A network tailored for Arctic youth

Learn about how our network is growing in the Arctic and around the world.

View our overview report


The vision of the Arctic Youth Network is an inclusive world where aspiring leaders have equitable access to resources to advance change in their own way on Arctic issues.


The Arctic Youth Network provides a platform that connects young change-makers from different backgrounds and enables them to build their leadership capacity. The AYN amplifies youth voices to address Arctic issues through learning, collaboration, and action.

YOUTH HAVE ONE SHOT and we are taking action

Video courtesy of the Arctic Youth Summit


Learn about our Board of Directors​

Sam Schimmel
Sam SchimmelCo-Chair
Read about Sam
Sam is Siberian Yupik Eskimo and Kenaitze Indian from Kenai, Alaska. He is an avid
subsistence hunter and fisherman concerned with the impacts climate change has on
rural Alaskan communities. He has served as an Arctic Youth Ambassador, Center for
Native American Youth Advisory Board Member, and previously sat on Alaska Governor
Bill Walker’s Climate Action Leadership Team. In 2020, he was awarded the Youth
Environmental Excellence Award at the Tribal Environmental Leaders Summit. He is a
student of Earth Systems and Public Policy at Stanford University.
Alexandra Ponomareva
Alexandra PonomarevaCo-Chair
Read about Alexandra
Alexandra is Yakut and studied Arctic Studies at University of
Versailles-Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, France. She currently works at the
North-Eastern Federal University as Head of the Arctic Cooperation Department. As
Director of Russian Information Center of University of the Arctic, Alexandra also coordinates educational programs and activities of thematic networks of the University of the Arctic in the northeastern regions of the Russian Federation. Alexandra is a specialist at the Northern Forum international organization of northern regions. In her work she organizes the activities, coordinates projects of the Northern Forum in accordance with the goals and objectives of the organization, and supervises the youth wing of the Northern Forum.
Harmony Wayner
Harmony WaynerVice-Chair
Read about Harmony
Harmony is a tribal member of Naknek Native Village, a commercial fisher in the Bristol Bay
salmon fleet, and a marine scientist focused on sustainable rural food systems to promote indigenous values and well-being in Alaskan villages. She worked at sea with NOAA on their Arctic Integrated Ecosystem Survey in 2017 and was an indigenous co-author to the AMAP report under publication on societal implications of climate change. Harmony currently lives in Ísafjörður, Iceland, and is a graduate student in the Coastal and Marine Management program at the University Centre of the Westfjords. Upon graduation in Spring 2022, she
plans to move back to Alaska and serve her home region at he intersection of Indigenous
and western fisheries sciences. In her free time, she enjoys preparing traditional foods like smoked fish with her family and finds bliss in the berry-covered mountainsides of Iceland or Alaska.
Danielle Wendehorst
Danielle WendehorstSecretary
Read about Danielle
Danielle is a 24 year-old who grew up in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada. She is a
registered nurse and is passionate about northern healthcare. Danielle is involved in various community organizations with a major focus on empowering youth. She is passionate about supporting youth so they can pursue their passions and dreams and is excited to learn and work with other members.
Sadie Blancaflor
Sadie BlancaflorTreasurer
Read about Sadie
Mercedes “Sadie” Blancaflor studies political anthropology at Stanford University, and
will be an incoming Masters Candidate in Arctic and Northern Studies at University of Alaska Fairbanks this fall. Sadie’s research and advocacy tackles the intersection
between climate displacement and solutions to the partisan divide on climate, particularly as those topics relate to rural Alaska. She served as co-chair of Power Shift Network and in an official advisory role to Earth Echo International, and
previously as the National Reinvestment Chair for the College Climate Coalition.
Brayden Sonny White
Brayden Sonny White
Read about Brayden
She:kon. Brayden is of the Bear Clan of the Kaniehkeha:ka/Mohawk Nation and lives on the
Akwesasne Mohawk Territory. He has had the honor of serving several organizations. In the
University field, he served as a Student Government President as well as Budget Director. In
other fields, he has been a White House Tribal Nations Conference Presidential Panelist,
where he sat on a panel with President of the United States, Barack Obama, and had a
discussion on bridging the gap for Indigenous youth pursuing higher education as well as
having a discussion around destigmatizing the talk around mental health. He has has sat on
numerous boards and executive committees geared towards serving Indigenous youth and
connecting them with opportunities.
Anna-Katri Kulmala
Anna-Katri Kulmala
Read about Anna-Katri
Anna-Katri a social entrepreneur and communications professional from Helsinki, Finland.
She is the founder of Arctic Utopias, a non-profit filmmaking collective combining art,
journalism, and science. Anna-Katri has studied the fields of political science/peace and
conflict studies, journalism and business, and is passionate about consciousness, the Arctic
region, and finding sustainable ways to coexist with the the natural world.