The Elakha Alliance received funding from the Siletz Tribal Community Foundation and the Spirit Mountain Community Fund to support two summer internships for tribal youth in the state of Oregon. This is a very exciting opportunity for learning and growth within the younger tribal members regarding elakhas’ (sea otters’) deeply rooted cultural ties to Oregon.
The two tribal students will use the 10-week summer internship to create a traveling cultural display, highlighting the cultural significance of Oregon’s sea otters. The display is intended to educate the public and travel up and down the coastline to various cultural centers, museums, and marine science centers in Fall 2022.
Kaitlynn Spino, University of Oregon
Hello! My name is Kaitlynn Spino, and I am a descendant of the Yakama Nation. I am from Klickitat, WA, which is nestled in the Columbia River Gorge. I am a third-year student at the University of Oregon. I am currently majoring in Marine Biology and Native American Studies. Being an Elakha Alliance Tribal Youth Intern is a phenomenal opportunity. Being able to combine marine science, law & policy, and tribal perspective into an organization is exactly what I want to do once I graduate from college. I hope to work for different tribal governments regarding fisheries, with a focus on salmon specifically. Being able to partake in the work of the reintroducing of sea otters or Elakha along the Oregon Coast is incredible to think about. To make sure my future kids and grandkids can see and exist together with sea otters along the Oregon coastline pushed me to get involved in this internship.
Greyson Gomez, University of Oregon
I am Greyson Gomez, A Native student from the Mississippi Band of Choctaw. I am going into my senior year at the University of Oregon with a major in Product Design and a minor in Sports Business. The Elakha Alliance team is something I am so grateful to be a part of this Summer. The Elakha Alliance is important to me because of the founding vision of our people thriving alongside the keystone species of the sea otter years from now. I am thankful to be given the opportunity to use my creative toolbox to showcase and emphasize just how important Elakha are to the Oregon coast!