Name: Denali Quyanna Qapvik Whiting
Hometown and/or current city: Qikiqtaġruk, Sisualik, Katyuuraq
Current job or title: Caleb Scholars Program Director
Degree title: Alaska Native Studies, American Sign Language
How do you currently engage with conservation and/or cultural activities?
As the director for the Caleb Scholars Program, I am regularly working with our scholars, board, partners, and others to seek opportunities for advancing Inuit-led conservation advocacy. I spend time at home often to subsist with family in an effort to keep our freezers and iñua full. As a new mom, I have also been doing more skin sewing and continue seeking projects and experiences to further connect with my ancestors, community, and culture.
What is an issue that is important to you that you think people should get more involved with?
Abolishing blood quantum measurement as a way to verify your native lineage.
What advice do you have for current and prospective Caleb Scholars?
Communicate! I encourage students and prospective students to ask questions, schedule time for one on one chats with myself or their mentor, and stay curious. We have a wealth of resources available and it’s hard to know how to best support you if we don’t know your needs.
Is there anything else that you would like to share about yourself or your experience with CSP?
The Caleb Scholars Program has made a big impact of my life. I am both humbled and empowered to do this work in the name of the late Caleb Pungowiyi and am always happy to chat about the program!