“Iḷisimmaaġiksuaq”
Story and Photo from: Ayyu Qassataq

Through my work and studies, I aspire to embody one of our traditional Iñupiaq characteristics: Iḷisimmaaġiksuaq – one who seeks knowledge and wisdom to become an informed and active contributor to their community.

I strongly believe that the gifts we were born with don’t belong to us – they belong to our community; and we are intended to grow and put those gifts to work for our people.

I am deeply thankful to The CIRI Foundation for supporting me throughout my higher education to grow and put my own advocacy and leadership to work for our community. Quyanaqpak.