Ellen Bradley Brings Indigenous Perspective to Climate Science, Outdoor Industry
Monday, April 18, 2022

Ellen Bradley is at home in the rainforest and snow-covered peaks of Lingít Aaní — literally. A skier, scientist and passionate Indigenous advocate fighting both colonialism and climate change in the outdoor industry, Bradley returned to her ancestral homeland to ski for the first time this winter, deepening her connection with the land and her Indigenous identity through time spent in the backcountry.

“As a Tlingit woman who grew up separated from my traditional homelands, I developed my relationship with the lands and relatives I have lived apart from through skiing,” said Bradley. “Skiing has allowed me to connect with my Indigenous identity as the activity that forced me to spend intentional time connecting with the land and all of my relations in the places I have lived. This time with the land taught me countless lessons about our duties as integral members of the biogeochemical processes that touch all things with a spirit and make our world a hospitable place for all of our relations.”

Bradley’s work as a biologist and environmental scientist as well as her perspective as a skier and outdoorswoman is shaped by her Tlingit heritage and Indigenous insight. With a career focused on centering traditional ecological knowledge, she hopes to carry forward the work of her ancestors—the original scientists and stewards of the land—increasing human understanding of climate change and how to best restore balance to a changing planet. As a research assistant at Woodwell Climate Research Center, she is assisting with the development of a model to predict the impact of climate change on Arctic carbon emissions. The model will help Northern communities, including Indigenous communities in Alaska, make land and climate policy and analyze risk.

Connecting with the land of her traditional home is a vital part of her journey of healing and discovery, Bradley said. She found the time spent on her ancestral homeland this winter sacred and inspiring, a true homecoming experience:

“Returning to Lingít Aaní to ski in my traditional homelands felt like one of the most grounding experiences I have had while spending time with the land,” said Bradley. “One of my hopes for this homecoming was to face, head on, some of the intergenerational trauma I carry, traumas that are especially triggered within the outdoor industry and its romanticization of Lingít Aaní, and exploitative, colonial tendencies. I simultaneously felt the pain and seeds of healing while walking through old growth and finally putting to words the ways I had been feeling while speaking with old and new moss friends. All of the emotions I experienced on this initial return fit into the idea of ‘Indigenous joy’ on the land, from the unimaginable happiness and sense of belonging to the pain and tears.”

Bradley is of the Raven moiety, L’eeneidí clan (Raven/Dog Salmon) of Juneau and was raised in and currently lives on Duwamish, Snohomish, Tulalip, Stillaguamish and Coast Salish land. In addition to her work as a biologist and environmental scientist, she is an outdoor athlete for NativesOutdoors, Protect Our Winters and Deuter.

Latest News

Sealaska Announces Spring Distribution of $19.2 Million

Posted 4/12/2024
As part of Sealaska’s continued investment in our communities and region, a spring 2024 distribution totaling $19.2 million will be issued to shareholders on Thursday, April 18. Sealaska’s board of directors approved the distribution at a meeting held in Juneau on Friday, April 12. The upcoming distribution includes dividends totaling $4.5 million from Sealaska’s ocean-health business platform, $3.1 million from the Marjorie V. Young (MVY) Shareholder Permanent Fund and an additional $11.6 milli...

Sealaska Spring 2024 Distribution Date Announced

Posted 3/19/2024
The Sealaska Board of Directors will meet on Friday, April 12, 2024, to approve the amount for Sealaska’s 2024 spring distribution. The distribution will take place on Thursday, April 18.  Shareholders can prepare for a seamless distribution by completing any enrollment or stock transfer paperwork, including gifting or inheritance, by Friday, April 12 at 4 p.m. The last day to make changes to addresses or direct deposit information is Monday, April 15, , before close of business, or online via M...

Sealaska announces Desiree Jackson to serve as Vice President of Administration and Outreach

Posted 3/6/2024
Jackson’s goals, experience are aligned with Sealaska’s vision for shareholders, communities and the region’s collective future. A focus on strategy, values and excellence has led Desiree Anax x’aséigu yé Jackson to her new role as Sealaska’s Vice President of Administration and Outreach. Jackson has served as the executive director of...

First Quarter Board Q&A provides shareholders an opportunity to connect with their board

Posted 3/4/2024
Members of Sealaska’s board of directors had an opportunity to connect with shareholders and answer questions during the Feb. 29 board Q&A session hosted on MySealaska. Directors Barbara Cadiente Nelson, Ka’illjuus Lisa Lang joined Executive Chair Joe Nelson and Board Youth Advisor Deikeenaak’w  Connor Ulmer in providing an update following January’s board meeting and shared upcoming opportunities and associated deadlines with participants. Sealaska’s language grant application period i...

Virtual Shareholder Orientation offers connection, information for original and new shareholders alike

Posted 2/26/2024
Sealaska’s Shareholder Relations team hosted a virtual shareholder orientation on Tuesday, Feb. 20 for an audience of nearly 170 shareholders from far and wide. This event offered both new and long-term shareholders a chance to learn more about the benefits and responsibilities of being a shareholder and answer questions about specific Shareholder Relations policies, procedures and protocol.   Shareholder Relations Manager Jodie Gatti, who joined the Sealaska team in November, was joined by...