University of Alaska Fairbanks, March 23-25, 2016
Fairbanks, AK
Bridging The Future
of Arctic Social Science Research
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Fairbanks Workshop: Arctic Social Sciences in the 21st Century: Indigenous Scholarship in the North: Decolonizing Methods, Models and Practices in Social Science Research. [March 23-25]

Fairbanks workshop aims to explore recent advances and innovations in indigenous science and scholarship in the circumpolar north and its neighbors. The workshop will bring together indigenous experts and researchers from diverse academic and cultural backgrounds to explore the role and contributions of indigenous frameworks and knowledge systems in advancing fields of science and informing global solutions. The workshop will explore indigenous science as relational, holistic, and multidimensional, taking into account impacts of the social and cultural environment on physical, material, and human processes. The workshop seeks to move the academic discourse beyond exploring intersections of indigenous knowledge and science to explore indigenous knowledge and practice as a framework of science. Additionally, participants will explore how knowledge produced within indigenous systems has the potential to contribute to community adaptation and resilience within multiple global contexts and settings. The workshop will also highlight innovative, community-driven, and decolonizing methodologies that demonstrate how indigenous frameworks can shape both knowledge and practice within social science research.


Anderson, Shelby
Portland State University

Shelby Anderson (PhD University of Washington) is an Assistant Professor in the Anthropology Department at Portland State University. Her interests include past hunter-gatherer societies, human ecodynamics, evolutionary theory, ceramic technologies, and archaeology of the Arctic, Subarctic and Pacific Northwest. Cross-cutting these interests is a commitment to community engagement and collaborative interdisciplinary research. Anderson’s current research includes study of pre-contact social networks through ceramic geochemical analysis and analysis of changing economic strategies over the last 2000 years in northern Alaska. She is also working with students on analysis of pre-contact demographic trends in northwest Alaska and is engaged in efforts to mitigate the impact of climate change on Arctic archaeology.

Barnhardt, Ray
University of Alaska Fairbanks

Ray Barnhardt is a professor of cross-cultural studies at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, where he has been involved in teaching and research related to Native education and rural development issues since 1970. He has served as Co-Director of the Alaska Rural Systemic Initiative for the past 12 years. Over the past 40 years, he has also served as the director of the Cross-Cultural Education Development (X-CED) Program, the Small High Schools Project, the Center for Cross-Cultural Studies, and the Alaska Native Knowledge Network. His research interests include Indigenous knowledge systems, climate change education, Native teacher education, distance/distributed/higher education, small school curriculum, and institutional adaptations to rural and cross-cultural settings. His experiences in education beyond Alaska range from teaching mathematics in Baltimore, Maryland to research in Canada, Iceland, India, Malawi,Zimbabwe, Japan, Taiwan and New Zealand.

Behe, Carolina
Inuit Circumpolar Council

Carolina Behe is the Indigenous Knowledge/Science Advisor of the Inuit Circumpolar Council Alaska. ICC-Alaska is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization that advocates on behalf of the Inupiaq, St. Lawrence Island Yupik, Cup’ik, and Central Yup’ik of Alaska and is a member country of the Inuit Circumpolar Council (“ICC”). ICC is an international non-governmental organization that represents approximately 160,000 Inuit in Russia (Chukotka), the United States (Alaska), Canada, and Greenland. ICC holds consultative II status with the United Nations and is a Permanent Participant of the Arctic Council..

Black, Jessica
University of Alaska Fairbanks

Jessica Black is a Gwich’in Athabascan from the village of Fort Yukon, Alaska. She is currently a doctoral candidate at Washington University in St. Louis and also works as an Assistant Professor and Special Projects Liaison for UAF in the office of the Vice Chancellor for Rural, Community and Native education. Jessica’s dissertation focuses on the intersection between tribal members’ participation in governance and its relationship to well-being, both at the individual and community level. Jessica is in the final phases of her dissertation. In her job, Jessica teaches courses in tribal management and in Alaska Native Studies and Rural Development. Additionally she works on special projects that the Vice Chancellor sets as a priority. Some of her current projects are fundraising for the Indigenous Studies Center Troth Yeddha’, partnership projects with Tanana Chiefs Conference (e.g. Co-Management Symposium) and various presentations on behalf of the Vice Chancellor. Upon completion of her PhD Jessica plans to continue in this type of work, as well as continue to work on community-based research projects.

Bodenhorn, Barbara
University of Cambridge

Barbara Bodenhorn has worked as a social anthropologist in arctic Alaska since 1980 and in Oaxaca, Mexico since 2004. She is currently Fellow Emerita at Pembroke College and a Senior Research Associate in the Department of Social Anthropology, University of Cambridge. Her focus on kinship, gender, economics and cosmology has often led her to questions about self, personhood and agency. Her most recent work has had a focus on learning and young people's environmental knowledge practices.

