A Saint Lawrence Island Yupik Eskimo from Savoonga, Alaska, Caleb Lumen Pungowiyi passionately advocated for sustaining Arctic cultures and peoples. A humble man, Caleb worked tirelessly to develop strong relationships between indigenous peoples and the Western science community. A past president of Kawerak, Inc., Caleb served on many boards and commissions, providing incomparable leadership and wisdom. A generous and loving man, Caleb is survived by his wife, Gladys, his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.
During his time as President of the Inuit Circumpolar Council, Caleb negotiated full access for Arctic Indigenous People to participate in meetings of the Arctic Environmental Protection Strategy.
Caleb served on the Advisory Committees of the National Science Foundation, the Marine Mammal Commission, and the Alaska Native Science Commission and Oceana.
Our current Scholars extend Caleb’s legacy through their active participation at state, national and global conferences on issues facing the Arctic. Through internships, our Scholars work on critical concerns including food security and marine mammal migration.
Caleb also served as the President of Kawerak, Inc., a tribal consortium whose mission is to improve social, cultural, economic and political conditions in the Bering Strait region.
The impact of Caleb’s legacy and leadership lives on through the continued encouragement and support of Alaska Native leaders in Arctic and marine conservation.