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April S. Ferguson

Photo of April S. Ferguson
1956
Biography

A life-long Alaskan, April Ferguson has been steadfast and effective in her vision for bringing industry and development to the Bristol Bay Region. She is the architect of a program to improve economic growth and business development for the village corporations of the Bristol Bay region, created to enhance the communication and collaboration between the regional corporation and the village corporations/tribal councils. This has allowed for the sharing and leverage of knowledge and resources to bring greater opportunities for Native communities. As Chair of the Alaska Federation of Natives (AFN) Legislative and Litigation Committee, Ms. Ferguson has worked tirelessly to develop and monitor state and federal legislative/policy decisions for the well-being of all Alaskans.

Ms. Ferguson has provided substantial leadership at AFN and always showed a tireless capability to act and respond to challenges affecting all Alaska Native people. She led the effort to advocate for Alaska Native traditional hunting and fishing rights while also supporting the need for responsible resource development in Alaska. Ms. Ferguson consistently uses a common sense approach to bring her legal knowledge and understanding of life for rural Alaska Native people to consistently advocate for their equal rights and prosperity.

Ms. Ferguson is also a fierce advocate for a transparent and fair redistricting process in Alaska, as well as actively working with the “Get Out the Native Vote” initiative year after year. She is a life-long learner, avid reader, and is always looking for opportunities to shape the future of the Native community, whether it’s for economic development, rural energy, communication technology or through tribal sovereignty.

Ms. Ferguson began her tenure at Bristol Bay Native Corporation (BBNC) in 1997 as a Vice president and General Counsel and Corporate Secretary. She now serves on the BBNC Executive Team as an Executive Vice President, General Counsel, and Corporate Secretary. She has participated on the boards of the American Civil Liberties Union; Trustees for Alaska; SpecPro Inc.; Vista International Inc.; Kakivik Asset Management, LLC; and Bristol Environmental and Engineering Services Corporation and currently serves as Chair of the AFN Legislative and Litigation Committee. 

A life-long Alaskan, Ms. Ferguson received her Bachelor’s Degree in Linguistics at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and received her Juris Doctorate from Harvard Law School in 1992. She then clerked for Alaska Supreme Court Chief Justice Jay Andrew Rabinowitz and later attended the Bristol Bay Native Corporation Training Without Walls in 2000.

Ms. Ferguson is a strong mentor and empowers young Alaska Native professionals. She has mentored numerous interns over the years, sharing her knowledge and experience in the professions of law and business. She is known and appreciated for the high expectations she sets for each of her mentees to grow their resilience and confidence in real life situations.

Notes

April Ferguson was born in Seward and was raised in Fairbanks, where she earned a degree in linguistics from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Like both of her sisters, she went to law school earning her Juris Doctorate from Harvard  University Law School.

Ms. Ferguson has been employed at Bristol Bay Native Corporation, BBNC,  for 15 years. There, she served as the Vice President, General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer for the Corporation. Ferguson is a shareholder of BBNC, and Choggiung Limited, which is the Village Corporation of Dillingham. She also serves as a member of Curyung Tribal Council.  

Ms. Ferguson was born in Seward and raised in Fairbanks, where she earned a degree in linguistics from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Like both of her sisters, she went to law school earning her JD from Harvard Law. She has one son, a daughter-in-law and a five-year old granddaughter.

She has been steadfast and effective in bringing industry and development to the Bristol Bay Region. She is the architect of a program to improve economic growth and business development for the village corporations of the region. She spearheaded a program to  enhance the communication and collaboration among  the regional corporation, the village corporations and the tribal councils. 

As Chair of the Alaska Federation of Natives (AFN) Legislative and Litigation Committee, she has worked tirelessly to develop and monitor state and federal legislation and government policy issues that affected the well-being of Native peoples across the state. She led the effort to advocate for Alaska Native traditional hunting and fishing rights while recognizing the need for simultaneous responsible resource development. Ferguson consistently uses a common sense approach along with her legal knowledge of issues affecting Alaska Native people beat across the state.