Chapin, Terry
University of Alaska Fairbanks

F. Stuart (Terry) Chapin, III, Professor Emeritus of Ecology, Institute of Arctic Biology, University of Alaska Fairbanks. My research addresses the effects of changes in climate and wildfire on Alaskan ecology and rural communities. I explore ways that communities and agencies can develop options that increase sustainability of ecosystems and human communities over the long term despite rapid climatic and social changes. Through projections of future climate, ecology, and subsistence resources, my research helps people make more informed choices about options for long-term sustainability. My research in earth stewardship explores ways that society can proactively shape changes toward a more sustainable future through actions that enhance ecosystem resilience and human well-being. I pursue this internationally through the Resilience Alliance, nationally through the Ecological Society of America, and in Alaska through a community partnership that links the sustainability visions of rural indigenous communities with university research expertise to implement those visions.

Charles, Billy
University of Alaska Fairbanks/Alaska Federation of Natives

I am a Yup’ik Alaska Native shareholder and tribal member from the Native Village of Emmonak, Alaska. I am a traditional Yup’ik song and dance leader and I have over 30 years of experience working within Tribal government and community organizations in the Yukon-Kuskokwim region. I currently serve as President for my local Native Village Corporation and I am an elected member of the Alaska Native Federations Board. I am fluent in the Yup’ik language and have long experience translating Yup’ik knowledge into prevention research to reduce health disparities in our communities. In my role as a co-investigator of grants from the National Institutes of Health, I oversee the regional implementation of a Yup’ik cultural prevention model to increase strengths and reasons for life among our youth.

Cravalho, Elizabeth
NANA Regional Corporation
Fast, Phyllis
University of Alaska Anchorage

Phyllis Ann Fast is an anthropologist, a writer, an artist, and a woman of mixed descent (Tleeyegg’ehʉt’aanewhich is also known as Koyukon Athabascan. She is also a white American descendant). She was born in Anchorage, Alaska in 1946 to Elsie and Oscar Fast, graduated from East Anchorage High School in the year of the 1964 Alaskan earthquake. She’s earned a B.A. in English from the University of Alaska then centered in Fairbanks, later an interdisciplinary Master of Arts from the University of Alaska Anchorage, and ended her education with a PhD in Anthropology from Harvard University in 1998. After teaching at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and the University of Alaska Anchorage, she retired Professor Emerita in 2014, when she turned to writing fiction. She now lives in the Washington state.

Fleagle, Elizabeth

Elizabeth Fleagle (Inupiat): Grew up on the land in Alatna, along the Koyukuk River. She lived a traditional life, marrying and moving to Manley Hot Springs to raise her children. She came to Fairbanks and retired from her work at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Retirement didn’t last long as she became an Elder mentor and teacher for programs at UAF including Rural Human Services, Social Work, and the PhD Psychology program. She has traveled extensively throughout the United States to teach about the importance of Elder wisdom in academic and professional learning. In 2015, she received her licensure as a Traditional Counselor, which is a huge honor and blessing for her. She has also been very involved with the development of the Indigenous Wellness Research Institute’s Indigenous Elders in Residence Program at the University of Washington School of Social Work. She enjoys beadwork, berry picking and time with her family. On March 16, Elizabeth was named Elder of the Year by Tanana Chiefs Conference.

Frank, Kenneth
University of Alaska Fairbanks

Kenneth Frank is a Gwich’in elder, storyteller, singer, and traditional drummer from Venetie and Arctic Village, Alaska. He teaches the Gwich'in language at the Effie Kokrineschool in Fairbanks and is currently doing research on traditional uses of caribou. Kenneth and his wife Caroline conduct an annual summer culture camp in Arctic Village. Kenneth is fully fluent and literate in his Native language, doing workshops on traditional games, skin drums, demonstrating traditional tools, and making crafts presentations.

Gordon, Heather
University of Alaska Fairbanks

Heather Jean Gordon (Inupiaq~Nome Eskimo Community) has a B.A. in Race and Ethnic Studies (University of Redlands, CA), a M.S. in Sociology (University of Wisconsin-Madison), and is in her first year of the Indigenous Studies PhD program at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Ms. Gordon participated in the Washington Internships for Native Students program during the summer 2010 and interned at the NSF Office of Polar Programs Arctic Social Sciences. Her work at NSF led into her master’s which examines results from interviews on relationship building conducted in a remote community in Greenland with Inuit and at the NSF with Arctic scientists. The results inform researchers of actions they can take to build trusting relationships with communities. In 2014, she participated in the Native American Political Leadership Program through George Washington University and interned at the National Congress of American Indians Policy Research Center. Ms. Gordon is currently a researcher at the Great Lakes Indian Law Center at UW-Madison. Her dissertation research looks at how self-determination in rural Alaska Native communities affects their sustainability and well-being.

Green, Linda
University of Arizona

Linda Green is an associate professor of Anthropology and former Director of the Center for Latin American Studies (2011-2015) at the University of Arizona. Her research, though divergent in orientation, converges around a central theoretical problematic, namely how to think dialectically about complex issues of culture, community, violence and suffering. As such her work attempts to trace historical shifts in vulnerability, particularly among peoples across the Americas whose primary identity is indigenous. Dr. Green conducts field research in rural Guatemala, the US-Mexico border and rural Alaska. Her monograph Fear as a Way of Life: Mayan Widows in Rural Guatemala was published by Columbia University Press (1999) and translated into Spanish and published in Guatemala as El miedocomo forma de vida (EditorialesPensativo, 2013) To Die in the Silence of History: tuberculosis among Yup’ik peoples of southwestern Alaska is in preparation. Her current research explores the mostly invisible wounds of war - that is the ways in which Yup’ik veterans from villages across southwestern Alaska reintegrate into communities with the accompanying stresses of combat. Dr, Green is also beginning fieldwork on crimes and detentions along the Arizona-Mexico border. Dr. Green also holds a MPH from The Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health.

