Keynote Speakers

Jaime A. Pinkham

Vice President, Native Nations

Jaime A. Pinkham is a citizen of the Nez Perce Tribe. He became Vice President of the Bush Foundation in St Paul, MN in 2009 leading their Native Nations program. His work involves partnering with the tribes across ND, SD and MN as they redesign their governing infrastructure.

He spent the previous two decade in the Pacific Northwest advocating for tribal sovereignty, self-determination and treaty rights. Just prior to joining the Foundation he directed the congressional affairs and regional coordination efforts for the Columbia River Intertribal Fish Commission, a coalition of four Columbia River treaty tribes. From 1990 to 2002 he worked for the Nez Perce Tribe where he was elected twice to the Nez Perce Tribe’s governing body successfully retaining the position of Treasurer as the tribe was launching into gaming. He also led the tribe’s natural resource programs where he was involved in salmon restoration, water rights negotiations, wolf recovery and land acquisition.

He has served on various tribal, conservation and educational boards. Currently, he serves on the Board of Trustees at Northland College (Ashland, WI), the Governing Council of The Wilderness Society, American Rivers Board of Directors, Alaska Region Advisory Committee for the Yukon River Intertribal Watershed Council, and the Leadership Council for the Federal Reserves’ Center for Indian Country Development. He is Chairman Emeritus for the American Indian Science and Engineering Society and Past President of the Intertribal Timber Council. He is also a former member of the Advisory Council for the Udall Center’s Native Nations Institute for Leadership, Management and Policy at the University of Arizona.

He is married to Tija Karklis (a dual US-Latvian citizen) who he met in 2004 when she was an intern for the Yukon River Intertribal Watershed Council.


Jerry Isaac

Alaska Federation of Natives Co-Chair


“I have a vision that the next generation will speak their language, know their ceremonies and teach their children and elders to be at peace and in love with one another.”

Jerry Isaac is Athabascan from Tanacross, Alaska. Jerry was raised traditionally by his family, who taught him the essentials of Athabascan culture and language. He is fluent in the Tanacross Athabascan language and is a strong supported and advocate of cultural preservation. Jerry has been very active in Tanacross tribal and community affairs, serving as the President of the Tanacross Tribal Council from 1980 until he was elected as TCC President from 2006 until 2014. Jerry then became CEO of Copper River Native Association, where he oversaw a number of new projects in CRNA's social and health services delivery. He currently serves as AFN Co-Chair and he also advocates for Alaska Native tribes and individual Indians in his capacity as the Alaska Area Vice President for the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI).


Co-Management in Alaska Today

Patty Schwalenberg


Patty is the Executive Director of the Chugach Regional Resources Commission, a nonprofit inter-Tribal fish and wildlife organization based in Anchorage, Alaska, serving the seven member Tribes in the Chugach Region. Patty has worked for CRRC for the past 20 years, and has worked in the field of Tribal natural resources since 1982. She is an enrolled member of the Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin and her educational background is in Applied Anthropology focusing on community based research and local community economy development.


Tim Andrew

Tim Andrew has worked for AVCP for the past 15 years, with strong affiliation with local, regional and state-wide Alaska Native organizations surrounding concerns to subsistence resource protection and sustainability, and an extensive working relationship with state and federal agencies in Alaska. He has provided testimony on behalf of AVCP at various statewide meetings to address regulatory and policy changes relating to fish and wildlife issues that impact rural communities.

His has worked with the Federal Subsistence Board, the Alaska Board of Fisheries, the Alaska Board of Game, the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta Regional Advisory Council, the Lower Kuskokwim Fish & Game Advisory Committee, the Lower Yukon Fish & Game Advisory Committee, and the Central Kuskokwim Fish & Game Advisory Committee. He had served as the Vice President of Finance for AVCP. He also provided technical and administrative support to villages during his tenure as Tribal Services Director. Timothy Andrew has a Bachelor of Arts in Business


Joni Bryant

The youngest of three daughters, born in Seward Alaska, to John Ledet and Judith Blatchford. Joni is of Inupiat Eskimo, German and English decent. Influenced by a strong minded, hardworking single mother, who by way of example instilled a deep appreciation by showing the importance of honoring Elders and being active in creating lasting memories with loved ones and making connections through a special unbreakable bond. That code of conduct included daily involvement with Joni’s Grandparents, the late Eugene Blatchford of Teller and the late Mabel Lena Joule of Point Lay, in Northern Alaska.

