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2005 Ecotrust Indigenous Leadership Award

Honoree: Robi Michelle Craig

Robi Michelle Craig
Robi Michelle Craig Download a hi-res image: right-click here and select Save As (1.0mb JPG)

The 2005 Ecotrust Indigenous Leadership Award honors Robi Michelle Craig as a finalist for her efforts to improve the cultural, social, environmental and economic conditions of the Sitka Tribe of Alaska. She is a member of the Kiks.adi Clan, Steel House of the Sitka Tribe of Alaska (Tlingit). Robi Craig demonstrates innovative leadership, dedication to duty, and sensitive treatment of traditional Native knowledge in her work with the Sitka Tribe of Alaska.

Robi Craig is currently the Deputy General Manager of the Sitka Tribe of Alaska. As a part of her job, she has secured grant project funding for the Tribe from a variety of sources including the National Park Service, University of Alaska, Bureau of Indian Affairs, US Forest Service, US Department of Justice, US Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Institute of Museum and Library Services, the State of Alaska, the Federal Aviation Agency and the Administration for Native Americans.

Robi Craig is presently working on the Sockeye Salmon Traditional Ecological Knowledge project. She is gathering knowledge from Elders on the traditional use of Sockeye Salmon for each river in the tribal territory. This information is a unique baseline for the tribal biologist to measure the health of these rivers and Sockeye populations.

From 1996 to 2001, Robi Craig served as the Tribal Anthropologist. She collaborated with Elders to complete the Tribe's Tlingit Geographic Place Names of the Tribe's traditional territory. It is a multimedia, GIS mapping project that audio-visually recounts the tribe's traditional territory and all the clan salmon streams, hunting areas, campsites and archeological sites in the Tlingit language.

Robi Craig also assisted the tribal plant harvesters and the Sitka Tribal Council during the creation of the Tribe's Kayaani (traditional plant use) Commission. In partnership with the U.S. Forest Service, the Kayaani Commission brought Natives from all over Alaska to Sitka for a gathering to share their traditional knowledge of plants and to help guide the management of public lands.

As part of contract work with numerous organizations, Robi Craig has worked on traditional ecological knowledge documentation for the US Forest Service, a necropsy database conversion for The Alaska Sea Otter and Stellar Sea Lion Commission and a Toxins in Alaskan Foods Database for the Native American Fish and Wildlife Service.

Through her job as Tribal Deputy General Manager, Robi Craig is presently working on additional funding to help develop local businesses, an artist's market and the Sitka Tribal Tannery. Robi Craig has a BA in Anthropology from the University of Alaska, Anchorage and lives in Sitka, Alaska.


2005 Honorees

W. Ron Allen

Robi Michelle Craig

Leaf Hillman

Chief Robert Pasco

Shawn Yanity


Astrid Scholz
tel: 503.467.0758
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Jason Pretty Boy
Indigenous Resilience Fellow
tel: 503.467.0803


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