Hayton, Allan
Doyon Foundation

Allan Hayton is the Language Revitalization Program Director for the Doyon Foundation. He is the son of Lena Pauline Hayton from Fort Yukon, Alaska, and grew up in Arctic Village. His grandparents are Robert and Lena Albert from Tanana and Fort Yukon, Alaska. Allan studied theatre and film at Haskell Indian Nations University and the University of Kansas, finishing his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1992. He continued at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, graduating spring 2013 with a Master of Arts in Applied Linguistics. Allan is dedicated to teaching and documenting Athabascan language for new generations of speakers.

John, Mark
Calista Education and Culture, Inc.

Mark John, originally from Toksook Bay, is well known and well respected throughout the region as a commercial fisherman, active subsistence hunter and fisherman, and fluent speaker of the Yup'ik language. Receiving his BSW and MSW from the University of Alaska, he is also a gifted leader and administrator, and has worked slowly and carefully to realize Calista Elders Council’s potential. Mark John currently resides in Anchorage where he is employed as the Project Director/Cultural Director of Calista Education and Culture, Inc, a non-profit working with elders and youth on education, cultural documentation and cultural activities. In recent years he has worked as an Alcoholism/Drug Addiction Counselor for ANARC, Social Worker for CITC Family Services, and self-employed as a consultant on Alaska Native Cultural Issues. For 12 years before he moved away from Toksook Bay in 1989, Mr. John worked closely with rural issues in village, sub-regional, and regional level. For the past 46 years, he has been a commercial fisherman in Bristol Bay.

Justin, Wilson
Cheesh’na Tribal Council

Wilson Justin, Hereditary Leader and Keeper of Sacred Stories,was born in Midcentury at Nabesna Alaska. A village later abandoned to comply with the educational requests of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The family endured a decade of hardships in Chistochina and Mentasta Village but returned to the homelands for the summer months. As an adventurous youngster, Wilson Justin was prone to chasing shadows and was on the road by the age of fourteen. Threatened with receivership at the Children’s Home in Fairbanks He returned to Mentasta Village in 1965 and soon after followed the rest of the family to Anchorage to finish High School, Graduating from West Anchorage High School in 1968. Right out of High School Wilson volunteered for the Draft with the US Army. The backlist of draftees kept Wilson from a physical until fall of 1969, where to his surprise he failed the physical due to Tinnitus. Not long after he asked for a review of the classification which was 1 Y. In 1973 the Army sent him a letter of response changing the 1 Y classification to 4 F. While waiting for the Army response Wilson spent time in Alaska's legendary Big Game Business. Once the Army no longer a viable option Wilson began thinking of what kind of a career could be fashioned for an Athabascan with just a high school diploma. There were no instructions in the sudden transition from a Traditional Society to a one descended from an English speaking world. Wilson had a natural curiosity of the world and soon was able to join the ANCSA Corporation for his region as a Land Planner Trainee in 1977. For many years thereafter Wilson would alternate between the corporate world and the Outdoor Big Game Guiding Business. At the same time Mentors from the Traditional Athabascan world would journey to the Nabesna Country to speak of stories and medicine men of the Headwaters People. Trips to other parts of the region invariably ended up in Stories of the olden times and narrative of wars that occupied the Ahtna Nation prior to Contact. This duel trail of western corporate culture running parallel to the Traditional Teaching became a part of Wilson’s background until the late 1990's when the last of the Clan Storytellers and Story keepers passed on. It was in this decade that Climate Change began to show its face in his recounting of the times his family lived through Post WW2. In 1993 after leaving Ahtna Wilson began another quest in a new field. He helped start a Health Organization under Title V, an Act of Congress to allow Tribes to contract Health Services directly with the Indian Health Service. Named to the position of Health Director Wilson represented Mt Sanford Tribal Consortium for 17 years in yearly negotiations with the Federal Government on the meaning, costs, impact, and definition of Health Service in Rural Alaska. Wilson has advised federal agencies such as US EPA, on issues around environmental program capacity building. In the early 1990’s, US EPA began writing the Indian Environmental General Assistance Program statute (IGAP Act of 1992). Wilson played a critical role in the initial structuring of this program, and in its evolution over the years, as it grew from just a handful of grants to Tribal Governments, to what it is today, with over $27 million dollars in Region 10, Alaska and over 125 Tribes statewide choosing to partner on this program. He has Directed GAP programs, including Mount Sanford’s environmental program, overseeing the development of a successful regional recycling program. Wilson has professionally attended conferences for decades. He has led numerous discussions on climate change as an acclaimed speaker during interdisciplinary conferences such as the Alaska Forum on the Environment. The publication titled: Alaska Forum on the Environment: Climate Change: Our Voices, Sharing our Ways Forward, became a component to the US Department of the Interior, US Geological Survey, United States National Climate Assessment, Alaska Technical Regional Report (Circular 1379).

