The economic base in the Calista Region is very limited. Commercial fishing, construction, trapping and arts have provided residents with some earnings but unemployment in the Region still remains high. Because of sparse employment opportunities, many families do not have the income to pay for their children’s college or vocational school education. This creates a hindrance for many students who are academically fit to further their education or career goals.

The U.S. Census Bureau recently reported Yup’ik, with approximately 19,000 speakers, is the second most commonly spoken native language in the U.S. Only five percent of Alaska Native and American Indians speak a Native language with 65 percent of native speakers living in Alaska, Arizona or New Mexico. Language is an important part of culture and preserving our culture is critical to keeping our communities healthy and vibrant. The Calista Elders Council was formed to help protect and preserve our Yup’ik, Cup’ik and Athabascan cultures. It is our traditions, our heritage, our customs and our cultures that define us as a people, helping us to grow and be successful in our personal and community lives.

Anguyagtem naaqistai, apqiitnek U.S. Census Bureau-t qanertut Yugtun-gguq qantulit maa-i yuinaunrita’ar tiissitsaat cipluku amllertariniluki. Alaska-m nutem yuini Ingqilini-llu Yugtun qantulit amlleqrita kinguqlirraqaa. Alaskam nutem yuini Ingqilini-llu kiingan five percent-aat maa-i nutemllaq qaneryarateng atularaat. Cali-ll’ nutum qantulini taukuni sixty-five percent-ait nutem qantulit Alaska-mi, Arzona-mi New Mexico-mi-llu uitatuluteng. Qaneryaput arcaqalriaruuq man’a-llu yuucimta piciryaramta-llu tamanritlerkaa arcaqalriaruuq nunamta assirluki eglertellerkaat pitekluku. Calista Elders Council-aaq calillgutekluku Calista Heritage Foundation-aaq piurtellruuq qaunqellerkaa maryartellerkaa, tamavkanritengnaqlerkaa-llu pitekluku Yupiit/Cupiit/Ingqiliit-llu yuuyaraat, piciryaraat, qaneryaraat-llu. Yuuyaraput piciryaraput-llu wangkuta arcaqalriaruuq wangkuta pikngamteggu ikayuutnguciqngan-llu wangkutnun yuungnaqlemteni uitanqegciluta piluaqerluta-llu.

Our Languages
 

Our People of the Calista region of Alaska will live and share our Yuuyaraq traditional way of being, value education, provide for our families, contribute to the well-being of our communities and set a good example for future generations.

our vision:

The economic base in the Calista Region is very limited. Commercial fishing, construction, trapping and arts have provided residents with some earnings but unemployment in the Region still remains high. Because of sparse employment opportunities, many families do not have the income to pay for their children’s college or vocational school education. This creates a hindrance for many students who are academically fit to further their education or career goals.

    Respect                      Share                Teach and Study                    Awareness                    Family/Community    Being Helpful and Supportive

Qigcikiyaraq      Tuvqakiyaraq      Elitnauryaraq     Ellangqerrluni Yuuyaraq      Ilakuyucarak              Ikayurtaryaraq

NICK ANDREW, SR.


ANDREW GUY

Secretary


JOHNNIE EVAN

Chairman

Our Team

KAYLA WHITE

Administrative Assistant

ANNIE PAVILLA

​Culture Camp

Administrative Asst. III

VACANT

Take Wing "Tengluni"

Project Director

The Yup’ik, Cup’ik and Athabascan cultures of the Calista Region are the most preserved in Alaska. The majority of the residents within the Region still speak their traditional languages, and most still practice a subsistence lifestyle; their culture is a primary characteristic of their economy. It is also a cherished way of life, vital to the survival of Alaska Native cultures.

The economic base in the Calista Region is very limited. Commercial fishing, construction, trapping and arts have provided residents with some earnings but unemployment in the Region still remains high. Because of sparse employment opportunities, many families do not have the income to pay for their children’s college or vocational school education. This creates a hindrance for many students who are academically fit to further their education or career goals.

ANN FIENUP-RIORDAN

Anthropologist

MARK JOHN

Cultural Advisor

NICOLE BASKI

Program Manager

BRENDA PACARRO


MOSES WHITE, SR.

Vice Chairman

Our Board of Directors

Who We Are

“We call ourselves Yupiit, “Real People.”  In our language yuk means “person” or “human being.”  Then we add pik, meaning “real” or “genuine.”  We are the real people.”

-Paul John, Calista Elder

The Calista Education and Culture, Inc. (“CECI”; formally Calista Heritage Foundation, Inc.) was established in 1980 as an Alaska Native owned non-profit corporation, recognized by IRS as a Section 501(c)(3) charitable organization providing educational scholarships to Calista Corporation (“Calista”) shareholders and descendants.  The CECI Board of Directors includes seven board members, three of which are Elders of the Calista Region.  CECI provides educational and vocational scholarships, conducts cultural summer camps, provides burial assistance, and engages in various fundraising activities.  Since its inception, CECI has paid in excess of $4 million in scholarships to its shareholders and descendants. 

In 2014, after a 20 year history of interacting and working together, the Calista Elders Council, Inc. merged with the former Calista Heritage Foundation to form what is now Calista Education and Culture, Inc.  The Calista Elders Council was established in 1991 as a non-profit organization representing 1,300 Yup’ik traditional bearers of the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta in Southwest Alaska.  Today, CECI remains the major research organization in the Calista Region and has been very active in documenting traditional knowledge of the Yup’ik people. 

Organization

REA M BAVILLA

President/CEO

FLORA PAUKAN

CHARLEEN BERLIN

Culture Camp

Administrative Asst. III

OLIVIA AGNES

Assistant Project Manager

PUYUK JOULE

Mentorship Director

Calista (pronounced Cha-lis-ta) is the second largest Native Regional Corporation in Alaska. In the Yup'ik Eskimo language, the name “Calista” translates to “Cali” which means work and “ista” which means someone or something which does. Calista Corporation’s land entitlement is approximately 6.5 million acres in Southwestern Alaska, in the Yukon-Kuskokwim River Delta and the Kuskokwim Mountains physiographic regions. Nearly 5 million acres of the total entitlement is now conveyed to Calista and its 56 villages.

Our Culture
 

Economy

The Calista Region is located in Southwest Alaska in the Yukon Kuskokwim Delta. Calista’s 29,000 Shareholders are of Cup’ik, Yup’ik and Athabascan descent.


Many Shareholders still speak their traditional languages and practice a year-round subsistence lifestyle of hunting, fishing and trapping. The subsistence way of life represents not only a means of making a living, but also a cherished way of life vital to the survival of the Alaska Native cultures.

Region

our core values:

EARL SAMUELSON, SR.

Treasurer


ALICE REARDEN

Transcriber/Translator

RACHEL NICHOLAI

Yuuyaraq Instructor

Calista Corporation

DALE SMITH

Culture Camp

Project Director

MARVA WEEDEN

Administrative Asst. III