MARY Ciuniq PETE
• Arctic Policies
MARY Ciuniq PETE
Mary Ciuniq Pete came from humble beginnings in the small Bering Sea coastal village of Stebbins, learning subsistence life skills from her family, which she carried on throughout her life and through teaching others. Pete went on to earn both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in anthropology from the University of Alaska Fairbanks in 1984.
Pete was an outstanding role model by all who knew and worked with her. Appointed by Governor Tony Knowles as Director of the Subsistence Division of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. President Obama appointed Pete to the U.S. Arctic Research Commission twice. Her work helped positively shape subsistence and arctic policies far into the future.
Pete was tireless in advocating for women and children’s needs, especially those who were less fortunate. She was widely recognized for her work in this area, serving on the Statewide Council on Domestic Violence. She clearly valued education, and strongly advocated for her students to succeed, especially her Indigenous ones. She was the University of Alaska Fairbanks, Kuskokwim Campus Director in Bethel from 2005 until her death. Additionally, she would probably have said one of her greatest achievements was developing a bachelors’ degree program for the Yup’ik language.
There are countless people across Alaska who count Pete as their role model who promoted, mentored and advocated on their behalf. Her mentorship is evidenced via folks now in the media, educational, political and public advocacy arenas.
Many have said that Alaska is a kinder and better place because of her and her dedication to those things she worked so hard for and cared about with family always coming first in her life.
None could be prouder of Pete and her accomplishments than lifetime partner/husband, Hubert Angaiak and their teenage sons Conor and Chase.