Kerttula, Anna
National Science Foundation

Anna Kerttula de Echave is a lifelong Alaskan, an anthropologist and is the Program Director of the Arctic Social Sciences Program at the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF). Her research has spanned three decades of fieldwork in the Arctic, during which she has covered a diverse range of research topics from land use patterns and subsistence economies to identity, household organization, and domestic violence. Her host populations have been equally diverse including the Yup’ik, Denai’ina, and the Siberian Yupik and Chukchi of Russia. She has also participated in archaeological research projects investigating prehistoric Athabaskan and Pacific Inuit sites. Her early research in the former Soviet Union culminated in the book, “Antler on the Sea: the Yupik and Chukchi of the Russian Far East,” published by Cornell University Press in 2000. Over the last 14 years at NSF, under Anna’s guidance, the Arctic Social Sciences program (ASSP) has set a standard at NSF for supporting community based scientific research in the Arctic. Currently the ASSP portfolio supports a wide range of social science projects, including language vitality documentation, community based participatory research, decolonizing methodology, indigenous science and knowledge, and interdisciplinary research. As Program Director, Anna has focused on ways to create partnerships between Arctic communities and academic researchers; from encouraging and funding Arctic Native researchers and organizations to a multitude of educational programs that give rural Arctic students science experience and promote their interests in the sciences. Anna became a member of the Social, Economic and Cultural Expert Group of the Sustainable Working Group of the Arctic Council during the Canadian Chairmanship and will continue as a member and the Co-Chair, along with Co Chair Liza Mack, for the duration of the U.S. Chairmanship. Arctic Social Science Program Web Site:

Kofinas, Gary
University of Alaska Fairbanks

Gary Kofinas is Professor of Resource Policy and Management at the University of Alaska Fairbanks with joint appointments in the School of Natural Resources and the Institute of Arctic Biology. Since 1980 he has been involved in education and researcher in villages and wildlands of northern Alaska and Canada. His research has focused on humans – environment interactions, examining how forces of change shape culture and economy in rural villages. He has studied the effectiveness of wildlife co-management institutional arrangements, the documentation and contributions of local/traditional knowledge in ecological monitoring, the integration of traditional knowledge with science in simulation modeling for integrated assessment, and the patterns and magnitude of subsistence sharing networks. Most recently he has examined methods of measuring adaptive and transformative capacity, the social-ecological resilience of communities in the face of climate and land-use changes, The resilience of groups at the margin of society, and ways of operationalizing resilience thinking in policy making. He was a PI/Director of the UAF Resilience and Adaptation Graduate (IGERT) Program (2007-12) and is currently the Northern Test Case Leader of the Alaska Adapting to Change Environment (EPSCoR) Project. He received his PhD in Resource Management Science / Interdisciplinary studies at UBC.

Leonard, Beth
University of Alaska Fairbanks

Beth Leonard is DegXit’an and member of the Shageluk Tribe of interior Alaska. Her father is James Dementi, who was raised in the traditional subsistence lifestyle. Her mother is the late Reverend Jean Dementi, originally from California. For several years Leonard assisted in grant-writing and coordinating language preservation projects for Tanana Chiefs Conference, an Interior tribal consortium of Athabascan governments. She is currently an associate professor of Indigenous Studies and director of the Center for Cross-Cultural Studies at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, a 2014 Fulbright New Zealand U.S. Core Scholar, and member of the Indigenous Issues Committee-UArctic. Her research investigates the confluences of Indigenous methodologies, knowledges and pedagogies in shaping Indigenous spaces in higher education.

Leonard, Wes
Southern Oregon University

Wesley Leonard completed his PhD in Linguistics in 2007 at the University of California, Berkeley, with a specialization in the social factors that guide Indigenous language endangerment and reclamation. He is now Associate Professor and Chair of Native American Studies at Southern Oregon University, where he offers courses on Indigenous identities, languages, research methods, and cultures, and also teaches for Anthropology and International Studies. A citizen of the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma, Wesley chaired his tribal language committee for several years and is an advocate for language reclamation, which he conceptualizes as "revitalization + decolonization" – that is, where historical factors that caused language shift are addressed, and Indigenous community definitions of language, goals, and measures of success guide revitalization programs. "Reclamation" as he defines it also includes a group's recognition of its prerogative to speak its language(s) and practice its culture(s), and to challenge naysayers with colonialist beliefs. This applies to the myaamia language, which was once deemed "extinct" within the categories of Western science, but was actually only a sleeping language according to the Miami people's categories. myaamia has since been brought back into community use via analysis of historical documentation. Participating in this tribal effort paved the way for Wesley's most recent work in creating, interpreting, disseminating, and promoting language documentation in ways that facilitate its use in language reclamation initiatives.