The couple shared their culture and traditions and taught the true value of hard work, as well as integrity and the confidence to never give up on being the person God intended. All together providing an unconditional, fun, loving environment and so grew a healthy love and respect for the land and sea as well as a strong sense of identity.

In late December of 2004 Joni was hired as Harvest Data Assessment Coordinator with the Alaska Native Harbor Seal Commission. Listening and learning from some of Alaska’s most instrumental Alaska Native leaders in the Marine Mammal Co-management regime. Mentored by wise leadership from each of the six regions throughout the Alaska harbor seal range, Ms. Bryant welcomed a life changing journey that begun a fulfilling career, where she continued to meet with and make friends with many Alaska Native Seal Hunters, Alaska Native Households, Artisans, and Local Research Assistants.

Ms. Bryant believes she has been guided by her ancestors, which ignites an instinct deep within her. Integrating Alaskan Indigenous values, hunting practices, and traditions, she is graciously learning about the proper use and respectful hunt of the honored seal, non-wasteful take, and Section 101b of the MMPA of 1972.

Joni’s natural thirst for knowledge and can do attitude, along with her love of Alaska, provided a great foundation for the young mother to thrive in the challenge of the work. At age thirty six Joni was appointed Executive Director and CEO of the ANHSC, honored to be following in the footsteps of her dear friend and Mentor Monica Riedel, and guided by the ANHSC leadership, Elders, Advisors, Hunters, and colleges.

Joni’s adventurous spirit and her profession send her exploring Alaska and builds the capacity to identify specific terrain for specific harvesting all this land and sea offers and believes the food hunted and gathered is a household staple. Each time thankful for Mother Earth’s bounty and what blessing it is to live in such an amazing and abundant place as Alaska!

Ms. Bryant finds peace in making sure others are well cared for. She really enjoys preparing delicious food for her loved ones and even a stranger or two. She makes sure that each bite comes with a hearty helping of love. Joni believes that showing simple gestures of kindness and to others by offering a kind smile, a happy hello, an ear to listen or honest opinion. Feeling blessed with a strong loving family, a few close friends, lots of laughter and a joyful heart.

Joni loves the challenge of finding all that Alaska’s bounty has to offer, and believes that everything we’ve ever needed is all right here, provided for us if we choose to use it. Endless natural medicines, every food group all within our reach, throughout Alaska, and so continues the tradition of respecting the land and sea and carrying on her traditional subsistence activities, just as her mother has shown her does, as her mother did before her grandmother did before her…and just as they always have….


Mary Collingan

Throughout her career, Mary Colligan has worked with a variety of stakeholders including local watershed councils, industries, state agencies, tribal partners and international organizations to further Atlantic salmon conservation and management. Most recently Mary served as president of the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization (NASCO) from 2010-2014, following working as staff to the U.S. Commissioners to NASCO. An international organization established by an inter-governmental Convention in 1984, NASCO’s objective is to conserve, restore, enhance and rationally manage Atlantic salmon through international cooperation taking into account the best available scientific information. Members of NASCO include the United States, Canada, Norway, the European Union, the Russian Federation and Denmark (in respect of the Faroe Islands and Greenland).


James Fall

Iim Fall has worked for over 30 years for the Division of Subsistence of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, first as the Program Manager for southern Alaska and most recently as the statewide Research Director. He holds a BA from the University of Pennsylvania and an MA and PhD in cultural anthropology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Jim has authored or co-authored dozens of reports for the division’s Technical Paper Series and has presented and helped apply research findings in a variety of resource management settings, including the Alaska Board of Fisheries, the Alaska Board of Game, the Federal Subsistence Board, the North Pacific Fishery Management Council, the International Pacific Halibut Commission, the Alaska Migratory Bird Co-Management Council, and several marine mammal co-management bodies. In addition to his work for the Division of Subsistence, Jim has taught anthropology at the University of Alaska Anchorage. He is the co-author of Shem Pete’s Alaska: The Territory of the Upper Cook Inlet Dena’ina (a Dena’ina ethnogeography) and was co-curator of Dena’inaq’ Huch’ulyeshi: The Dena’ina Way of Living, a major exhibition at the Anchorage Museum in 2014 about the history and culture of the Dena’ina Athabascans of Southcentral Alaska.


Lianna Jack