We are incredibly saddened by the passing of Caleb Pungowiyi, a longtime Alaska Native leader and Oceanaâ€™s Senior Advisor and Rural Liaison.
Originally from the St. Lawrence Island village of Savoonga, Calebâ€™s work was a critical part of Oceanaâ€™s accomplishments in Alaska. He was a passionate yet incredibly humble person who followed his beliefs and led by example. He cared deeply about protecting and nurturing the subsistence way of life and the environment that was his garden.
Calebâ€™s decision to work for Oceana was not easy, but once he learned more about Oceanaâ€™s work, he embraced us, helped guide us, opened many doors for us, and worked to break down mistrust of outside organizations.
Prior to joining Oceana, Caleb held many positions, including president of the Inuit Circumpolar Conference, an international organization that advocates for indigenous people of the North. We are very lucky that Caleb brought his experience and friendships in the Arctic to Oceana.