Employees of the Bering Straits Native Corporation (BSNC), including those who work for its many subsidiary companies across Alaska, must submit to a COVID vaccination by Aug. 1. Those who refuse will be place on unpaid leave while their employment status is reviewed by the corporation’s human resources department.

The decision to impose mandatory vaccines on employees was made last month by the corporation’s board of directors, a move which President and CEO Gail Schubert lauded.

“COVID-19 vaccination is a necessary step toward ending the pandemic,” she stated in a March 18 letter to shareholders. “Therefore, the BSNC Board of Directors took the strong step of mandating that all employees be vaccinated against COVID-19 once the vaccine is available. I applaud the BSNC Board of Directors for making this ground-breaking decision.”

The BSNC oversees employees in 22 subsidiary businesses around the state. This includes Alaska Industrial Hardware (AIH), Paragon Professional Services, Eagle Eye Electric and many others.

According to a March 18 letter to employees of AIH, the BSNC policy mandates that all employees “obtain and complete their COVID vaccine(s) unless a reasonable accommodation is approved.” Effective immediately, employees are “required to provide proof of full vaccination or have an approved accommodation in place,” the notice adds.

Headquartered in Nome, the BSNC represents the interests of nearly 8,000 Alaska Natives in the Bering Strait region which encompasses the majority of Alaska’s Seward Peninsula and the costal lands of eastern Norton Sound. The corporation owns and manages nearly 2 million acres of subsurface land. Its regional operations include real estate management, development, tourism, construction, mining services and sales of rock and aggregate. It also has an office in Anchorage, which oversees government contract work and small business programs. Anchorage operations also include construction, support services and shareholder services.


  • Click here to see who serves on the Bering Straits Native Corporation Board of Directors.
  • Click here to contact the Bering Straits Native Corporation. (Editor’s note: We’ve received reports that emails to BSNC are bouncing, so it may be best to also leave a voice message.)

Click here to support the Alaska Watchman.

Alaska Native corporation mandates employees get COVID shot by Aug. 1

Joel Davidson
Joel is Editor-in-Chief of the Alaska Watchman. Joel is an award winning journalist and has been reporting for over 20 years, He is a proud father of 8 children, and lives in Palmer, Alaska.