic low price of oil and world economic trends.

During the office closure, the vast majority of NANA employees will use their earned paid time off (PTO) or leave without pay – actions that lead to significant cost savings for NANA. This decision was informed by one goal: to reduce expenses in ways that have the least amount of impact on shareholders, employees and clients.

In the meantime, NANA is planning a soft, phased reopening, to begin Monday, May 18, after NANA offices were closed to the public due to “hunker down” mandates and concerns regarding the spread of COVID-19. We look forward to safely working together in the coming weeks and building upon the milestones already achieved this year.

NANA Offices Closed Week of Memorial Day

May 16, 2020

NANA offices in Kotzebue, NANA-region villages and Anchorage will be closed the week of Memorial Day, Monday, May 25 through Friday, May 29.

During this time, a small number of employees will be on staff to support operations, and shareholders can request medical and burial assistance from shareholder relations by calling (907) 442-3301 or (800) 478-3301 or emailing shareholderrelations@nana.com.

The weeklong closure is a proactive cost-reduction measure to protect NANA’s finances and preserve shareholder interests. Although NANA’s current financial standing remains healthy, we recognize that NANA may need cash savings in the future given the potential economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, low zinc prices, the historic low price of oil and world economic trends.

During the office closure, the vast majority of NANA employees will use their earned paid time off (PTO) or leave without pay – actions that lead to significant cost savings for NANA. This decision was informed by one goal: to reduce expenses in ways that have the least amount of impact on shareholders, employees and clients.

In the meantime, NANA is planning a soft, phased reopening, to begin Monday, May 18, after NANA offices were closed to the public due to “hunker down” mandates and concerns regarding the spread of COVID-19. We look forward to safely working together in the coming weeks and building upon the milestones already achieved this year.

Summer Plans at UKMP Pending as Response to COVID-19 Evolves

April 29, 2020

In response to the COVID-19 global pandemic, NANA and Ambler Metals are working to determine how a summer field season at the Upper Kobuk Mineral Projects (UKMP) may progress while protecting communities and balancing job opportunities for residents of the region.

As partners, we are evaluating several options, including a delayed season start date in July or August rather than the standard season start in May. Given the far-reaching economic effects of COVID-19 and the measures required to prioritize health and safety, there will be a reduced project scope and fewer jobs than originally planned.

“The 2020 summer field season will be different than we expected,” said Darryl Steane, interim president of Ambler Metals. “However, we remain committed to our partnership at the UKMP.”

On April 22, the Northwest Arctic Borough extended the hunker down order for the region through May 19, and village travel mandates and restrictions are still in place. NANA and Ambler Metals will continue to track and evaluate these and other federal, state and local orders, working with the communities in the coming weeks to determine the best and safest way forward.

NANA Companies Contribute Funds for In-Region Food Program in Response to COVID-19

April 28, 2020

To further support ongoing COVID-19 relief efforts, NANA’s commercial group of companies recently committed $40,000 to a food program coordinated through Maniilaq Association’s Hardship Mitigation Project, which provides emergency food and supply boxes to Elders, individuals with disabilities and those recovering from substance abuse in the NANA region.

NANA Construction, Kuna Engineering, NANA Management Services, NANA/Lynden Logistics and Paa River Construction collaborated to make the contribution, which will fund three months of dry food and laundry supply deliveries to vulnerable groups throughout the Northwest Arctic Borough.

“I’m pleased to partner with Maniilaq on this important and valuable effort, especially during this time when certain goods are hard to find,” said Grant Vidrine, president (interim) of NANA’s commercial group. “By helping meet this basic need, we can hopefully ease some of the stress and anxieties people are feeling in response to this pandemic.”

Maniilaq Association staff will soon begin to compile the supply boxes, which will then be delivered to individuals and families in need throughout May, June and July.

“This is a special program for us because we know it serves a fundamental yet critical purpose,” said Tim Gilbert, president/CEO of Maniilaq Association. “NANA’s generous contribution helps ensure that we can continue to support it, and in turn, the clients it seeks to benefit.”

For more information on Maniilaq Association services, visit maniilaq.org.

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NANA’s commercial group is composed of companies that provide critical support to resource development, as well as other industries, including healthcare and education, throughout Alaska and in the continental U.S.

Maniilaq Association is a tribally governed 501(c)(3) non-profit that provides health, tribal and social services to residents of northwest Alaska and represents 12 federally recognized tribes.

