Board Co-Chair; Berthoud, Colorado
Christine Celentano is a European American who has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Natural Resource Economics from Colorado State University. She moved to Alaska in 1993 and began her career working with gifted Alaska Native leaders and tribal members as they sought to protect and preserve the lands to which they were deeply connected. Christine spent fifteen years working with Tribes in the Chugach Region and statewide to address a variety of tribal environmental concerns, including pollution prevention, household hazardous materials and alternatives, contaminants in Alaska Native traditional foods, impacts of oil and gas operations in Cook inlet on traditional subsistence, facilitating tribal and federal government relations in these areas, and enhancing tribal capacity for local environmental management. She is currently working as an independent consultant on a variety of federal government initiatives to support capacity development for rural Alaskan communities. Christine followed the work of ACAT closely since its inception and joined the board in December 2007.
Board Member; Bethel, Alaska
Rosalie is a Tribal member with the Chefornak Traditional Council and the proud mother of five and grandmother of six. She is bilingual in Yu’pik and English.
Rosalie serves as the Environmental Program Manager for the Association of Village Council Presidents (AVCP), working on behalf of 56 Tribes, advocating and providing technical assistance with grants and workplans. She has also served with the Environmental Protection Agency’s Indian General Assistance Program (IGAP) from its early beginnings.
She represents 220 tribes on the National Tribal Air Association
and its Executive Committee. Rosalie is also the primary representative for NTAA’s Alaska Tribal Air Workgroup. She also serves on the Tribal Waste and Response Program of the Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals (ITEP).
Board Co-Chair & founding ACAT board member; Aleknagik, Alaska
Pauline is a Yup’ik grandmother who lives off the road system on a lake in Aleknagik (near Dillingham) in Southwest Alaska. As an advocate for her family’s concerns, she was instrumental in the effort to assess the impacts of mercury and fuel contamination from mining activities along the Wood River near her home and seek remediation of the site. She is retired, but continues to make beaded jewelry. She loves to pick berries, make jams and jellies, and put up fish. She has been a member of ACAT’s board since 1997.
Board Member; Savoonga, Alaska
Harriet is a bilingual Yupik grandmother born in 1932 in Savoonga on Sivuqaq (a/k/a St. Lawrence Island) in the Bering Sea. As an Elder in her village, she serves her people (and ACAT’s board) as a spiritual and cultural leader. She loves music and dancing, and taught herself to play the piano. She started playing piano for the Presbyterian Church in 1950; she is also a Sunday School teacher there. When her son passed away in 1989, Harriet taught herself to play the guitar by remembering the way he had played. She teaches children Eskimo dancing – and ACAT’s Executive Director, too. Harriet attends meetings of the Restoration Advisory Board for the abandoned military site at Northeast Cape, expressing her concerns about the health problems she saw as a community health aide, which are linked with military toxics. Harriet joined the board in February 2004.
Board Treasurer; Anchorage, Alaska
Jennifer Swift moved to Alaska over 30 years ago because she has a deep commitment to protecting future generations of all living beings.
She obtained a bachelor of science from the University of Alaska Fairbanks and dedicated considerable effort to various campaigns for the protection of lands, waters, wildlife, and people.
Due to mounting concerns about human health, particularly as related to the effects of environmental pollution, she returned to school and obtained a nursing degree, and later trained as a family nurse practitioner through the University of Maine. She works in public health and private practice and is dedicated to helping Alaskans have access to safe, nutritious, and traditional food sources and to minimizing harmful pollutants in our environment.
When time permits, she enjoys being in nature with her family.
Board Secretary; Port Graham, Alaska
Violet is Sugpiat (Aleut) from the small Alaska Native Village of Port Graham. She has more than thirty years of experience working with American Indian and Alaska Native peoples. Violet has worked with Tribes on such issues as environmental capacity building; strategic planning; and grants management, oversight, and accountability.
She has worked with Tribes in rural Alaskan communities in providing training and technical assistance in grants administration, program implementation, and fiscal management of federal, state, and private foundation grants.
Violet has a deep understanding of the challenges and dynamics of developing programs that will impact the people in their communities.
Her passion is working with Tribes in empowering their capacity to address their concerns about environmental impacts and climate change and enhancing their knowledge about issues they need to sustain their people and communities.
Violet loves to participate in traditional song and dance, listen to Elders speak in their languages and share their knowledge. She loves to fish, pick berries, and harvest food from the ocean as her ancestors practiced thousands of years ago.
Board Member; Anchorage, Alaska
Samantha is Gwich’in Athabascan and Kaagwaantaan Tlingit and a lifelong resident of Anchorage. After earning a degree in political science and interning with leaders in the Alaska Legislature, she joined ACAT’s staff for two years serving on policy and environmental justice issues. In 2017, she returned to school to become a registered nurse at Northern Arizona University. She currently works at Southcentral Foundation, which offers health and wellness services for Alaska Natives and American Indians, as a Lactation Consultant RN. Sam joined the board in January 2017.
Board Member; Anchorage, Alaska
Jasmine Jemewouk is Inupiaq and Cherokee from the village of Elim, Alaska. In 2016, she graduated from Mt. Edgecumbe High School and is currently a senior at the UAF College of Business and Security Management, general concentration with a minor in Rural Development. She interned with ACAT during 2015 and 2016 through the STEP-UP program of the American Indian Research & Education Center. Jasmine joined ACAT’s board in 2017. Her experienceincludes Student Assistant at the Alaska and Polar Regions Collections & Archives, Human Resources summer intern with Bering Straits Native Corporation, and Development Coordinator for the Native Village of Elim IRA. Jasmine will graduate from the University of Alaska Fairbanks in Spring 2023.