What drew you to the Caleb Scholars Program?
My advisor at Rural Student Services knew my interests and capabilities, so a couple of years ago, she told me about what this program has to offer. I knew I could gain much from it while helping our people and natural resources. I was drawn to the Caleb Scholars program to further my education and skills. I have continued my interest because this program offers so much more than I imagined. I have made meaningful connections and memories with the CSP board and scholars; we all have something to offer in knowledge, and it is best when we all win together.
What does Inuit-led environmental conservation mean to you?
The Inuit-led conservation advocacy means protecting our lands, culture, and mammals. We need Earth’s natural resources for our survival. The Bering Sea is our garden, and we should do as much as possible to preserve and sustain it. Our people have harvested the same resources our ancestors have done for millennia, and should be continued.
Please share a reflection of when have you have felt a connection to the ocean or the land.
My connection to the land uplifted and helped me grieve, especially in the summer of 2019 and 2020. It was not only during one of the hard times that I would experience a deep connection, but it was the most memorable. I often rode up the mountains to reflect, cry, laugh, pray, sing, and give thanks. Riding up the mountains for any reason is one of my favorite things to do at home. I love the silence, the smell, and the feeling of peace and hope. I also felt very spiritually connected with God and my Ancestors, spending time in nature. It feels as if being out
in the ocean or land with people you love lets energy out that does not serve you. To have awareness while staying spiritually connected benefits overall health. It gives power and strength, especially when it is needed. I imagine my ancestors telling me to be strong and reminding me of what I hold. I come from a family of warriors and leaders. All Indigenous people are born with a fire inside them. We are still here and should continue to protect our lands for us and the next generations.