Lewis, Jordan
University of Washington

Jordan P Lewis is Aleut from the Native Village of Naknek and is trained as a social worker, community psychologist and gerontologist.ordan received his doctorate in community psychology from UAF, he also holds a bachelor’s degree in social work from UAF and a Master of Social Work from Washington University, St. Louis. He works with the University of Washington School of Social Work and the Indigenous Wellness Research Institute, which is a National Center of Excellence. One of his research interests is exploring the role that “generativity” plays in the mental and physical health of Alaska Native elders. This term, first used in the work of Erik Erikson, refers to one generation passing on its knowledge and experience to guide the development of the next. Through his studies of Alaska Native elders, Dr. Lewis found that healthy aging in Alaska Native communities not only promoted overall individual and community well-being but also preserved traditional cultures (cultural generativity).

Louis, Renee
University of Kansas

Renee Pualani Louis is a Hawaiʻi woman and an Indigenous cartographer passionate about Hawaiian storied place names, cross cultural ethical research protocols, and advocating the integration of Indigenous spatial knowledge systems with Western geosciences. She is a graduate of the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and is currently employed by the Institute for Policy and Social Research at the University of Kansas while living and expanding her backyard garden in Hilo, Hawaiʻi. She has just completed revisions for her first book on Hawaiʻi cartographies and anticipates a Spring 2017 listing with Oregon State University Press. Her current NSF funded research involves collaborating with Native tribes and organizations across the United States in order to assess and reimagine how the scientific community engages with Native peoples in the United States by identifying the research regulation capacity of Native entities and encouraging them to take leadership in defining their own Native science paradigms. The overall vision of this research is to advance scientific knowledge by providing Native tribes and organizations with resources that help them define their own Native science paradigms and create and implement research regulation processes based on those paradigms such that they lead to more successful research collaborations.

Medicine Crow, Liz
First Alaskans Institute

Liz Medicine Crow, Haida/Tlingit, is from KeexKwaan (Kake), Alaska. On her Haida side she is Eagle TiitsGiteeNei, Hummingbird. On her Tlingit side she is Raven Kaach.adi, Fresh Water-marked Sockeye Salmon. Her maternal grandparents were Mona & Thomas Jackson, Sr. of Kake, her paternal grandparents were Lillian and Charles Cheney of Washington. Her parents are Della and William Cheney of Kake. Her husband, Cloud Medicine Crow, Hidatsa, is a contemporary American Indian artist. Although she works in Anchorage, Liz’s heart is always at home in the village with her family and people. Integrating Native knowledge and values into organizations, governance mechanisms, and everyday life is a primary passion and responsibility she has pursued through her education and career. Liz received her BA (BFA Equivalency) from Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado, and her professional degree from Arizona State University College of Law, graduating with a Juris Doctorate degree and a Certificate in Indian Law. Since coming to First Alaskans Institute, Liz has served as the Director of the Alaska Native Policy Center, Vice-President, and now serves as the President/CEO, providing a direct link for her to be of service to our Native peoples.

Mishler, Craig
University of Alaska Fairbanks

Craig Mishler has been doing ethnographic field work in Alaska since 1972. He received his doctorate in folklore and anthropology from the University of Texas at Austin in 1981 and was until recently a research professor at the Alaska Native Language Center, University or Alaska, Fairbanks. Craig made a career as an historian with the Alaska Department of Natural Resources and later as a subsistence resource specialist with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Division of Subsistence. He is currently doing research on Gwich'in caribou anatomy and cultural ecology. Craig is also the author, co-author, or editor of eight books, including The Blind Man and the Loon: the Story of a Tale, published in 2013 by the University of Nebraska Press.

Nation, Cyndi
University of Alaska Fairbanks

Cyndi Nation is a Koyukon Athabascan from the village of Rampart, Alaska. She is currently working as the Qungasvik (Toolbox) Prevention Director, in the Center for Alaska Native Health Research. She has worked twenty-six years with Alaskan Native Tribal communities and Tribal health organizations in program development, implementation, administration and staff supervision specializing in senior services, women's and children's services, substance abuse, and prevention including suicide prevention with an emphasis in Alaskan Native strengths and resilience.

Orr, Eliza
University of Alaska Fairbanks

Eliza Orr is originally from Tunanak, Alaska. Yup’ik is her primary language and she has been working with this language for over twenty years. Before she came to work for the Center for Alaska Native Health Research she and her husband published a several books both in Yup’ik and English, including QanemcikariluniTekitnarqelartuq: One Must Arrive with a Story to Tell, Traditional Narratives by the Elders of Tununak, Alaska. She has been working for CANHR for the past twelve years as a cultural consultant, Yup’ik translator, and transcriber. She has extensive experience working on cultural and linguistic research projects, and examining measurement instruments for cultural equivalence and adaptation of items.

Pete, Mary
University of Alaska Fairbanks

Mary Pete is the Director of the Kuskokwim Campus of the University of Alaska Fairbanks, located in Bethel, Alaska.

