Norwegian Cruise Line donates land to Alaska Native corporation

Norwegian Cruise Line donates land to Alaska Native corporation

Unsplash/Fr. Daniel Ciucci

The land donated by Norwegian Cruise Line will be developed into a new cruise pier

Norwegian Cruise Line has donated 2.9 acres of undeveloped waterfront property in Juneau, Alaska, to Huna Totem, an Alaska Native village corporation.

Huna Totem is engaging with other Alaska Native corporations and community stakeholders in developing a new pier and related infrastructure on the land and has formed the Huna Totem Development Group to lead the efforts. The group expects to submit plans for a year-round facility by the end of the year.

“Huna Totem views this as a win-win for our Alaska Native shareholders and the Juneau community,” said Russell Dick, CEO of Huna Totem. “As the developer and operator of the cruise port of Icy Strait Point and a Southeast-based company, we bring expertise and a local commitment to our shareholders and our neighbours. Through our design and community partnerships, the waterfront complex will reflect the historic and cultural values of the Alaska Native people.”

Norwegian first began calling on Huna Totem’s privately-owned and operated port of Icy Strait Point in 2013. In 2018, Huna Totem partnered with Norwegian, adding the Wilderness Landing port facility at Icy Strait Point. Norwegian also committed to calling at Huna Totem’s double berth turn-port in Whittier, Alaska, earlier in 2022.

“Ensuring this Juneau project is fully integrated into the community is incredibly important to us, and as we began planning its development, it became abundantly clear that Huna Totem, owned entirely by Alaska Natives, was the right stakeholder to lead this effort,” said Dan Farkas, executive vice president and general counsel for parent company Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings. “Alaska is an incredibly popular, fast-growing destination, and this partnership will provide the dual benefit of driving positive, sustainable economic impact to the region while also ensuring that the development of the land is done in a way that is respectful and representative of the rich history and culture of this community.”

Huna Totem is working with Goldbelt, the Alaska Native urban corporation representing Juneau, to assist with the development and operations of the waterfront property. Together, the two corporations support a high percentage of Alaska Native shareholder constituents in Juneau.

“This is an astonishing gift for Juneau and our Goldbelt shareholders,” said McHugh Pierre, president and CEO of Goldbelt. “Giving ownership back to the Tlingit people is a tremendous way to honour the culture of this community. We look forward to partnering with Huna Totem to share the values and ancestral history of this land.”

In addition to Goldbelt and Huna Totem, the Huna Totem Development Group includes Jensen Yorba Wall Architects and Alaska Commercial Contractors from Juneau and Turnagain Marine, an Anchorage-based pier developer.

In alignment with Juneau’s 2021 waterfront plan, the development group will submit a site plan to begin the permitting process with the city. Huna Totem and Goldbelt will also host a series of public meetings to share their vision and design for the property.

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Alex Smith
By Alex Smith
24 August 2022

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