Former Sealaska board Chairman Albert Kookesh won the most votes in elections. (Photo by Ed Schoenfeld/CoastAlaska News)

Former Sealaska board Chairman Albert Kookesh won the most votes in the regional Native corporation’s 2015 election. (Ed Schoenfeld/CoastAlaska News)

Sealaska shareholders have returned five incumbents to the regional Native corporation’s 13-member board of directors.

Results released at Saturday’s annual meeting in Juneau show former board Chairman and state Senator Albert Kookesh winning the most votes.

Close behind were Juneau’s Barbara Cadiente-Nelson, Haines’ Bill Thomas, Juneau’s Joe Nelson and Washington state’s Tate London.

The board slate defeated five independent candidates. They were Yakutat’s Ralph Wolfe, Juneau’s Karen Taug and Brad Fluetsch, California’s Catherine Edwards and New Mexico’s Ray Austin.

A big issue this year was Sealaska’s financial situation. Its operations and investments have lost money for the last five years.

The regional Native corporation for Southeast Alaska has about 22,000 Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian shareholders. Each gets a vote for each share they own, the average being 100.

No resolutions were on this year’s ballot.

Election results (shares voted):


  • Albert Kookesh – 721,567
    Barbara Cadiente -Nelson – 721,052
    Bill Thomas – 720,977
    Joe Nelson – 719,891
    Tate London – 719, 846


  • Ralph Wolfe – 436,503
    Karen Ann Taug – 425,872
    Bradley J. Fluetsch – 415,207
    Catherine N. Edwards – 236,836
    Raymond E. Austin – 201,542