The First Tlingit is Crowned Miss Alaska USA 2017

Since being crowned Miss Alaska USA 2017 in February, Alyssa London has shared her vision of empowering women entrepreneurs, she’s been named a Cultural Ambassador for Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI), appeared at numerous community events such as the yearly Fur Rendezvous event in Anchorage and has been celebrating the honor to be the first Tlingit women to hold the title Miss Alaska USA.

Now, her time is preparing for the next stage, representing Alaska at the Miss USA competition in May. The national event, requires contestants to secure funds to prepare and compete in New York for the national title. If successful, London would be the first Tlingit to hold that title.

London is a Sealaska shareholder and former Sealaska Board Youth Advisor (BYA). She served as BYA from June 2014- June 2015. The position was founded by Sealaska directors to provide insight to Sealaska activities and inspire the next generation to have a resonating connection to Sealaska. One opportunity London had, was visiting Sealaska lands on Price of Wales Island, to see how Sealaska manages its lands. After her visit, she documented her experience, In My Own Words. She wrote, that she was skeptical about the impact of land management practices. “First I learned that Sealaska only owns 1.3 percent of the total land in Southeast Alaska. This piece of information stood out to me because the percentage is so negligible. I think if shareholders had a better visual understanding of the miniscule size of our land base, then any fears that we are damaging the forest may subside,” wrote London.

As a Cultural Ambassador for Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI), she will help further the mission of SHI, to perpetuate and enhance Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian cultures and promote cross-cultural understanding. “I’m honored and humbled to officially accept the role of cultural ambassador to Sealaska Heritage,” London said. “Our goals are aligned, and I’m excited to represent my Native culture on the next public stage and with the support of SHI.”

Since being crowned in February, Miss Alaska now has her sights on Miss USA. During the next few months, she will be fundraising and making final preparations for the national competition. London maintains a blog, www.alyssalondon.com, where you can keep up with her activities and efforts.

London is Tlingit, Eagle, from the Killerwhale clan. Her Tlingit name is Yáx? Ádi Yádi. Her family is originally from Angoon, Alaska. She is the daughter of Tate (Sealaska director) and Debbie London. She graduated from Stanford University in 2012 with a degree in comparative studies in race and ethnicity.

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