In, 2023 I had a busy year promoting the Chugach Region with cultural presentations about our people, history, and lands,” stated John F.C. Johnson, Chugach Alaska Corporation’s (Chugach) Vice President of Cultural Resources. Johnson’s 2023 schedule of presentations included stops at:

  • Whittier with the PWS Natural History Symposium
  • Chugach’s Annual Meeting
  • Alaska Federation of Natives convention
  • JBER military base in Anchorage
  • Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Alaska Resource Advisory Council

“Sharing the Chugach culture and knowledge about the Chugach region with others is one of the most rewarding aspects of my role with Chugach. It is always a pleasure to give these presentations where I get a lot of positive feedback from attendees.”

Many in the audience have known John throughout his career at Chugach, and these long-term relationships often cultivate the warmest interactions.

Shortly after his presentation to the BLM’s Alaska Resource Advisory Council, John received an email from BLM’s public affairs office in which Dina Torres, who is a Management and Program Analyst, stated, “I’ve worked with John Johnson for 20 years on the conveyance of historical places and cemetery sites under Section 14(h)(1) of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971. What an incredible journey it has been.”

Johnson’s presentations also touched on the distinguished military service of Alaska Natives from the Chugach region, which often resonate with audience members. “As a Veteran myself, I had no idea my career in the Air Force would lead me to working on the Alaska Land Transfer Program for the Bureau of Land Management,” Torres stated. “I’ve had the honor and privilege of adjudicating hundreds of Section 14(h)(1) selection applications for the transfer of these very important historic and prehistoric sites to Chugach Alaska Corporation.”

These presentations have also led to field trips in the Chugach region. “In 2016, I had the honor of visiting the Nuuciq Spirit Camp on Hinchinbrook Island, where we were led by John on a tour of the cultural camp,” Torres remembered. “It will always be a highlight in my career that I will never forget. I am dedicated and committed to the continued work we have in our obligation under ANCSA and look forward to many more patent signing ceremonies with John and all those at Chugach Alaska Corporation. Thank you, John, for your remarkable presentation.”

Johnson and BLM officials and members of the Alaska Resource Advisory Council enjoy a dinner after the cultural presentation.

Lee Hart, Executive Director of the Alaska Outdoor Alliance, also joined Torres in providing feedback to Johnson on the presentation he shared with the BLM staff.

“I was fascinated and intrigued by John’s presentation. I have lived in Prince William Sound and was so amazed to learn about the rich cultural history and ongoing efforts to restore and preserve it,” Hart stated. “I’ve now discovered an entirely new dimension of Prince William Sound and sincerely hope Alaska Outdoor Alliance’s work may align with and support Chugach Alaska Corporation’s priorities.”

The above photo was taken on June 10, 2022 when BLM officials delivered land conveyances to Chugach’s corporate offices. In photo, left to right, are Abby Muth, Land Law Examiner; Dina Torres, Chief, Branch of Adjudication; Steve Cohn, BLM Alaska State Director; John F. C. Johnson, Chugach’s Vice President of Cultural Resources; Rebecca Curtiss, Land Law Examiner; Paul Krabacher, Associate Deputy State Director, Division of Lands and Cadastral; and Eileen Ford, Land Transfer Resolution Specialist.

John F.C. Johnson, Steve Cohn, and Chugach Chairman Sheri Buretta proudly displaying the conveyances.

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