Peri Qancuk Sanders (she/her) is Yup’ik from Mamterilleq (Bethel) with maternal ties to Negeqiq (St. Mary’s). She was dually raised on the Yukon and Kuskokwim Rivers. She currently lives in Anchorage on Dena’ina lands.
In the summer, she enjoys spending her days outside hiking, road tripping, and camping. She comes to us with a diverse background in human services and she prioritizes working in spaces that are centered upon uplifting Alaska Native people and the LGBTQIA2S+ community. She reflects upon her own educational journey with appreciation and is ecstatic to work with a team that is motivated to create support for Alaska Native students who are navigating this sometimes-unfamiliar territory.
What drew you to the Caleb Scholars Program?
As a lifelong Alaska Native academic, I deeply resonate with the mission, vision, and values that steer the Caleb Scholars Program. I live by the belief that gathering, holding, and sharing knowledge creates strong and clear pathways forward and builds a foundation for significant growth. These knowledge processes are vital tools for moving past seasons of survival and into places of prosperity.
Alaska Native academics are absolutely necessary in every field. Gathering around our future Alaska Native leaders and holding space for and celebrating in their success is an imperative form of advocacy for Alaska Native culture at every level. When we invest in Alaska Native education we actively uplift and empower the people who know how to best care for their community, their land, and their culture.
What does conservation mean to you?
To me, conservation means living in constant reciprocity with our land, air, waters, and non-human relatives. As Indigenous people, our worldviews and protocols are centered upon protecting, caring for, and showing deep respect to the invaluable life sources that sustain us. Conservation is an Indigenous practice, it is at the root of our cultures and all that we do.