It’s been a cool and rainy summer in the Bristol Bay region. The salmon, like summer itself, arrived later than usual, but fortunately, they arrived in abundance. Sadly, our plentiful run has been met with low salmon prices—as low as 50 cents per pound of sockeye—and fishermen are understandably concerned. In the months ahead, I hope everyone can look forward to a strong harvest and hunting season. I saw an bountiful amount of berries while out on a hike recently, but the fireweed blooms were still quite low on the stalk. It seems fall will come late this year as well.
In this edition of the Bay Report, we’re highlighting BBNC’s Place Names Project. For 20 years, the project has been collecting the Alutiiq, Dena’ina, and Yup’ik names our ancestors gave to nearly 1,400 locations long before Russian and English names began to appear on maps of the region. What started with a relatively small investment from BBNC back in 2003, has gone on to yield a significant, lasting impact. The project’s growing catalogue of place names—and the rich stories behind them—are expanding our understanding of our heritage, and its audio recordings of pronunciations are strengthening our connections to our ancestral languages. Today, places throughout the Bristol Bay region (and elsewhere in the state) are officially reclaiming their Native names. Learn more about BBNC’s Place Names Project and its remarkable work on the next page.
By now you’ve received your copy of BBNC’s annual report, and I hope you enjoyed reading about the ways your fellow BBNC members are sharing of themselves, their skills, and their knowledge to benefit the Bristol Bay region and its people. You probably also saw in the report that 2022 was BBNC’s strongest financial year ever, an amazing triumph made possible by our employees, board of directors, and shareholders. This success is what allows BBNC to support its Place Names Project and many other important cultural endeavors. It also provides critical resources for our efforts to develop jobs and economic opportunities in communities across the region.
I hope all of you will join me in Dillingham for BBNC’s Annual Meeting of Shareholders and Career Fair on Saturday, October 7. I’m looking forward to seeing many familiar faces in person, though you can also attend the meeting online via webcast, if you prefer. For those of you who can’t make it, our board members and board candidates strongly encourage you to complete your BBNC proxy and make sure your voice is heard.
As my eldest son heads off to college this fall, my younger son and I are planning his first hunting trip. No doubt many of you are looking forward to similar outings with your friends and families. As we set out to enjoy ourselves and our lands, let’s all take care to be cautious and look out for one another.
Thanks as always for your support.
President & CEO