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April 23, 2015

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – First Alaskans Institute (FAI), a statewide Native non-profit, is excited to announce the hiring of Andrea Akalleq Sanders (Yup’ik) for the Alaska Native Policy Center Director position. Andrea was born and raised in Bethel, Alaska.

“The work of our Alaska Native Policy Center is focused on elevating the voice, knowledge, and equity of Alaska Native peoples on the issues that shape our lives, cultures, and communities,” said Liz Medicine Crow, President/CEO. “Andrea’s connection to who she is along with her intimate knowledge of the work of FAI, understanding of statewide issues, and federal policy experience have prepared her to role up her sleeves and get to work alongside our team in service to our community.”

Andrea’s maternal grandparents are Katie Cleveland and the late Ham Cleveland Sr., both originally from Eek, later raising their family in Quinhagak along the Qanirtuuq River.  Her parents are Stella Cleveland and Brian Sanders. She received her Bachelors of Arts degree in government from Georgetown University, and most recently worked for Senator Mark Begich in Washington DC, as his legislative assistant for the Senate Indian Affairs Committee and lead for telecommunication issues in the Senate Commerce Committee.

“Coming home to Alaska and to FAI means so incredibly much to me,” said Andrea, “It is an honor to continue working on policy issues for our peoples on a statewide level.” As Director, Andrea will be part of the leadership team and help develop and connect policy ideas with people, integrate indigenous ways of knowing into policy making, and help advance issues impacting Alaska Natives and all Alaskans to build a strong and vibrant foundation for future generations.


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 About First Alaskans Institute

First Alaskans Institute works to advance Alaska Native peoples through community engagement, information and research, and leadership development.

Our Vision:     Progress for the next ten thousand years…

Our Mission:   True to identity, heritage, and values, Alaska Natives are informed and engaged in leading the decisions that shape the future.

Our Values:    Integrity, Respect, Native Knowledge, Responsibility

To learn more about First Alaskans Institute, visit www.firstalaskans.org.