What drew you to the Caleb Scholars Program?
The Caleb scholars program allows me to combine two of my passions that I frequently must
pursue separately, environmental conservation and cultural connection. However, when
pursuing environmental conservation, I am always guided by my connection to my culture, so I
love that the Caleb Scholars program acknowledges the intertwining of these two areas and
allows me to work within both.
What does Inuit-led environmental conservation mean to you?
Indigenous people have had the solutions to many of today’s climate problems before they
even existed. We know how to maintain and conserve our own lands, and we did so for
thousands of years. Inuit-led conservation advocacy means that we as Inuit people are given
the ability to make decisions about our own land because we are equipped with the proper
knowledge to make these decisions, and will suffer the most if these decisions are not made.
Please share a reflection of when you have felt a connection to the ocean or
My grandfather, who is Inupiaq, died earlier this year, and my family decided that if his essence
were to be reincarnated into an animal he would be a beluga whale. This summer while
commercial fishing with my father in Bristol Bay, and I looked out and saw what I thought was a
seal playing in the water. It turned out to be a beluga, and after following it slowly in our skiff
we found ourselves surrounded by an entire pod of beluga whales. We followed them from one
family fishing site to another, watching them dive in and out of the water playfully before they
sped off. It was a surreal and emotional experience, and in that moment I felt the presence and
protection of not only my grandpa, but also of all of my ancestors who came before me.