There has been confusion circulating about the difference between TNC’s Distribution Trust, which is an ANCSA settlement trust, and “lands into trust,” which is a federal program where the Secretary of the Interior can take lands into trust on behalf of an Alaska Native tribal government.
These are entirely different programs. ANCSA Settlement Trusts like the TNC Distribution Trust are completely separate from the federal government’s ability to place lands into trust on behalf of Alaska Native and Native American tribal governments.
The federal government has no role whatsoever in TNC’s Distribution Trust. It was created by and for Tyonek Native Corporation shareholders, who are the sole trust beneficiaries. Only the Distribution Trust Board of Trustees—not the federal government—can make decisions for the Trust.
Myths & Facts:
- The TNC Distribution Trust will place TNC assets into governmental trust – FALSE. The TNC Distribution Trust is completely independent from the federal government. It is solely controlled by the Board of Trustees, which is composed of the same members as the TNC Board of Directors. The Board of Trustees has the highest duty to act in the best interest of the Trust’s beneficiaries (TNC shareholders).
- The TNC Distribution Trust requires “trusting the federal government” to act on TNC’s behalf – FALSE. The TNC Distribution Trust is solely controlled by the Board of Trustees, who are your TNC Board of Directors. Any time there is a change in directors, there will be a corresponding change in the Board of Trustees. For example, if a new director is elected at the 2019 Board Election, that director will also serve on the Board of Trustees. The federal government will never have a role operating or controlling TNC’s Distribution Trust.
- The TNC Distribution Trust is a new entity – FALSE. TNC shareholders originally approved the Distribution Trust in 2009. To maximize the full range of benefits made possible under the December 2017 Tax Act, TNC is asking TNC shareholders (also Trust beneficiaries) to approve a Revised and Restated TNC Trust Agreement in order to maximize the full range of benefits made possible under the Tax Act changes. The goal is simple: provide the maximum net benefit to TNC shareholders/Trust beneficiaries.
- The TNC Distribution won’t provide any benefit to TNC shareholders – FALSE. Through the 2018 Board-approved Revised TNC Distribution Trust, TNC already made a tax-free distribution to shareholders in December 2018 in the amount of $745,200. If TNC did not have a Distribution Trust, that distribution would have been in the form of a taxable dividend. If approved, the Amended and Restated TNC Distribution Trust Agreement will be used to provide tax-free distribution to shareholders and reduce TNC’s current and future tax liability. This will result in direct savings to TNC that can be used to fund a broader range of benefits for TNC shareholders and Trust beneficiaries.