UNITY Alumni Spotlight: Jacqui Lambert (Inupiaq) – UNITY, Inc.

UNITY Alumni Spotlight: Jacqui Lambert (Inupiaq)

Uvaŋa Igḷuġuq. Iñupiaŋuruŋa. Qikiqtaġruŋmiuŋugalaaqtuŋa kaŋiqaqtuŋa katyaaġmiuninlu nuurviŋmiuninlu.

My name is Jacqui Lambert. I am Inupiaq. I am from Kotzebue with roots in Kiana and Noorvik, the Northwest Arctic region of Alaska.

I recently started working as an assistant to the President/CEO of the First Alaskans Institute, a non-profit organization whose mission is Progress for the Next 10,000 years. Their work starts with the Alaska Native Policy Center, where they enhance the Native voice and influence the policy-making process within the education, economic and social policy issues. It continues through their Summer Internship Program where they nurture the leadership skills in young adults pursuing higher education as well as the First Nations Futures Fellowship. They are also dedicated to addressing racial issues through their Advancing Native Dialogues on Racial Equity effort, where they travel across the state and help community members learn how to discuss the current racial atmosphere at a local level.

I started my own publication called The Qargizine two years ago and they will be sponsoring a sampler insert into their Fall issue coming out this month. Last but certainly not least, they host the annual Elders and Youth Conference during the week of the largest Alaska Native gathering with the Alaska Federation of Natives (October 15-21). I also serve as the secretary on the Qikiqtagruk Inupiaq Youth Council that I helped start in 2014 after learning about UNITY with Teressa Baldwin. We will be hosting a workshop at the Elders and Youth Conference, teaching other communities on how to start their own youth council.

I do graphic design work on the side and currently relaunched a campaign to help print my publication, The Qargizine. The ‘qargi’ is traditionally a community gathering place so this is a new away for rural and Alaska Native artists, photographers and writers to gather and share their perspective. The popular t-shirt design reflects the Inuit women in their traditional regalia across the circumpolar Arctic (Russia, Alaska, Canada and Greenland). For those who do not know, the Inuit originated in the Northwest Arctic region of Alaska, connected with Russia, and over thousands of years, migrated across the Arctic as far as Greenland. Much like the American Indians, our cultures, philosophies, and dialects are very similar across the circumpolar Arctic.

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