Meet our team!
We are emerging Indigenous Leaders from across the Arctic
We created a unique space for ourselves in philanthropy where we can be self-determining, have full authority over all the finances and in addition, we are making more room for Arctic Indigenous peoples to enter this sector.
Our future goal is to be an autonomous entity from the Arctic Funders’ Collaborative, as well as the ability to be fully structured and administered by Northerners.
We use consensus decision making to determine the structure and policies of the fund. It is our responsibility to act as spokespersons and to spread awareness of the Fund by working collaboratively with each other. Please follow our journey through our social media platforms
A young, passionate and outgoing Inuk. She grew up in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut but has lived in faraway places like Indonesia and Australia. Although she loves to travel and explore, she loves helping people in the Arctic more, and helping in any way she can is second nature. Having had a rough start to life, she had to overcome many obstacles to get where she is today; an Inuit Tattooist, Beauty Therapist, Freelance Columnist and a voice for the voiceless. Through the Arctic Indigenous Fund she hopes to continue helping to break cycles and to help others in the Arctic live their best life in the midst of all that the Arctic and its Peoples face.
Shayla “Gwikitch’ihkheh” Snowshoe
I am a Tetlit Gwich'in from Tetlit Zheh, Northwest Territories. As a young, Indigenous woman, I have to come to understand the value of heritage and education and how the two are intertwined into my life, just like a braid. There are three strands. One strand is my culture – hunting, fishing, sewing, the language, the land and my Jijuu. The next strand is education – learning and experiencing new things everyday, as well as my desire to obtain a degree in order to give back to my community through education. The last strand is me– my heart, soul, strength, beliefs, dreams, goals and my love. Each strand is just as important and inspirited as the next.
I am also a student at the University of Alberta, where I am taking Native Studies & Education. My dream is to one day teach in my hometown about the Indigenous history, cultures and language with a special focus on: on the land learning.
My ultimate goal in life is to live a healthy and happy life with my daughter, Dani-Mae. I want to make her proud.
Chandre Iqugan Szafran
is Inupiaq from Nome and grew up in Alaska’s largest city of Anchorage. Her love for her home state has led her to build programming across Alaska, weaving cultural heritage, environmental stewardship, academia, and arts with the thread of advocacy for Indigenous futures. Chandre is an MFA candidate at the Institute of American Indian Arts, and earned her BA in English from University of Alaska Anchorage. She is a First Alaskans Institute Fellow, an alum of Alaska Humanities Forum’s Leadership Anchorage Program, and an Advisor to the Arctic Indigenous Fund. She is active indoors and out, enjoying community volunteering, berry picking, travel, reading, and writing.
is Northern Dene and Swiss-American from Ruby, Alaska. He was given the Denaakk’e (Koyukon Athabascan) name Kk’ołeyo by his grandmother Lillian Olin, after her grandfather Big Jim; it means “walking.” His Iñupiaq name Putyuk means “pinch.” He has a strong interest in positive youth development through cultural education, which is in line with his lifelong love of language learning and cultural exchange across the world. He lives in Alaska with his partner Marjorie Kunaq Nekkon’ Tahbone and their daughter Telele Iŋmaġana."
Kuluk R. Lyberth
Is a master's student in Social Sciences in the University of Greenland, which include International Law and Indigenous Peoples' rights. Kuluk is a former chair of the student union in Greenland and has participated in Arctic Council working group meetings and the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues through youth capacity building by the Inuit Circumpolar Council and Saami Council. Besides the studies, Kuluk work at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Greenland as a student assistant
Tukumminnguaq Nykjær Olsen
Is an Office and Project Manager for Inuit Circumpolar Council Greenland and Advisor for Arctic Indigenous Fund.
She is a MA candidate in Governance and Sustainability, West Nordic Studies, helds a BA degree in Social Sciences, have studied in Fairbanks, Alaska and Akureyri, Iceland during her studies. Tukumminnguaq is a native Greenlander who grew up in Qaanaaq, Greenland, northernmost town in Greenland.
Have amongst completed Indigenous peoples rights and policy program at Columbia University, Indigenous Fellowship Program at United Nations Geneva, is a former Arctic focal point in Global Indigenous Youth Caucus at United Nations and Winner of Arctic Innovation Lab, Arctic Circle Assembly Iceland 2017.
Is the President of the Saami Council, the oldest Saami organisation comprising Saami in all four countries (Norway, Sweden, Finland and The Russian Federation). Christina is a previous Member of the Sámi Parliament in Norway, and a member of the Norwegian Saami Association. Born 1983 in Girkonjárga/Kirkenes, Sápmi, living outside Tråante/Trondheim in the southern part of Sápmi with her family. Educated teacher, with a decade of experience from international and indigenous peoples’ cooperation in Girkonjárga, Tromsø, Brussels and North-West Russia, working with cooperation between indigenous peoples in the Barents Region. Burning heart for education, languages, culture and clean waters.
Marion Aslaksen Ravna
Is a Saami woman from Deatnu in Norway, in the northernmost part of Sápmi. She is currently studying law at the Arctic University of Norway – University of Tromsø. She has previously worked with Saami culture and politics, for example, through work for Saami festivals and through engagements at the Norwegian Saami Association. Among other things, she is passionate about indigenous languages, fishing, and indigenous governance and justice systems.
Arctic Indigenous Fund Manager
Karla Ann Lennie
Karla is of Dene and Metis decent and of settler Canadian Ancestry, orginally from Tųlı́t'ą, who grew up in Tłegǫ́hłı̨ (Norman Wells), Sahtú Region, NWT , CANADA.
As the Manager of the Arctic Indigenous Fund, Karla interacts with the advisors and supports their grant making. After pursuing her post-secondary in the south, Karla returned home to Tłegǫ́hłı̨ (Norman Wells) to raise her son, Leland, and to be closer to her family. She has a background in Early Childhood Development and previously worked for the government as a civil servant where she passionately advocated for northern communities and their people.
As an Indigenous woman who has grown up in the North, Karla is passionate and has a deep respect for northern communities and their people, in areas of education, health and in early childhood development.
Outside of work, Karla enjoys being outdoors, boating and watching her young son enjoy traditional Handgames.
AIF welcomes Karla as an emerging Indigneous leader in the philanthropic sector. Karla is excited to bring past work experience and enthusiasm to the AIF organization and team.