Peter, Evon
University of Alaska Fairbanks

Evon Peter was appointed vice chancellor for rural, community and Native education at the University of Alaska Fairbanks by Chancellor Brian Rogers in July 2014. A UAF alumnus, Peter is NeetsaiiGwich’in and Koyukon from Arctic Village, Alaska where he served three years as the tribal Chief. He currently serves as a board member to the Gwich’in Council International, which represents Gwich’in nation interests in the Arctic Council forum. His international work also includes participation in the United Nations forum and locally has focused on implementing health, leadership and workforce development projects. Evon co-founded Native Movement with his wife EneiBegaye Peter (Navajo) in 2004, a national non-profit Indigenous youth leadership development and sustainability organization. Since 2009, he served as CEO of Gwanzhii, LLC, a firm providing strategic planning, program development and other services to private and public institutions throughout Alaska. He holds a Baccalaureate degree in Alaska Native studies and a Masters degree in rural development. He resides in Fairbanks with his wife and four children.

Plattet, Patrick
University of Alaska Fairbanks

Patrick Plattet is a cultural anthropologist at the University of Alaska Fairbanks who carries out collaborative research projects with rural communities in Northern Kamchatka (Russian Far East) and on the Alaska Peninsula (Southwest Alaska). His work in Kamchatka focuses on reindeer herding and big-game hunting, and how these subsistence activities have been ritualized in the past and up to the present. A main theme is the exploration of syncretic worldviews that have emerged in Kamchatka since the 18th century at the interface of Shamanism and Russian Orthodoxy. In Alaska, Plattet has recently led the DEER study (, which documents the ethnohistory and ethnoarchaeology of reindeer from 1905–1950 and explores the legacies of herding on the Alaska Peninsula. One of the objectives is to shed light on a relatively unknown facet of the history of Southwest Alaska by reviewing the short – yet intense – period of reindeer herding in this region. This focus not only covers diverse themes, such as reindeer economics, cross-cultural relations, and perceptions of the environment, but it also helps us to understand how people creatively exploit changing circumstances to make their lives go well. The DEER study also contributes to broader discussions in circumpolar pastoralism, including human-animal relations, migration, mobility and global markets.

Presnall, Aaron
Jefferson Institute

Aaron Presnall (Ph.D. University of Virginia) is president of the Jefferson Institute. He is a political economist specializing in issues of banking and telecommunications regulatory transition, and the evolving world of information and participatory politics. In addition to scholarly works and popular opinion pieces, he has written on the business and political environment of Europe for the Economist Intelligence Unit, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), and numerous private and governmental organizations in Europe and the United States. Before joining the Jefferson Institute, he served with the EastWest Institute for seven years in Prague, then in Belgrade for three years as EastWest’s Regional Director of Southeast Europe.

Ramos, Judith
University of Alaska Fairbanks

Judith Ramos is Tlingit from Yakutat, Alaska and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Alaska Native Studies and Rural Development at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. She is working on her PhD in Indigenous Studies and is a Resilience and Adaptation Fellow (RAP). She worked for her tribe on Traditional Ecological Knowledge studies and Native American Grave and Repatriation (NAGPRA) issues. She also worked for the Assembly of First Nations in Ottawa, Canada and for the Council of Yukon First Nations. She is the daughter of Elaine Abraham and George Ramos, and mother of two children. She enjoys beading, dancing with the Mt. St. Elias Tlingit Dancers, subsistence gathering, and traditional activities.

Ramos, George
Tlingit Clan Elder/Traditional Scholar

George Ramos is a recognized elder with the Yakutat Tlingit Tribe. He is a retired Commercial Fisherman, and hunter. He was a former Tank Commander in the Army and retired 1st Sargent from the National Guard. He is active in the Alaska Sea Otter and Steller Sea Lion Commission. He spent over thirty years as a Dance Leader for the Mt. St. Elias Dancers. As a Sealaska Heritage Foundation, Council of Traditional Scholars, he was part of Smithsonian “Listening To Our Ancestors”.

Rasmus, Stacy
University of Alaska Fairbanks

Stacy Rasmus, PhD,is a Research Assistant Professor in the Institute of Arctic Biology and Center of Alaska Native Health Research at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Of Coast Salish descent on her mother’s side, she continues to build relationships with American Indian and Alaska Native communities through research that has spanned over two decades and focuses on the development of interventions to reduce the unacceptable burden of health disparities among Indigenous peoples. She specializes in the implementation of community-based and Tribal participatory research approaches. Herresearch interests involve understanding the intersections between culture, health and wellbeing and the role of social determinants in addressing health disparities among American Indian and Alaska Native peoples. She is currently PI of several externally-funded projects that together form a program of research focused on increasing Indigenous youth and community resilience. In Alaska, she leads a team of researchers and Indigenous community members in the development, implementation and dissemination of a cultural, community-level intervention to reduce disparities in alcohol abuse and suicide among Yup’ik Alaska Native youth (NIH R01AA23754). She is also PI of projects that utilize indigenous knowledge and social science methods as part of a comparative and collaborative study of community adaptations to rapid social and environmental change in Siberia and Alaska (NSF 1424042). Additionally, she works with communities in the Pacific Northwest, leading a study to determine Coast Salish American Indian strengths and resilience against drug abuse (NIH R01DA029002).

Raymond-Yakoubian, Julie
Kawerak, Inc.

