Nothing beats an Alaska summer. Having grown up here, I knew I had to experience it again.
Let me introduce myself. My name is Charles Anderson, but my friends call me Chas. I was born and raised in Anchorage and I just finished my second year at the University of Virginia where I double major in economics and English. You’re probably thinking, how does a kid who’s accustomed to sub-zero temperatures much of the year find himself quite literally across the country in hot and humid Charlottesville, Va.? For me, it boils down to a desire to broaden my horizons both academically and culturally.
Analogous to my desire to experience life outside my own state, what drew me to CIRI was my wish to learn more about how Alaska Native culture is integrated into CIRI’s business affairs.
In my youth, my Aleut heritage was reflected primarily through the stories of my grandfather, original CIRI shareholder and former CIRI Board member Charles “Chuck” Anderson. Reminiscences of his adolescence in Kodiak, Alaska, were always a delight to my young, impressionable ears, and they never failed to teach an important lesson, like the value of family, hard work and sharing what you have with others.
While I have been learning about Alaska Native culture my whole life, my CIRI internship has taught me so much already, like how CIRI makes use of its lands to provide for its shareholders and the people of Alaska. As an intern in the Land and Resources and Real Estate departments, I have already learned a great deal about what we choose to do with our land, and why our actions are so critical to the state of Alaska and the livelihoods of its people.
I can already say my time here has been a true pleasure and I am extremely grateful for the opportunity CIRI has afforded me. Wherever the future may take me, I know I will always feel at home with the CIRI family.