Barbara 'Wáahlaal Gíidaak Blake is from Prince of Wales Island and currently lives in Juneau. 'Wáahlaal Gíidaak is of Haida, Tlingit and Ahtna Athabascan descent and belongs to the Káat nay-st/Yahkw Jáanaas (Shark House/Middle Town People). She is the daughter of Sandra Demmert (Yahkw Jáanaas) and Kenneth Johnson (Naltsiina), and the granddaughter of Frances Demmert Peele (Yahkw Jáanaas), Franklin Demmert, Sr. (L’eeneidi), Irene Johnson (Naltsiina) Walter Johnson (Norwegian), and mother to two amazing kids.
She currently serves as the Director of the Alaska Native Policy Center with First Alaskans Institute, where she promotes the self-determination of Alaska Native peoples through strengthening opportunities for indigenous voices to be at the forefront of leading, solving, confronting, and advocating for Indigenous communities. She received her master’s degree from UAF in Rural Development focusing her thesis on Fisheries Development in Rural Alaska. She received her undergraduate degree(s) at the University of Alaska Fairbanks with a BA in Rural Economic Development and an AA in Tribal Management.
'Wáahlaal Gíidaakformerly served as Director of Native Relations and fish/game staffer for Governor Bill Walker and Lt. Governor Byron Mallott. She also served as Government Affairs Liaison for The Central Council Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska and tenure track Assistant Professor for the Department of Alaska Native Studies and Rural Development at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. In addition, Barbara has worked as the Technical Assistant Specialist for Intertribal Agriculture Council and Program Assistant in the Office of the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Office of Tribal Relations. She has spent two sessions working for the Alaska State Legislature, for the Speaker of the House Bryce Edgmon and Senator Albert Kookesh. She was also elected to the Sealaska board of directors. She is a member of the Woosh.ji.een Dancers, Xaadaas Dagwii Dancers, Alaska Native Sisterhood, Polynesian Voyage Society, and the Heinyaa Kwaan Dancers.
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