NANA Sends Supplies to Northwest Arctic Region as Part of COVID-19 Relief

April 15, 2020

NANA recently pledged $100,000 in cleaning and sanitation supplies for every household in the NANA region to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Bleach, paper towels, disposable gloves, trash bags, soap and hand sanitizer are ordered and scheduled for a phased delivery to regional communities as the supplies become available.

An inventory of requested, hard-to-find supplies was coordinated through a special resources committee as part of the Northwest Arctic Leadership Team, which includes NANA, Maniilaq Association, the Northwest Arctic Borough and the Northwest Arctic Borough School District (NWABSD). The committee worked with each of the 11 villages in the region to identify and prioritize need.

“Our people have always banded together to help one another and survive,” said Wayne Westlake, NANA president and CEO. “NANA will continue to work in partnership with others as we navigate this pandemic together.”

Maniilaq Association and the Northwest Arctic Borough each contributed $5,000 to purchase the supplies, while Ryan Air and Bering Air are flying the goods to each community free of charge.

“We recognize there is an immediate need for many of these items, and we’re working on delivering what is available right now,” said Lance Miller, NANA vice president of natural resources and representative on the NWALT resources committee. “NANA Management Services and the school district property services team have been running logistics and our boots on the ground, and partners throughout the region have teamed up to track down and deliver supplies. It goes to show what can happen when people work together despite challenging circumstances.”

Supplies will be coordinated via the tribes in each community, except for Ambler and Kobuk – where the city will help organize distribution. Households in the region total more than 2,050.

NANA Cancels 2020 Summer Internship Program

April 6, 2020

To better protect the best interest and safety of shareholder students and their families during the COVID-19 pandemic, NANA has made the difficult decision to cancel our 2020 summer internship program, including internships at NANA Regional Corporation and our subsidiaries.

“Our main priority is the health and safety of our people” said Gia Hanna, NANA’s vice president of shareholder relations. “Though this decision was tough, it in no way diminishes the hard work and achievements of our shareholder students. We are all very proud of you and look forward to working with you in the near future. During this time, please continue to find ways to be social while keeping physical distance.”

If you have questions about future internship opportunities, please contact Annette Zella at annette.zella@nana.com or (907) 265-4362 or toll-free at (800) 478-2000.

NANA Board Declares Emergency Advance on 2020 Dividend in Response to COVID-19

March 27, 2020

To support our shareholders and their families who are facing economic hardships during the COVID-19 pandemic, the NANA board of directors voted to declare an emergency advance of a portion of the 2020 regular dividend of $2.50 per share to be distributed on April 22, 2020.

“Part of NANA’s mission is to improve the quality of life for our people by promoting healthy communities,” said Linda Lee, NANA’s board chair. “While we cannot control this virus, we can contribute in ways that seek to ease its financial effects.”

The dividend distribution will be paid through the NRC Shareholder Trust to shareholders in the system as of noon on March 27, 2020, with a record date of April 10, 2020.

“I encourage all of us to look out for one another during this unprecedented time and continue to follow the recommendations and mandates of federal, state and local agencies,” said Wayne Westlake, president and CEO of NANA. “May our Iñupiaq values guide our actions and decisions as we plan for the weeks ahead.”

For more information, shareholders can visit the shareholder portal at NANATKUT.com.

In-Region NANA Office Closures

March 26, 2020

To support public health efforts in the NANA region, NANA headquarters in Kotzebue is closed to the public. We continue to offer shareholder services electronically and by appointment.

Beginning today, NANA’s village offices are closed until further notice.

We encourage NANA shareholders to email shareholderrelations@nana.com or call (907) 442-3301 or (800) 478-3301 (toll-free) if you have any questions or need assistance. All other inquiries can be sent to info@nana.com.

Message to NANA Shareholders from Board Chair and President and CEO

March 25, 2020

Dear shareholder,

We know that many of you have questions during this uncertain time – questions that seem as though they should have an immediate answer. The board and senior management team are evaluating ways NANA can help support you and are doing so in a manner that is wise, thorough and aligned with our values.

NANA must emerge from this pandemic without significant financial constraints so that we can continue to fulfill our mission.

As we shared last week, NANA’s approach to the COVID-19 outbreak must also seek to minimize impacts to our operations. NANA staff have been working tirelessly the last few weeks to respond to the pandemic, determining next steps for shareholder programs and services, employees and customers – all of whom contribute to the success of our corporation. Our response is constantly evolving and always mindful that NANA is “in it for the long game.”

Every senior management team member has been allocated specific teams and responsibilities, by office and business line, to ensure we are on top of issues occurring at each location.

