Each time I visit Alaska, I feel as if I am putting pieces of a puzzle together. This summer is no different.
My name is Mahalia Hunt and I hail from the Sargents of Kodiak, Alaska. My grandmother, Nancy Hunt, is an original CIRI shareholder as well as a shareholder of Koniag Inc.
My family left Alaska when I was a child, so for most of my life, I didn’t know what it meant to be a shareholder or descendant of an Alaska Native regional corporation. My father, CIRI shareholder Ron Hunt, never let me forget what it means to be an Alaska Native person, however. His own love of culture is often revealed in quirky ways – a car vanity plate that reads “ALUTIQ” and a well-loved CIRI Pendleton blanket are two examples. A wealth of information about Alaska Native issues and politics, my father is the one who encouraged me to apply for the CIRI summer internship.
I was fortunate to land a spot in CIRI’s Human Relations department working on shareholder and descendant programs. Only a few weeks into my internship, I’ve already launched a social media campaign (#TraditionalTuesday), planned and executed cultural events and helped coordinate philanthropic opportunities. I’ve picked up some useful skills along the way, such as learning graphic design programs and trying my hand at videography.
I’m entering my junior year at Stanford University, majoring in anthropology and art history. My academic interests include media/digital anthropology, which explores how media and technology impact our society and culture. It’s an interest that perfectly aligns with my CIRI internship.
I am a planner, always wanting to make sure everything is going to happen the way I foresee it happening. As I get older, I realize you can’t force the stars to align. What I do know is that no matter where I go or what I do, CIRI will help me along the way.