With an eye on the future, the residents of Chevak understand the importance of keeping their community clean. Led by Deborah Friday-Aguchak, Chevak’s residents routinely participate in recycling and cleanup programs. Deborah was born in Kotzebue and raised in Chevak. Her passion for the environment began as a Youth.
“When I was a little girl I was involved in the community clean up, we did that every year,” Deborah said.
As the environmental assistant at the Chevak Traditional Council, Deborah helps coordinate recycling and cleanup programs. The community is very active in recycling pop cans, plastic bottles and plastic shopping bags. She also helps the community apply for grants funding Chevak’s cleanup efforts. Grants allow the community to pay Youth to help with cleanup, which teaches local children good work ethic and the importance of a clean community.
“It’s important for Youth to be involved because they are going to be the ones responsible in the future when I’m an old person,” said Deborah.
Recently, Deborah was recognized for her commitment to the environment. At the Alaska Tribal Conference on Environmental Management she was awarded the Walter Porter Lifetime Achievement Award. She said the award is really for her community.
“I felt very honored, especially for Chevak,” Deborah said. “Chevak has done a lot together and I felt honored to be from Chevak and to receive it for my community.”
Deborah is always thinking about the future and through her work she will ensure a healthy future for her community, neighbors and generations to come.
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