The City of Kotzebue has declared a local emergency in response to COVID-19. Effective yesterday, the Northwest Arctic Borough issued an emergency proclamation to “hunker down” regionwide. On Sunday, the Municipality of Anchorage issued a “hunker down” mandate, requiring people to stay at home and for everything but essential services and businesses to close. NANA can provide specific “essential services” under these government mandates. We are evaluating now what this means for our office operations in Kotzebue, the villages and Anchorage.

We are working closely with the other NWALT organizations, meeting regularly and actively developing materials, outreach and response strategies together. Maniilaq, as our region’s non-profit health organization, is leading the pandemic response.

We are committed to updating you throughout this pandemic, sharing information from our NWALT partners, keeping you informed on the Annual Meeting and business operations, and listening to your feedback.

We hear your questions and concerns, and we thank you for being engaged in our corporation.

Thank you,
Linda Lee, Board Chair
Wayne Westlake, President and CEO

Red Dog Implements Plan to Hunker Down

March 22, 2020

Throughout decades of production, Red Dog Mine has been a source of stability for NANA shareholders, three generations of employees, our 11 regional communities, the Northwest Arctic Borough, and Alaska Native corporations throughout the state.

These groups are the very ones we seek to protect in our response to the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Recognizing concerns from our communities to limit travel, for the next eight weeks, Red Dog operations will follow a systematic plan to “hunker down,” which outlines several temporary changes for all personnel at the mine site, including Teck, NANA and contractor employees.

To prioritize the safety and health of Red Dog personnel and our people in the region, the following changes are in place:

  • Outbound flights from Red Dog to communities in the NANA region are suspended
  • All travel from the mine will be routed through Anchorage

Regionally based employees who are impacted by these changes will be required to self-isolate in Anchorage during their time off. Teck will provide personnel lodging in Anchorage along with a per diem allowance, or employees can choose to stay with extended family in Anchorage.

These adjustments are temporary and require hard work, sacrifice and cooperation – qualities that our Red Dog teams have in abundance. Together, NANA and Teck will reevaluate the situation in another eight weeks and continue to update employees and community members throughout the process.

For more detailed information, click here.

Message to NANA Shareholders from Board Chair and President and CEO

March 20, 2020

Dear shareholder,

News regarding COVID-19 continues to evolve at a rapid pace. NANA is adapting hour-by-hour and remaining flexible as our response adjusts and changes. Our main priority is the health and safety of our people – shareholders, employees and customers. As a corporation, we are following the guidance of federal and state officials, as well as implementing recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Our Anchorage office is currently closed to the public. NANA employees still have access to it, though many are working from home, ensuring operations remain supported. Kotzebue headquarters and our village offices are open with limited, in-person services to shareholders.

As previously announced, NANA’s Annual Meeting of Shareholders will occur but with significant changes to our typical agenda. No NANA representatives will travel to Kivalina for the meeting, but through cooperative planning, the election of directors will continue as planned and on schedule to preserve the integrity of our voting process.

These measures are in place to protect our people and communities to the best of our ability. More information can be found on this webpage, which we recently launched to update stakeholders on our COVID-19 response.

NANA’s approach to this pandemic must also seek to minimize impacts to our operations and protect NANA financially.

Natural resources project teams are helping to implement the direct guidance of our partners, and each of our subsidiaries is closely communicating with their customers, reviewing individual contract agreements, OSHA requirements and other rules that apply to their specific business and creating a path forward that works for their company, team and clients. Subsidiary leadership is working hard to protect our employees while weighing the effects of canceled contracts and significantly scaled-back services.

Because of the uncertainty that accompanies this global pandemic, NANA must budget conservatively and plan responsibly – not knowing what the future days, weeks and months have in store. That said, the majority of our shareholder services remain intact. NANA’s shareholder relations coordinators and shareholder records department are taking calls, emails and faxes, and we will continue to provide burial and medical assistance during times of hardship.

We are working in collaboration and regularly communicating with Maniilaq Association, the Northwest Arctic Borough and the school district – together as NWALT (Northwest Arctic Leadership Team) – to increase our collective understanding of response plans and coordinate where appropriate.

NANA’s leadership is meeting daily to evaluate current news and prepare for next steps. We are in this together, throughout our region and across the world, and we will focus on the principles that bind us as a people – the real people. That which makes us who we are cannot be taken from us, even as we practice our values with a little more distance between us.

We will communicate with you on our efforts in the days ahead and invite you to do the same. Our hope is that you and your loved ones stay safe, healthy and informed.

Taikuu,
Linda Lee, Board Chair
Wayne Westlake, President and CEO

Shareholder Services During COVID-19 Outbreak

March 19, 2020

NANA headquarters in Kotzebue and our village offices remain open, though with limited, in-person services to shareholders.

