The Clean Umiaq is UIC’s Code of Business Ethics and Conduct. A Clean Umiaq is what UIC and its Board of Directors, officers, and employees strive to be; and what we expect of everyone with whom we do business.
As spring nears, the bowhead whales prepare for their journey north and east. They travel from what is now called the Bering sea, through the Bering straits, into the Chukchi sea, and finally arrive at the Beaufort sea. Along the way, the bowheads meet hunters waiting with their umiaqs – skin-covered boats. Some of the boats appear light and clean, pleasing to the eye.
If a bowhead wishes to give itself to a whaling crew, it must surface by a clean umiaq. These belong to respectful people; people who are considerate of others, who share their catch with widows, orphans, the old, and all those who could not hunt for themselves. They are honest. They treat other people, and all animals with respect. These are the hunters to whom whales want to give themselves.
As an Alaskan Native village corporation, we incorporate the traditions of our ancestors into our business practices. Below is a list of traditional Iñupiat values that are core to UIC’s business practices.
- Resolution of Conflict
- Family and Kinship
- Hunting Traditions
- Knowledge of Language
- Love and respect for our Elders and one another
- Respect for Nature
Sivuniqsuutivut: Guiding Principles
Our guiding principles define how we intend to act in pursuit of our vision. We believe our strongest assets are our wisdom, our strength, and our people.
Isumasaasuqtuat: Our Wisdom
As our elders taught us, we will teach our people and employees how to maintain our traditional ways of high work ethic, strong values, diversity, and personal integrity even when moving in new and different directions. We believe that healing and rejuvenation come through forgiveness and continual re-evaluation
Suaŋativut: Our Strength
As whalers, we have a common sense of direction and preparation. We are skilled, patient, and experienced in our hunt, living with honor by the laws of the earth in appreciation for each other and all that surrounds us. As our people are the strength of the corporation, we will mentor them in increasingly higher decision making roles at all levels of the organization, mentoring them in efficiency, accountability, and leadership to create many paths for profit back to the corporation.
Inuvut: Our People
We respect our past by seeking a unified and harmonious future with respect and unconditional love for one another.
Serving others is an honor: it is our responsibility to serve the people.