Staff, Board & Steering Committee


Meet The Team

Together we #WarriorUp with love for our people and our homelands.


Laureli Ivanoff, – Inupiaq, and Yup’ik, Executive Director

Laureli Ivanoff, Inupiaq, and Yup’ik, lives in her home community of Unalakleet where she was raised by her parents, Herb and the late Lena Ivanoff. Laureli previously worked in communications in the fisheries realm where she came to understand management processes, affirming her desire to write about and advocate for a way of life living in a direct relationship with the land and waters surrounding her home. A former radio journalist, Laureli has a regular column with High Country News that explores “the seasonality of living in direct relationship with the land, water, plants, and animals in and around Uŋalaqłiq (Unalakleet).” She has been published in The New York Times, Anchorage Daily News, Outside Magazine, and various publications with the intent to bring representation to a way of life integral to who we are as Native peoples. Laureli received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and her Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing from the Institute of American Indian Arts. She enjoys being out on every nice day with her extended family, harvesting and eating good food.

Craig K. Chythlook – Yup’ik, Fisheries Policy Director

Craig Chythlook is Yup’ik, originally from the Bristol Bay region in southwest Alaska. Craig’s parents are Joe and Molly Chythlook from Dillingham, AK. Craig has spent his life fishing for salmon on the waters of Bristol Bay. Craig’s current work is looking at what evaluation criteria are used to measure success while observing salmon, salmon management, and how to utilize Indigenous values and place-based knowledge into resource management decision-making. Craig graduated from the University of Alaska Fairbanks with a business administration degree and a minor in rural development. While attending UAF, Craig spent three and a half years participating in undergraduate research studying how better access to water utility services impact subsistence activities. Craig’s research interests include how Western fisheries policy and management can better include Indigenous and place-based knowledge into state and federal decision-making spaces, regarding salmon/resource management.

Krissa Huston – Tlingit, Voter and Community Engagement Manager

Krissa Huston, Tlingit/Filipina/White, is originally from Petersburg (Séet Ká Kwáan) where she was raised by her mother Tiana Duke and late father Steven Davis (Norwegian). She is the great granddaughter of Marie James and granddaughter of Pauline Young of the Thunderbird House, Wooshkeetaan Yadi clan. In May of 2024 she graduated from the University of Maine with her masters in Marine Policy. During her program she focused on the role of the global seafood market, fisheries policy, and community-well being in fisheries management decisions for Pacific Herring. Krissa is passionate about protecting Indigenous foodways through localized food systems that support equitable access, Alaskan Native culture, and community well-being. She is an avid learner who enjoys spending her time harvesting with her family on the beach and connecting with the land and waters through hiking, climbing, and swimming. 

Board of Directors

Barbara ‘Wáahlaal Gíidaak Blake

Barbara ‘Wáahlaal Gíidaak Blake – Haida / Tlingit / Ahtna, NPA Board President

Barbara ‘Wáahlaal Gíidaak Blake is from Prince of Wales Island and currently lives in Dzántik’i Héeni (Juneau) on Lingít Aaní.  ‘Wáahlaal Gíidaak is of Haida, Tlingit and Ahtna Athabascan descent and belongs to the Káat nay-st/Yahkw Jáanaas (Shark House/Middle Town People) Clan.  She is the daughter of Sandra Demmert (Yahkw Jáanaas) and Kenneth Johnson (Naltsiina), and the granddaughter of Frances Demmert Peele (Yahkw Jáanaas), Franklin Demmert, Sr. (L’eeneidi), Irene Johnson (Naltsiina) Walter Johnson (Norwegian), and mother to two amazing kids.  She currently serves as the Director of the Alaska Native Policy Center with First Alaskans Institute, where she promotes the self-determination of Alaska Native peoples through strengthening opportunities for indigenous voices to be at the forefront of leading, solving, confronting, and advocating for Indigenous communities. She also sits on the City and Borough of Juneau Assembly as an elected city official and on the Sealaska Board of Directors.  She received her master’s degree from UAF in Rural Development focusing her thesis on Fisheries Development in Rural Alaska. She received her undergraduate degree(s) at the University of Alaska Fairbanks with a BA in Rural Economic Development and an AA in Tribal Management.  She also holds Onaben’s Indianpreneurship and Sandford’s First Nations Futures Program certificates.

Bruce Ervin

Bruce Ervin, Athabascan, Vice-President

Bruce L. Ervin is an Upper Tanana Dene and Tribal member of Northway Village. Bruce is an alumni with the UAF Tribal Stewardship and Governance program and graduated with his Certificate and A.A.S in Tribal Management in 2017 and 2018. He is also an alumni with the UAF Department of Alaska Native Studies and Rural Development program graduating in 2020 with a BA in Alaska Native Studies with a concentration in Alaska Native Law, Government, and Politics.  When Bruce is not working, he spends his time learning traditional ecological knowledge. He enjoys spending time healing on the land, rivers, lakes, and learning ancestral ways of knowing from Elders to protect our ways of life and pass our knowledge on to the next generations.
Jessica Black

Jessica Black – Athabascan, Treasurer

Dr. Jessica Black is a Gwich’in Athabascan from the villages of Gwich’yaa Zhee [Ft. Yukon] and Toghotthele [Nenana], Alaska.  In her current job as Assistant Professor for the Department of Alaska Native Studies and Rural Development and Tribal Management at UAF Jessica teaches, co-leads several research projects, and serves her Alaska Native community in various ways. Dr. Black received her PhD in Social Work from Washington University in St. Louis in August of 2017.  The title of her dissertation is Participation in Governance and Well-Being in the Yukon Flats.

