Joni Spiess

Community Engagement Coordinator

Megan Onders bio photo

Joni Kitmiiq Spiess is from Nome, Alaska, and is of Iñupiaq heritage. She practices and advocates for subsistence, and honors her ancestral traditions by keeping connections with people and the land.

As a long time educator in Alaska, Joni responded to the need for students to have access to literature that represents their culture and identity. She is the author of two books, “Alaska Native Games and How to Play Them” and “Mittens and Mukluks,” as well as various state and national curriculum publications.

Most recently, Joni worked as an Archivist for Inuit Circumpolar Council. She also does contract work for the Arctic Research Consortium of the United States and is an elected member of the Anchorage Advisory Committee for the Board of Game. Joni will work to ensure the inclusion of Indigenous Knowledge in her role at AOOS.