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Vera "Kingeekuk" Metcalf
Vera Kingeekuk Metcalf (Qiwaaghmi clan) was born to Theodore and May Kingeekuk in Savoonga on St. Lawrence Island Alaska, and grew up living a traditional subsistence lifestyle. Vera attended high school in Nome, Alaska and in 1999 earned a bachelor’s degree in rural development from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. She and her husband, Bob, moved to Nome in 1979 where she has worked a variety of jobs including as a teacher’s aide, as a translator of her native St. Lawrence Island Yupik language, doing cultural documentation work with the Eskimo Heritage Program, and since 2002 has been the director of the Eskimo Walrus Commission at Kawerak, Inc. In this role, she promotes community involvement in research, documentation of local traditional ecological knowledge, and co-management of the Pacific walrus population. She also is a Commissioner on the U.S. Arctic Research Commission, an Advisory Panel member of the North Pacific Research Board, a Steering Committee member for the Alaska Center for Climate Assessment and Policy, Special Advisor on Native Affairs for the Marine Mammal Commission, and a member of the Inuit Circumpolar Council Executive Committee. Vera is a strong advocate for the subsistence lifestyles of Alaska Native peoples, and passionate about strengthening Alaska Native languages and cultures. For more about Vera Metcalf, see her profile in the Alaska Women’s Hall of Fame.