Julie is an anthropologist and the Social Science Program Director for Kawerak Incorporated in Nome, Alaska. Julie has an M.A. in Anthropology and an M.A. in Northern Studies from the University of Alaska Fairbanks.Julie has spent the past eight years collaborating with tribes in the Bering Strait region of Alaska on traditional knowledge documentation projects and advocacy efforts. Some recent collaborations include documentation of ice seal and walrus habitat, hunting areas, and traditional knowledge; salmon and non-salmon fish traditional knowledge and mapping; traditional knowledge and use of ocean currents. Julie is currently collaborating with Bering Strait tribes to document and examine residents’ knowledge, beliefs and experiences of the supernatural environment. The Social Science Program is also currently working with several other researchers on best practices for incorporating traditional knowledge into federal fisheries decisions in the Bering Sea, and on an examination of research and research processes that impact indigenous communities. The Social Science Program strives to do collaborative work that benefits our tribes, that produces products that will be of use and interest to our tribes and others, that makes a contribution to cultural heritage preservation, and that addresses ongoing issues in our region. Website:

Raymond-Yakoubian, Brenden
Sandhill Cultural Crafts

Brenden Raymond-Yakoubian is an anthropologist, and has an MA in Anthropology from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and is ABD in Anthropology at the University of Chicago. Brenden is the Owner and Principal Investigator for Sandhill.Culture.Craft, a social science consulting firm based in Girdwood, Alaska. He has worked on sociocultural and archaeological projects over the past two decades in Alaska in over three dozen communities around the state. He has also worked outside the state extensively in psychological anthropology. In recent years, his work has focused on the documentation, analysis, and policy application of traditional knowledge of the Bering Strait region, with a particular attention to knowledge about fisheries, marine mammals, and environmental change. Much of his current work revolves around a broad anthropological study he is co-leading which looks at research and research processes in the North (particularly those which impact and involve indigenous peoples) themselves as an object of anthropological study.

Sanders, Andrea
First Alaskans Institute

Andrea Akalleq Sanders, Yup’ik, was born and raised in Bethel Alaska. Her maternal grandparents are Katie Cleveland and the late Ham Cleveland Sr. both originally from the Southwest village of Eek, later raising their family in Quinhagak along the Qanirtuuq River. Her parents are Stella Cleveland and Brian Sanders. Andrea Akalleq was first introduced to First Alaskans Institute (FAI) as a summer intern in 2006, as an ambitious college student and land law examiner at the Bureau of Land Management. She later worked at FAI as development assistant and associate policy analyst. Andrea Akalleq is honored to return to FAI as the Director of the Alaska Native Policy Center. She received her Bachelors of Arts degree in government from Georgetown University, and most recently worked for Senator Mark Begich in Washington DC, as his legislative assistant for the Senate Indian Affairs Committee and lead for telecommunication issues in the Senate Commerce Committee. “Coming home to Alaska and to FAI means so incredibly much to me. It is an honor to continue working on policy issues for our peoples on a state-wide level.” As Director, Andrea will be part of the leadership team and help develop and connect policy ideas with people, integrate indigenous ways of knowing into policy making, and help advance issues impacting Alaska Natives and all Alaskans to build a strong and vibrant foundation for future generations.

Shorty, Norma
Goldbelt Heritage Foundation

My mother is Emma Shorty and she went to mission school in Canada from 1937 to 1950. Mothers, mother Olive Sidney is from Teslin Yukon and is an inland Tlingit; Olive’s mother is Annie Fox. Olive’s father, Jim Fox was a respected and revered clan leader of the Dakl’aweidí. Both Annie and Jim, as mother recalls had childhood connections to Taku and Juneau Alaska. My father is Norman Shorty Sr. and he was a self-learned and taught man who was raised at Big Salmon River in the Yukon Territory. Father’s mother Mrs. Jim Shorty was from Haines Junction and her husband Jim Shorty was from TagishKwaan. My maternal grandfather is John Sidney of the Dakl’aweidí Clan of Teslin Yukon. John’s step father was Edgar Sidney of Juneau Alaska. My paternal grandfather is Jim Shorty of TagishKwaan. Jim’s mother is one of the “Johns” sisters (Gertie Tom, personal communications, 2012) from the Tagish Yukon area. I have two younger sisters and two younger brothers. One of my sisters and I spent a majority of our formative years at Whiskey Flats Yukon my other sister and my bothers grew up at the Black Street region in Whitehorse Yukon. I have one precious daughter and a good four legged friend named Reginald. As a Tlingit person I have learned that is it considered very rude to talk about you and so I can share that I have had many wonderful and precious work related experiences. I have been working in the field of education since I was sixteen years of age.

