How do you define marine conservation?
Marine conservation is cultural preservation; if we protect the ocean and it’s life, we protect our way of life. Day by day, I really try to live by the Inupiaq values, respect, love, humor, humility, hospitality, sharing, knowledge, hard work, spirituality, family and many others. The key for me is making it work day by day.
I love the water; I grew up on the coast, and also right on the mouth of the Unalakleet River. I love the sound of the ocean and all of the life that it brings. I also grew up the Inupiaq way so my values, spirituality, way of life/thinking and drive comes from my background. From this, I believe that we all can truly work together to preserve our cultures, because if we do, we will also be preserving the environment around us.
And your future plans?
I plan to get a Master’s Degree in Rural Development and return to Unalakleet to work/for with Native people.