Sealaska 2018 Summer Internships - Applying Cultural Knowledge toward Innovation

This is the first story in a series featuring the 2018 Sealaska summer interns. See the businesses through their eyes, understand their impact on Sealaska and experience the reconnection with their Alaska Native roots.

Since the early 1980s, Sealaska’s internship program has been offering shareholders and shareholder descendants paid professional work experience and on-the-job training throughout Sealaska and its businesses.

This summer, interns worked in numerous departments across Sealaska such as environmental monitoring, natural resource stewardship, communications, construction management and cultural non-profit.

“I've grown up knowing that as Tlingit people we are the stewards of the air, land and sea, but this internship has given me the opportunity to experience it firsthand and strengthen my connection to our homelands.” – Talia Davis, Natural Resources Intern

Along with gaining professional experience, the group attended an intern development week designed to connect them with their Alaska Native roots, Sealaska and each other. Interns experienced Southeast Alaska and Sealaska through hiking together in Juneau, attending workshops and sharing a meal of their traditional, ancestral foods.

“The intern development week in Juneau was really informative. The best part was being able to meet everyone involved with Sealaska and gain a deeper understanding of who they are and what they do.”– Andrew Wysocki, Communications Intern

Applications open the first week of January 2019. Learn more about the program here.

[front row, left to right: Breylan Martin, Janae Vieira, Miranda Worl, Andrew Wysocki; second row, left to right: Lyndsey Brollini, Cody Aceveda, Leanna Owen, Elizabeth Castillo, Claudia Castillo, Talia Davis, Leah Urbanski; back row: Mckenna Hunt]

Andrew Wysocki
Heritage: Tsimshian
Internship: Communications Department l Seattle, WA
Projects: Content production for quarterly newsletter and other various communications responsibilities
School: Junior at the University of Washington

Breylan Martin
Heritage: Tlingit, Yeil, D’akdeintaan, Sockeye House
Internship: Sealaska Heritage Institute Archives l Juneau, AK
Projects: Writing and filing object reports on donation items, relocating items to storage, working to create a master list of items for grant application
School: Senior at Emory University l Majoring in Religion and Anthropology, Dance and Movement Studies

Claudia Castillo
Heritage: Haida, Eagle Beaver clan, family from Hydaburg
Internship: Sealaska Construction Solutions Project Engineer l Seattle, WA
Projects: Assisting in auto balloon launch construction for the National Weather Service, bid requests for new projects, and making subcontractor contracts
School: Junior at University of Alaska Fairbanks l Majoring in Mechanical Engineering

Cody Aceveda
Heritage: Tlingit, Ch’aak, Killer Whale clan<
Internship: Sealaska Environmental Services l Poulsbo, WA and Adak, AK
Projects: Naval base site water monitoring and maintenance
School: Senior at the University of Washington l Majoring in Environmental Science

Elizabeth Castillo
Heritage: Haida, Eagle Beaver clan, family from Hydaburg
Internship: Sealaska Timber l Prince of Wales Island, AK
Projects: In-field tree measurement studies, sea otter analysis, fish sampling, and stream mapping surveying
School: Sophomore at the University of Alaska Fairbanks l Majoring in Mathematics

Janae Vieira
Heritage: Tsimshian, Double-Finned Killer Whale clan
Internship: Odyssey Foods l Seattle, WA
Projects: Creating a system to record the settings of machinery used in the production lines at the seafood packaging facility Northwest Seafood Processors
School: Sophomore at the University of Puget Sound l Majoring in Exercise Science

Leanna Owen
Heritage: Aleut
Internship: Sealaska Heritage Institute Education Department l Juneau, AK
Projects: Assisting in Baby Raven Reads Program, summer culture camps and the culturally responsive education conference
School: Senior at University of Alaska Southeast l Majoring in Elementary Education and History

Leah Urbanski
Heritage: White Mountain Apache, northeast Arizona
Internship: Sealaska Heritage Institute Education Department l Juneau, AK
Projects: Native language revitalization, assisting in Math Academies for middle schoolers around Southeast as well as the Baby Raven Reads program and helping with the culturally responsive education conference
School: Senior at Dartmouth College l Majoring in Linguistics modified with Spanish, minoring in studio art

Lyndsey Brollini
Heritage: Haida, family from Hydaburg
Internship: Sealaska Heritage Institute Media Intern l Juneau, AK
Projects: Producing social media and digital content for SHI
School: Graduate of University of Washington l Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Political Science

Mckenna Hunt
Heritage: Tlingit, Tlingit name Keil ke, Ch’aak’, Galyax kaagwaantaan, family from Yakutat
Internship: Communications Department l Seattle, WA
Projects: Developing continuous social media and quarterly newsletter content as well as aiding Damen Bell-Holter, Sealaska Director of Community and Youth Development, in his events and programs with native youth.
School: Senior at Western Washington University l Majoring in Journalism with a minor in Psychology

Miranda Worl
Heritage: Tlingit, Kaagwaantaan
Internship: SHI Archives l Juneau, AK
Projects: Tony Strong Subsistence Files Documentation; Literature/Collections Research for Traditional Use of Tináa
School: Senior at Dartmouth College l Majoring in Anthropology with a minor in Linguistics

Talia Davis
Heritage: Tlingit, Tlingit name Kaajeesoox, Yeil, Dakdeintaan from Keex' Kwaan, family from Kake
Internship: Natural Resources Department l Klawock, AK and Hoonah, AK
Projects: Working with a sockeye predation study in Klawock, sea otter research in Craig, and a coho salmon study in Hoonah
School: Junior at the University of Alaska Fairbanks l Majoring in Fisheries with a concentration in Ocean Sciences

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