BSNC descendant Esau Sinnok is helping get the word out on erosion caused by climate change. Originally from Shishmaref, Sinnok became involved in the Alaska Youth for Environmental Action (AYEA), a program that inspires and trains rural and urban youth leaders to impact environmental issues.
Since then, Sinnok has traveled around the world to advocate for his village and others threatened by climate change in western Alaska.He is currently a participant in the Sierra Club’s Fresh Tracks program. “Fresh Tracks” is a program that connects urban youth from Los Angeles with Alaska Native youth from remote villages. The program allows these students to share their cultural connections with the land, develop their leadership skills and witness the challenge presented by climate change.
Through the Sierra Student Coalition, Sinnok represented his community when he traveled to Paris, France for the COP21 United Nations climate change negotiations. At the conference, a global climate treaty was signed by 195 nations in an effort to prevent the worst effects of climate change. Sinnok continues his advocacy in his current role as an Arctic Youth Ambassador for the U.S. Chairmanship of the Arctic Council. Sinnok is currently studying Tribal Management at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and may continue with a Rural Development degree. He hopes to return to Shishmaref and run as a Tribal Council President or City Mayor. Sinnok was recognized as one of 10 Champions of Change for Climate Equity. The White House selected these individuals for their work empowering low-income and underserved communities to prepare for and adapt to climate change.