Shareholder relations coordinators in the NANA region are temporarily restricting the following services immediately:

  • Home visits
  • Onboarding/drug testing
  • Non-NANA business in NANA offices
  • All social gatherings

One-on-one, in-region meetings with shareholders must follow social distancing guidelines (maintaining six feet of distance between individuals). The shareholder relations department is also advising shareholders not to visit NANA offices if they feel ill.

NANA’s shareholder records department is taking calls, emails and faxes.

NANA continues to provide burial and medical assistance but will not be issuing checks in person. Rather, checks will be mailed to shareholders or directly deposited into a bank account.

Shareholders may contact shareholder relations by calling (907) 442-3301 or (800) 478-3301 or emailing shareholderrelations@nana.com.

Anchorage Office Closure

March 17, 2020

NANA continues to monitor news of the COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) outbreak. To support public health efforts, NANA offices in Anchorage are currently closed to the public.

We encourage NANA shareholders to email shareholderrelations@nana.com or call (907) 265-4100 if you have any questions or need assistance. All other inquiries can be sent to info@nana.com.

Message to NANA Shareholders on the Annual Meeting

March 15, 2020

Like much of the world and many of you, NANA has been closely tracking news of the COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) outbreak. On Wednesday, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a global pandemic, and on Friday evening, state officials announced the first confirmed case of the coronavirus in Alaska.

As always, our main priority is the quality of life, health and safety of our people and communities. After several, daily conversations with NANA’s board chair and coordination with Kivalina-based board members, NANA’s Annual Meeting of Shareholders will proceed on Saturday, March 28, 2020, in Kivalina, Alaska, with a shortened, minimal agenda and without any NANA representatives traveling to Kivalina.

The Annual Meeting will occur with the following changes:

  • The Annual Meeting will include one legally required agenda item – the election of directors. The election will continue as planned with the current Proxy submission deadlines in place in accordance with our bylaws and regulatory policies.
  • A quorum has been established, and Proxies that have already been voted remain valid.
  • A registration table and polling place will be available for shareholders in Kivalina who wish to submit a ballot in person or hand-deliver their Proxies on March 28.
  • Shareholders are encouraged to vote online, by mail, or via fax or email. Shareholders in Kivalina who submit a ballot in person or hand-deliver a Proxy at the Annual Meeting will be encouraged to do so promptly and without gathering afterward.
  • The election results will be announced in Kivalina during the Annual Meeting and posted to the shareholder portal directly after the meeting. Sramek Hightower, CPAs – our ballot tabulators – will continue to oversee voting and election results at the meeting through a designated third party.
  • No NANA board members, leadership or staff will travel to Kivalina. Rather, NANA’s board chair will appoint Mary Sage – Proxy holder and board director from Kivalina – as presiding officer to lead the meeting, which will include:
    • Call to order and announcement of quorum
    • Board nominations
    • Opening of polls
    • Closing of polls
    • Election results
    • Adjournment
  • To establish shareholder presence at the meeting, attendance will be limited to a minimal number of shareholders, including Kivalina-based board members and those shareholders who need to cast their vote.
  • To honor the community wishes, this meeting will not be the gathering we are used to. NANA will return to Kivalina at a later date to present full reports from the board chair and president and CEO, answer questions from shareholders and visit with food and entertainment. The job fair, NANA Awards, feast and festivities are postponed until then.
  • Cash prizes will still be drawn for those shareholders who submit valid Proxies early, online and by the March 25 deadline. Door prizes will not be drawn for shareholders who attend the meeting in person, as we are encouraging limited, in-person attendance for the safety of the community. NANA will draw for in-person door prizes at the future gathering in Kivalina.

Our goal is to maintain the integrity of our election process while protecting the corporation and abiding by the laws and regulations that oversee our annual meetings. If any details surrounding the Annual Meeting should further change, we will immediately notify shareholders, employees and partners. NANA will adjust as needed and will keep you updated throughout the process.

We are working in collaboration with Maniilaq Association, the Northwest Arctic Borough School District and other partners to remain informed and prepared as we continue to monitor updates on the coronavirus.

Overall, NANA’s business operations remain intact. Our corporate offices, including Kotzebue headquarters and the Anchorage office, are following newly implemented policies and procedures, while our subsidiary and remote site employees are abiding by the plans and directives of onsite, client protocols.

The theme of our Annual Meeting this year is One NANA. We will continue to work together for the benefit of our people and corporation. Thank you for your understanding and patience as we weather this unprecedented situation.

Wayne Westlake

President and CEO