Volunteering & Giving
September 2, 2014

Returning land to Alaska Natives

Wells Fargo is donating a piece of treasured land near Anchorage, Alaska, to the Native Village of Eklutna, a group of Alaska Natives.

One hundred forty-three acres of streams and meadows are being donated to the Native Village of Eklutna, a group of Alaska Natives, through Wells Fargo and The Conservation Fund, a nonprofit that promotes environmental land preservation.

“This land has immeasurable historical, cultural, and spiritual significance to the Eklutna people,” says Curtis McQueen, CEO of Eklutna Inc., a corporation that represents the business interests of the Alaska Native group. “For many, this land is just a big green space between Anchorage and Wasilla, but to us, it’s our home.”

The land sits in the heart of Dena’ina Athabascan country, where Alaska Native people have lived for thousands of years. It was part of a 160-acre homestead Wells Fargo acquired in 1924. For the most part, the land has remained untouched — and under a conservation easement, it will be maintained as a refuge for wildlife and protected from real estate development.

“This is an incredible moment in Eklutna and Wells Fargo history,” says Joe Everhart, Wells Fargo Alaska regional president. “We have deep respect and admiration for the unique heritage of the Alaska Native people. They are truly the rightful owners of this land.”

The 143-acres of land include meadows and streams
The land sits adjacent to the Native Village of Eklutna.