The Western Alaska Community Development Quota (CDQ) Program was created for the people who live in the 65 villages within 50 miles of the Bering Sea coast. The goal of the CDQ Program was to give the people in these 65 villages the chance to participate in the Bering Sea Pollock, crab, cod, and other groundfish fisheries.
Through the CDQ Program, CVRF earns money in the Bering Sea Pollock, crab and cod fisheries and reinvests in Bering Sea vessels and quota to maximize those earnings. CVRF uses the earnings to create jobs, programs and other opportunities that generate hope for the residents of CVRF’s 20 member villages, particularly the residents who want to fish and work. In order to participate in CVRF’s programs, you must be a resident of one of CVRF’s 20 member villages.
According to the most recent (2011) Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend (PFD) data, there are 9,304 people who reside in CVRF’s 20 villages and who therefore are eligible to participate in CVRF’s programs. CVRF has used PFD data informally for many years, but during a special meeting on March 22, 2013, the CVRF Board of Directors adopted a uniform standard for CVRF residency that is based on the Alaska PFD standard. The uniform CVRF residency standard applies to all CVRF activities for which “residency” is required, including scholarships, eligibility for the CDQ halibut fishery, preference for hiring at our plants and on our vessels, participation in the People Propel Program, service on the CVRF Board of Directors, and other CVRF activities and programs.
Why is residency important? The fundamental idea behind the CDQ Program is to give the villages on the shores of the Bering Sea the chance to participate in the modern, sustainable and lucrative commercial fisheries of the Bering Sea. By tying the program to residency, the CDQ “equity” in these fisheries cannot leave our villages. Generations from now, the people actually living in our villages will still be the effective “owners” of CVRF, will still serve on its Board of Directors, and will still control the future and fate of our CDQ group and the benefits we get from the Bering Sea.
If a person leaves the village, he/she is no longer eligible to participate in CVRF’s programs. He/she does not take away any “shares” in the company. Every child in our villages will have the same right to participate in CVRF activities as his/her parents and grandparents. Each new person that moves to our villages can also participate, regardless of race, sex, religion, lineage, tribal membership, or being a shareholder in a Native corporation. Residency is a fundamental tenet of the CDQ Program and of CVRF’s mission and programs. It keeps the CDQ Program in our villages.
Residency is important.
CVRF RESIDENCY RULE
To qualify for CVRF activities that require residency, you must be able to answer yes to all of the following statements:
- I was a resident of a CVRF member village during all of the calendar year prior to the year of the CVRF activity;
- I have the intent to remain a CVRF member village resident indefinitely;
- I have not claimed residency in any other village/city, state or country or obtained a benefit as a result of a claim of residency in another village/city, state or country during the year prior to the year of the CVRF activity;
- If absent from a CVRF member village for more than 180 days, I was absent for an allowable absence; AND
- I was physically present in a CVRF member village for at least 72 consecutive hours at some time during either of the two years prior to the year of the CVRF activity.
Unlike the PFD rules, sentencing or incarceration for a felony or misdemeanor does not automatically disqualify someone as a “resident” for purposes of CVRF activities, though it may disqualify him/her for certain CVRF jobs and opportunities such as working aboard a CVRF vessel or operating CVRF machinery.
In general, the absences allowed by the PFD program will be allowed for CVRF residency, including absences for education, military service, medical treatment, providing care, etc. To the extent there is any dispute about an absence, the PFD rules will serve as guidelines and the final determination of residency will be determined by CVRF (see below).
CVRF is in the process of becoming an approved user of the Alaska PFD database. If CVRF is able to determine from the database that an individual has qualified for a PFD with a CVRF member village as his/her physical residence, the individual shall be presumed to be a CVRF resident.
CVRF reserves the right to make final determinations about residency. CVRF will take into account applicable statutes, regulations and CVRF policies, as well as fairness and common sense. CVRF may seek a written opinion from the governing body, CVRF board member and/or senior CVRF employee in the member village in settling any dispute about CVRF residency.