Kaare Ray Sikuaq Erickson
2021

Kaare Ray Sikuaq Erickson

Anthropologist

facilitating cross-cultural conversations

meet kaare

An indigenous anthropologist from northern Alaska, Erickson specializes in helping arctic researchers who do not live there to better get along with people who do. He is the outreach and engagement manager for the Ukpeagvik Inupiat Corporation Science in Utqiagvik, Alaska. He was raised in several villages along the Bering Sea coast including Savoonga, Saint Michaels, and Unalakleet. His father, Jeff, is a Scandinavian fisherman and school teacher and his mother, Donna Sauraq, is a cultural leader raised in Utqiagvik. For over a decade he has been immersed in anthropological projects and studying Alaskan native history.

facilitating cross-cultural conversations
Nominated by: Timothy Jacob MN'20
Class of 2021 Location Northern Alaska

The mission of our organization is to utilize our Indigenous and local knowledge to assist Arctic researchers. I help engage Arctic researchers with Arctic residents. As explorers, I believe that it is extremely important that that we take the time to understand that what may seem as exotic worlds to us are not exotic to the people who live there. Properly engaging with local people by learning about local history and customs is the most important aspect of exploration.

Alaska is so huge that one can live an entire life exploring these lands and the coastal waters and never leave the state. My multicultural, rural upbringing has allowed me to live in many different areas of the state. I hunt, gather, and fish which requires my family to travel long distances across Alaska. My schooling and career has allowed me to travel to villages and regional hubs to engage with local residents.

“Properly engaging with local people by learning about local history and customs is the most important aspect of exploration.”

- Kaare Ray Sikuaq Erickson

From the rainforests in South America to the far reaches of the Arctic, humans have lived in most of Planet Earth’s finite space, other than the deep sea and Antarctica. In my life, I have never been anywhere that did not have Indigenous and local peoples.

As an Indigenous Anthropologist, I believe that it is always extremely important to consider and learn about Indigenous and local people when exploring their lands, and to communicate with them. A pristine and untouched place for one person to explore might just be someone’s backyard!

never stop exploring

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