2018 Indigenous Scholars - Rosemary Ahtuangaruak and Theresa Arevgaq John

Congratulations to the two Indigenous scholars for 2018 selected by our five-member volunteer selection committee, Rosemary Ahtuangaruak and Theresa Arevgaq John! We received many excellent applications for this opportunity and hope to continue it in the future. Theresa and Rosemary traveled to Washington D.C. in May 2018 where they met with leaders and policy-makers to discuss issues important to their communities. We are grateful to those who took time to meet with the scholars, including: The National Science Foundation, the Environmental Protection Agency - Office of International and Tribal Affairs, The Department of State offices of International Health & Biodefense and Environment & Global Change, The Smithsonian Institution's Arctic Studies Center, Senator Lisa Murkowski and staff, The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, and the Department of Interior for hosting a multi-agency meeting at their headquarters.

Rosemary Ahtuangaruak, Nuiqsut, Alaska

Rosemary Ahtuangaruak is an Inupiaq activist. She is a graduate of the University of Washington Medex Northwest Physician Assistant Program. She has fought tirelessly for the health and protection of her people and of the Arctic’s unparalleled wilderness that has sustained her culture for thousands of years. Rosemary is a former mayor of Nuiqsut and currently serves on the board of the Inupiat Community of the Arctic Slope, the regional tribal government for the North Slope, and is an executive council member of the Alaska Inter–Tribal Council. She received the 2009 Voice of the Wild Award from the Alaska Wilderness League. She is a founding board member of REDOIL (Resisting Environmental Destruction on Indigenous Lands).

Read Rosemary's article published in Witness the Arctic, Educating, Communicating, and Affecting Change.

Watch the CNBC story, How Much It Costs To Drill In The Arctic, featuring an interview with Rosemary:


Theresa Arevgaq John, Nelson Island, Alaska

Theresa Arevgaq John is an Associate Professor in the Department of Cross-cultural Studies at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. She has authored numerous academic articles and a co-author of a book Yupiit Yuraryarait: Yup’ik Ways of Dancing and has presented her work at dozens of local, national, and international professional conferences. Dr. John currently serves on the National Advisory Council on Indian Education and the International Indigenous Women’s Forum. She is a former member of the Alaskan State Council Arts and the former Chair of the Traditional Native Arts Panel. She is also the recipient of the Governor's Distinguished Humanities Educator Award and Alaska State Library Award. Dr. John received her B.S., M.Ed., and Ph.D. from the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

As an advocate for Native education, she is highly involved in various organizations and projects that promote traditional Native culture, history, spirituality, language and education. Among John's many affiliations, she is involved in the University Alaska Native and Language Committee, Alaska Native Education and Computer Assisted Language Learning project. She is a member of the National Indian Education Association and a former member of the Statewide Bilingual Multicultural Education Council, Alaska Association for Bilingual Education, Alaska Native Heritage Center Project, Qayaqs and Canoes, Paddling into the Millennium Selection Committee, and Alaska Rural Systemic Initiative. John has extensive performing experience, including several Yup'ik Traditional Dance Groups and her one woman show Yup'ik Arnaq. She is the founder of the Nunarpak Dancers at Alaska Pacific University, the Annual Cama-i Dance Festival in Bethel, the Inu-Yupiaq student Dancer Group at University of Alaska, Fairbanks, co-founder of the Tuma Theatre, and participated in the development of the Festival of Native Arts. John has performed all over the world, in festivals in Greenland, Greece, France, Russia, the Far East and Peru

Cultural Adaptation and Resilience in Arctic Climate Change

Arctic Research Seminar by Dr. Theresa Arevgaq John

2018 Volunteer Selection Committee

Percy Ballot, Maniilaq Association, Buckland, AK
Alicia Bell-Sheeter, USDA Forest Service Office of Tribal Relations, Washington D.C.
Raychelle Daniel, The Pew Charitable Trusts, Washington, D.C.
Dalee Sambo Dorough, University of Alaska Anchorage, Anchorage, AK
Gay Sheffield, Alaska Sea Grant, Nome, AK

Washington, D.C. Meeting Hosts

Thank you to the following organizations for hosting 2018 Arctic Indigenous Scholars: Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center, National Science Foundation, Environmental Protection Agency, Senator Lisa Murkowski, U.S. Department of State, National Institutes of Health, and U.S. Department of Interior.