Carrie Stevens

Carrie Stevens – Secretary

Carrie Stevens previously served the Council of Athabascan Tribal Government (CATG), an Alaska Native Tribal Consortium serving ten Gwich’in and Koyukon Tribes to promote Tribal Self-Governance. Mrs. Stevens served as the lead negotiator for CATG on their two Non-BIA self-governance agreements with the Bureau of Land Management and the US Fish and Wildlife Service. She began working with CATG in 1999, when she moved to Arctic Village to work with Indigenous rights activists for the protection of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. She now serves as faculty for the University of Alaska Tribal Management program. Carrie holds a Masters degree in International and Intercultural Management. She is a mother and warrior for sustaining Alaska Native ways of life.

Steering Committee

Andrea Akall’eq Burgess

Andrea Akall’eq Burgess – Yup’ik

Andrea Akall’eq Burgess, is a community activist from Bethel, Alaska now living and working on the lands of Kānaka ʻōiwi (Native Hawaiians). She is a Yup’ik Tribal citizen of the Native Village of Kwinhagak. Andrea is a co-founder of Native Peoples Action Community Fund where her role is to advance Indigenous ways of being and knowing. Andrea is Company Owner of With Real People LLC, a consulting and production firm based in Alaska and Hawaii. She is also Global Director of the Conservation in Partnership with Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities program at The Nature Conservancy. Andrea has a bachelor’s degree in government/political science from Georgetown University and spent much of her career working for Alaskans in Congress on Capitol Hill. 

Saagulik Elizabeth Hensley

Saagulik Elizabeth Hensley – Iñupiaq

Saagulik focuses her practice on meeting the unique legal needs of Alaska Native corporations, tribes and tribal nonprofit health and social service organizations. She maintains a general counsel practice providing advice in contract strategy, negotiation and enforcement; employment law; investigations and compliance; grants management; conflicts of interest and other ethics standards; and governance. Saagulik has been active in Alaska and Native American affairs for many years. Her experience includes working as a legislative aide with the Alaska State Legislature, as a staff attorney and public policy liaison with an Alaska Native (ANSCA) regional corporation, and as general counsel for a 600-employee regional tribal nonprofit corporation. She served as senior policy advisor at the United States Department of the Interior Office of the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs and has provided international human rights law support to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples through coursework and a fellowship.

Ruth Miller

Ruth Miller, Dena’ina Athabaskan and Ashkenazi Russian Jewish

Ruth is a Dena’ina Athabaskan and Ashkenazi Russian Jewish woman, raised in Anchorage, Alaska. She is a member of the Curyung Tribe, and also has roots in Bristol Bay, where her family descended downriver after leaving the Lake Iliamna region. She is a recent graduate from Brown University, built on occupied Wampanoag and Narragansett lands, and received a BA in Critical Development Studies with a focus on Indigenous resistance and liberation. She has worked many years towards Indigenous rights advocacy and climate justice in Alaska, as well as in Rhode Island and the south of Chile. She centers themes of wellness and community care, and is thinking a lot about growth and regeneration and imagination in our activism work. Ruth also does International Indigenized climate justice work with the United Nations Association and SustainUS. Most of all, she loves singing as her Grandma Ruth did, practicing traditional beadwork with her mother late at night, slowly discovering her Dena’ina language, and building radical communities of love!

Jonathan Tullek Samuelson – Yup’iaq & Dene

Jonathan Tullek Samuelson (Yup’iaq & Dene), was raised on the banks of the Kuskokwim River alongside his siblings, cousins, and fish. His family ties span the watershed, and his parents are Debby Hartman (Vanderpool) and Sam Samuelson. Driven by a passion for people and cross-cultural sharing Jonathan’s work has always centered around making connections and helping others realize the potential of tools they already have. He currently works for The Kuskokwim Corporation whose vision is a sustainable, collective future. Jonathan is a citizen of the Native Village of Georgetown, where he serves on the tribal council as well as their appointed commissioner to the Kuskokwim River Inter Tribal Fish Commission (KRITFC). As the current chair of KRITFC, he aims to elevate tribal voices in fisheries stewardship and weave together ways of knowing. He also works toward systems change as an advisor to the Tamamta and Indigenizing Salmon Science & Management programs through the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Jonathan enjoys time on the land, binging a good tv show, and stringing together words into poetry.