Stickman, Michael
Arctic Athabaskan Council/Nulato Traditional Council
Street, Steven
Association of Village Council Presidents

Steve Street is the Acting Realty Director and Director of the Department of Cultural and Environmental Sciences for the Association of Village Council Presidents (AVCP) in Bethel, Alaska. AVCP is the regional Native non-profit corporation representing fifty six federally-recognized tribal governments within the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta region, an area roughly equal in size to the entire state of Oregon. Steve has been the staff archaeologist for the past nineteen years, responsible for conducting and overseeing NEPA and NHPA compliance on federally-restricted Native properties. He holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in anthropology from the University of New Mexico, University of Alaska Fairbanks and Arizona State University and worked with the Smithsonian Institution on two major repatriation projects, facilitating the return of ancestral remains to Mekoryuk and Golovin Bay/White Mountain villages. Steve has lived and worked in the Native communities of the Yukon-Kuskokokwim Delta for over thirty years and he, his wife Julia, three sons, two grandchildren and a large extended family reside in Toksook Bay and Bethel.

Warburton, Janet
Arctic Research Consortium of the US (ARCUS)

Janet Warburton joined ARCUS in October 2000. Her primary focus as Project Manager is developing and implementing education related projects that help ARCUS meet its mission. For over a decade, she has administered ARCUS' signature education program, PolarTREC - Teachers and Researchers Exploring and Collaborating, a program that places K-12 teachers with scientists in the Arctic and Antarctica. She is also currently working The Arctic in the Classroom, a program that focuses on citizen science projects in the Arctic. She is currently ARCUS representative for University of the Arctic. Prior to joining ARCUS, she worked and lived in the Arctic in Kotzebue, Alaska. She has worked both with the federal government and local school districts developing and revamping science education programs to be more place-based as well as focus on both natural resource management and local knowledge. She has an extensive background in developing student programs, as well as a background in marine mam mal management and environmental education. Outside of ARCUS, she has served as President of Alaska Natural Resource and Outdoor Education Association, treasurer on Alaska Science Teachers Association, and is advisor for Polar Educators International as well as a mentor for the Association of Early Career Polar Scientists.

Wark, Kyle
First Alaskans Institute

Kyle Wark (Tlingit) joined First Alaskans Institute’s Alaska Native Policy Center in December 2012 as the Indigenous Researcher & Policy Analyst. Here, Kyle integrates Indigenous methodologies, including Native thinking, knowledge and processes, into project development, critical examination and discourse, and dissemination of key information on issues impacting the Native community. Kyle is from Hoonah, AK, one of the largest Tlingit communities in the world at approximately 800 people. His first educators were his Tlingit elders, who told him traditional and personal stories, and included him Tlingit cultural activities and subsistence practices. Kyle received an undergraduate degree in Western Classics from St. John‘s College in Santa Fe, NM, and later returned to St. John’s to earn a Master’s degree in Eastern Classics. In August 2014, he received his second Master’s degree, in Anthropology (emphasis in his Tlingit culture), from the University of Alaska Anchorage. His thesis, titled YéilKaawashòo, “Raven was drinking”: An Ethnotoxicology of Alcohol among the Tlingit,is available at this direct link. He published an article on Tlingit spirituality in the Spring/Autumn 2010 issue of Shaman, the International Society for Shamanistic Research’s (ISSR) journal, and another article on Alaska Native spirituality in the December/January 2014 issue of First Alaskans magazine.

Yamin-Pasternak, Sveta
University of Alaska Fairbanks

SvetaYamin-Pasternak is a cultural anthropologist, whose learning draws on field research in communities around Chukotka and Alaska, the experience of growing up in the Soviet Union, world travels, family relationships, lessons from students and mentors, and formal studies at Northern Illinois University, University of Alaska Fairbanks, and Johns Hopkins University. She is currently working through a joint appointment at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, teaching a variety of courses in the Anthropology and Ethnobotany programs and leading several collaborative projects at the Institute of Northern Engineering. Her research examines how human food practices in high latitude regions interact with the local climate, built environment, ecology, and aesthetics. Together with her husband, visual artist Igor Pasternak, Sveta helped develop a unique university course in Ethnomycology that delves into the realms of food, medicine, commerce, spirituality, and recreation entangled within the relationships between humans and mushrooms. As a team of a cultural anthropologist and an artist, Sveta and Igor are working to uncover novel possibilities for research and public engagement that can be accomplished through various crossings and integrations of their respective fields.

Zdor, Eduard
University of Alaska Fairbanks

Eduard Zdor is the PhD student at the Anthropology Department of the University Alaska Fairbanks. Former Executive Director of the Chukotka Association of Traditional Marine Mammal Hunters (ATMMHC). ATMMHC represents 20 Native villages, 800 marine mammal hunters, about 8000 people who traditionally consume and depend on natural biological resources. Eduard has spent his life working to protect the interests and practices of traditional mammal hunters of Chukotka, to preserve traditional subsistence practices for Chukotka's indigenous peoples and to preserve the environment and biodiversity of the Bering Strait and the coasts of the Bering and Chukchi seas. In 2011 Eduard received a prestigious David M. Hopkins Beringia Award for his work with groups from Alaska and around the world to share knowledge and to improve collaboration and cooperation between peoples and nations. He is highly esteemed in both his home region and abroad for his commitment to his hunters, and he has sacrificed much to work on their behalf. Mr. Zdor provides logistical and scientific support for several Shared Beringian Heritage Program projects and works closely with Alaska Nanuuq Commission, Eskimo Walrus Commission, Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission, National Park Service and Pacific Environment.