The Indigenous Advisory Board is advising on how the NNA-CO is partnering with Indigenous communities and institutions to ensure that we are addressing issues of mutual concern, that Indigenous Peoples have a voice in NNA research planning and implementation, and that Indigenous knowledge and data sovereignty is upheld. Importantly, this board also ensures that the NNA-CO amplifies and supports Indigenous-led initiatives. Board members will serve two year terms.
Nikoosh Carlo - Advisory Boards Lead & Co-Chairnikoosh.firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Nikoosh Carlo (Co-PI) is Koyukon Athabascan, CEO of CNC North Consulting, and the co-chair of the NNA-CO advisory boards. In this role she will lead the boards in ensuring the work of the NNA-CO is grounded in our guiding principles and that the boards’ guidance is integrated into NNA-CO activities. As the founder and chief strategist of CNC North Consulting, Dr. Carlo, helps clients develop a vision for their climate change and Arctic priorities and build momentum to achieve change. She has worked across political divides for State Senators, Ambassadors, and Governors on issues of Arctic governance. Her true passion is working with organizations that support climate change equity, and the well-being of Arctic residents and Indigenous peoples.
Mellisa Maktuayaq Johnson - Board Co-Chair
Mellisa Maktuayaq Johnson is Inupiaq born and raised from Nome, Alaska. As a tribal member of Nome Eskimo Community, Mellisa has a strong passion for protecting, respecting, advocating and maintaining traditional Indigenous ways of life. Inspired by Elders, community members, and her family, Mellisa works to share with others the importance of maintaining culture and heritage in language revitalization efforts, climate advocacy, and incorporation of Indigenous knowledge into different systems. She previously worked as Executive Director with Bering Sea Elders Group (2018-2022), has sixteen years experience with tribal health, and currently works with the Arctic-Yukon-Kuskokwim Tribal Consortium as Government Affairs/Policy Director and also with the University of Alaska Anchorage Alaska Native Studies department as Adjunct Professor in Inupiatun, the language of the Inupiat. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Health Services Administration with a minor in Human Services from Alaska Pacific University and is also a United States Air Force veteran.
Malinda Chase - Board Member
Malinda Chase is an enrolled tribal member of Anvik, a Deg Hit’an Dene’ village, located in Alaska’s interior region, at the confluence of the Yukon and Anvik Rivers. She works as the Tribal Resilience Liaison for the Alaska Climate Adaptation Science Center, in partnership with the Aleutians Pribilof Islands Association, to support tribes in their self-determined efforts in addressing climate change. This role is affiliated with the national BIA Tribal Climate Resilience Program. Throughout her work life, Malinda is fortunate to work closely with Alaska Indigenous communities, prominent Alaska Native Elders and talented Alaska Native educators in tribal and community planning and indigenous initiatives that perpetuate and share Alaska Native knowledge, beliefs and strength.
Lisa Ellanna - Board Member
Lisa Ellanna is Inupiaq from Nome, Alaska. Lisa is a life-long learner and strives in her work to understand the present and historical context of the communities she serves. Lisa is a JD candidate with the Mitchell Hamline school of law, and an MA candidate with the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Lisa values gathering natural foods and plant medicines and learning from her Elders.
Liza Mack - Board Member
Dr. Liza Mack is the Transportation and Village Infrastructure Protection Program Manager at the Denali Commission. The Denali Commission is a grant-making Federal agency that is dedicated to building and maintaining infrastructure in Rural Alaska. Prior to joining the Commission, Liza served as the Executive Director of the Aleut International Association, a non-profit organization that represents Unangan (Aleut people) at the Arctic Council. Dr. Mack is Unangax, born and raised in King Cove, a small village at the end of the Alaska Peninsula. She graduated with her PhD in Indigenous Studies from the University of Alaska Fairbanks in 2019. Her research focused on political ecology, natural resource management, knowledge transfer, and engagement of Native communities in the regulatory process. Dr. Mack has over 20 years of experience working in and around Indigenous organizations and communities. She has an A.A. in Liberal Arts from the University of Alaska Sitka, a B.A., and M.S. in Anthropology from Idaho State University. She lives and works in Anchorage with her son on the homelands of the Dena’ina People.
Gunn-Britt Retter - Board Member
Ms Gunn-Britt Retter lives in the coastal Saami community Unjárga-Nesseby in north-eastern Norway. She is a teacher of training from Sámi University of Applied Sciences and holds MA in Bilingual studies from University of Wales. Since 2001, Retter has worked with Arctic Environmental issues, first at Arctic Council Indigenous Peoples’ Secretariat (IPS) and since 2005 in the present position as Head of Arctic and Environmental Unit of the Saami Council. Retter has been involved in issues related to Indigenous Peoples and knowledge associated with climate change, biodiversity, language, pollution and management of natural resources, both at Arctic and International levels.