Haliehana Alaĝum Ayagaa Stepetin

Years active


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Ted Stevens Center

About Artist

Haliehana Alaĝum Ayagaa Stepetin is Unangax̂ and was born and raised in the village of Akutan in Unangam Tanangin [the Aleutian Islands of Alaska]. 

Her scholarly research theorizes Unangax̂ subsistence cosmologies rooted and routed from her upbringing immersed in sustainable processes and Protocols that govern life in her Unangam Tanangin homelands. Her dissertation titled, “Unangam Qaqamiiĝuu [Unangax̂ Subsistence] Cosmologies: Protocols of Sustainability, or Ways of Being Unangax̂,” connects environmental justice, Indigenous food sovereignty, and climate change research from a hyper-local Unangax̂ context with, by, and for Unangax̂ and Arctic Indigenous communities. 

Her work intersects fields of Native American and Indigenous studies building from participation in transmissions of oral histories and cultural knowledges while braiding together interdisciplinary research experiences in critical race theory, Native literature, and performance. Upholding kinship accountabilities, she  seeks to foster sustainable futures that center reciprocity and stewardship from the subsistence cosmology she was raised within. Dr. Stepetin is an artist, scholar, and activist. 

Her passions include performing, choreographing, and composing Unangax̂ dance, and creating multimedia place-based art, such as Unangax̂ basketry. Dr. Stepetin is currently an Assistant Professor at the Ted Stevens Center for Arctic Security Studies where she applies her doctoral research to reach Arctic audiences and decision makers.

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