Keynote and Invited Speaker Biographies


Symposium keynote speaker

Theme 1: Human-Environment Relationships

Theme 2: Fishing Communities in Transition

Theme 3: Indigenous and Rural Knowledge and Communities

Theme 4: Governance and Management issues in the North

State Perspective

Debra Call, Welcome

Debra Call is Dena'ina Athabascan from Knik, Alaska. She serves as president of the Knik Tribal Council, with a membership in the Matanuska-Susitna area of over 4,000. She is also president/CEO of the Calista Heritage Foundation and is the former vice president of operations/HR at the Alaska Native Heritage Center. Debra has an MBA from Washington State University and enjoys the Alaska life with her husband Rusty Gump, a veterinarian, and their son Ryan, a 7th grader at Central Middle School of Science in Anchorage.

Sasha Lindgren, Keynote Speaker

Alexandra "Sasha" Lindgren is an Elder of the Kenaitze Indian Tribe and has worked for her Tribe for over twenty years in cultural and educational programs.

Clare Swan, Keynote Speaker

Clare Swan was born and raised on the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska. Following passage of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act in 1971, she spent two decades immersed in research and litigation, culminating in the Kenaitze Indian Tribe receiving state regulations and rights on the eve of open fishing in June 1989. That decision has had long-reaching legal ramifications, extending to Indian grazing rights in southwestern America.

Ms. Swan worked to establish the Cook Inlet Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse. She was chair of the Kenaitze Indian Tribe and was instrumental in establishing the Dena'ina Health Clinic and youth and community agricultural programs. She served on the Board of Directors for Cook Inlet Region, Inc. and is board chair of the Cook Inlet Tribal Council.

In 2009, Clare Swan was honored with the Alaska Federation of Natives President's Award for Elder of the Year. In 2010 she celebrated her 60th wedding anniversary, and in 2011 she was inducted into the Alaska Women's Hall of Fame.

Ron Brower, Sr., Invited Speaker

Ronald Brower teaches Iñupiaq Language at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. He was involved in the development of the North Slope Borough and the North Slope Borough Commission on Iñupiat History, Language and Culture, and he served as president of the Ukpeaġvik Iñupiat Corporation.

Mr. Brower was an archeology facilitator for the Alaska Office of History and Archaeology, and was the founding director of the Iñupiat Heritage Center museum. He worked with the Inuit Elders International Conference from Greenland from 1979 to 1998 and served on the Inuit Circumpolar Conference executive council from 1998 to 2006.

Svein Jentoft, Invited Speaker

Svein Jentoft is a sociologist and a professor at the Norwegian College of Fishery Science, University of Tromsø, Norway. He specializes in issues pertaining to small-scale fisheries, community development, co-management, and governance. His latest book is Poverty Mosaics: Realities and Prospects in Small-Scale Fisheries, published by Springer in 2011, which is based on case studies in 15 countries around the world

Einar Eythórsson, Invited Speaker

Einar Eythórsson, born in 1956 in Iceland, has a Ph.D. in planning and community studies from the University of Tromsø. His main subjects of research are marine natural resource management, coastal Sami fishing communities, local ecological knowledge, and resource rights. He is a researcher at the Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Research (NIKU), High North Department, in Tromsø.

Bonnie McCay, Invited Speaker (canceled)

Bonnie McCay is an environmental anthropologist and professor in the Department of Human Ecology at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey. Her northern-most site of field research is the northeast coast of Newfoundland, Canada; she has also done research along the U.S. Atlantic coast and on the Pacific coast of Mexico. Adaptation to environmental change, institutions for managing the commons, and conditions for collaborative research and management are topics about which she has written.

John Moller, Invited Speaker

John Moller is senior rural affairs advisor and special staff assistant to Governor Sean Parnell. Born in Unalaska, John lives in Juneau with his wife and four children, ages 5 to 18. John has worked for many years in Alaska as a commercial fisherman and owns and operates a commercial fishing vessel in Southeast. He also owns and manages commercial properties in Juneau and Unalaska. John's desire to serve his community and to effect change has led him to serve on a number of Native and local government community boards and committees, including four years on the Advisory Panel to the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council. He also served for 13 years as general manager of the Aleutian Pribilof Island Community Development Association. John's Native heritage, experience as a community leader, and knowledge of the fishing industry has provided him the expertise to be an effective advocate for Alaska rural communities and a trusted advisor to the Governor.