Photos on the NativeVision website courtesy of Ed Cunicelli.
Damien Thompson, KaherokwakeronAkwesasne Mohawk Nation
Damien will be attending Paul Smith's College in Fall 2021, studying Environmental Science. Damien would like to become an environmental scientist, environmental engineer, or a conservationist for his people and community.
Since the 1980's, his tribe has done a lot of work to restore the environment after factories polluted their lands and waters, making people and animals sick. This is where his passion to study environmental science started.
Damien is a traditional singer and hunter. These traditions have helped him understand the importance of his peoples’ natural connection to our earth.
Kai Whitmore, Inupiaq Eskimo
Native Village of Noatak Tribe
Kai lives above the Artic Circle in Kotzebue, Alaska. His community has around 3,000 residents and you can only get there byairplane. Many rely on traditional foods like fish, caribou, moose, seal, and berries. Community involvement and learning his Inupiaq culture is very important to Kai. He loves to hunt, fish, boat and camp.
Kai will be attending Washington State University. His dream is to become a teacher and give back to his community. “Teaching is one of the most important jobs in the world”, says Kai. He wants to be a part of something that makes a difference beyond high school and college. As a teacher, he hopes to inspire and mentor his people and other Alaska Natives to follow their dreams.