2022 Keynote Speakers


Dr. Heather Sauyaq Jean Gordon

Dr. Gordon is a research scientist II in the Youth Development program at Child Trends. She was born and raised in Homer, AK on the beautiful Kachemak Bay. She is Iñupiaq and an enrolled tribal member of the Nome Eskimo Community, a federally recognized Tribe. Heather has a B.A. in Race and Ethnic Studies (University of Redlands, CA), a M.S. in Sociology (University of Wisconsin-Madison), and a PhD in Indigenous Studies (University of Alaska Fairbanks). She conducted her master’s research in Greenland in partnership with Inuit Greenlanders and conducted her doctoral work in Alaska in partnership with the Ninilchik Village Tribe. Prior to coming to Child Trends Dr. Gordon worked for the Administration for Native Americans Division of Program Evaluation and Planning in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services where she also served as a subject matter expert on working with Indigenous people working with the Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee (IARPC) on drafting the Arctic Research Plan (ARP) 2022-2026 and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy on documents and work around Indigenous Knowledge. Dr. Gordon’s research experience includes participatory work with Indigenous youth, families, and Elders around colonization and historical trauma, culture as a protective factor, futures research, Indigenous self-determination, sustainability, health, and wellbeing, missing and murdered Indigenous people, social inequality and stratification, and restorative justice. She advocates for research with Indigneous Peoples to be asset-based and involve co-production, respect of Indigneous sovereignty and self-determination, privileging Indigenous Knowledge, and engaging in free prior and informed consent. For her publications please go to: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Heather-Gordon/research

Title of her keynote address: Addressing Colonization and Historical Trauma in Research: Taking an Anti-Racist and Decolonizing Approach

Dr. P. Joshua Griffin

Dr. P. Joshua Griffin is an assistant professor at the University of Washington, jointly appointed in American Indian Studies and the School of Marine and Environmental Affairs. He is a scholar of settler descent specializing in Indigenous studies, critical environmental anthropology, climate change, environmental justice, and political ecology. Dr. Griffin is facilitator of the Engaged Ethnography Lab (ee-lab.org) and PI on several community-engaged projects focused on scientific co-production, climate adaptation, and health and wellbeing in Northwest Alaska. He holds a PhD in Sociocultural Anthropology from the University of Washington and an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School.

Title of his keynote address: Polar Science at a Human Scale: Engaged Ethnography and Sea Ice Praxis in Kivalina, Alaska

This talk describes a two-year, ongoing collaboration between Kivalina Search and Rescue, the City of Kivalina, and the Polar Science community at the University of Washington. Coordinated and co-directed by Dr. P. Joshua Griffin, this project uses engaged ethnographic methods to co-produce sea ice science, land-based curriculum, and strategic planning to support resilience, food sovereignty, and collective continuance among local institutions.