Uvaŋa Qapvik, I am from Kotzebue, where I grew up with my grandparents and extended family subsisting along the Kotzebue Sound. I love to spend time outdoors subsistence hunting and fishing, gathering, camping, and hiking. I have a special interest in Arctic issues and marine conservation.
I have a dynamic history with the Caleb Scholars program, including being a scholarship recipient from 2012-2015, filling the Steering Committee alumni seat from 2017-2020, and now serving as the Director. I am committed to uplifting Iñupiat cultural expertise in order to strengthen intergenerational wellness within our communities.
What drew you to the Caleb Scholars program?
I was drawn to cultivating the connection between conservation and Iñupiat culture. The connection between Traditional Knowledge and western science was emphasized in my upbringing. I jumped at the opportunity to join a community of support to advocate for our environment and people.
The support that I received from the Program through internship opportunities, peer networking, travel grants, speaking engagements and professional development, as well as avenues to continue to stay connected as an alumni has contributed to my success as an Iñupiaq professional. Caleb’s legacy of advocacy for our culture and environment empowers me and is something I take to heart.
What does conservation mean to you?
When our ecosystems are healthy, our people are healthy. As Iñuit, we have a responsibility to protect our arctic homelands. Conservation means stepping into this role of advocacy and mindful stewardship in order to fulfill this responsibility to our land, our waters, and our communities now and into the future.