Hometown: Toksook Bay, Alaska
Major: Rural Development
Waqaa! [Wa-kaa], means ‘Hello!’ in Yup’ik.My name is Elton Chanar and my Yup’ik name is Canaar [Jun-argh]. I grew up most of my life in the beautiful village of Toksook Bay located in southwest Alaska along the Bering Sea coast on Nelson Island. Yup’ik is my first language and I started speaking English in 4th grade. I have attended the University of Alaska Fairbanks for three years. At first, I was interested in becoming a high school teacher, but after exploring more career options I changed my direction and now I am pursuing a degree in Rural Development. I realized it was going to be a better fit for me because I want to pursue a career that allows me to give back to Alaska. Attending school at UAF helped me transition from living in a very tiny village to moving to a place that is not too big or too small. Living on campus has taught me how to live on my own and how to meet new people, make friends and form my own community. During my time here at UAF I have also been involved with clubs like Native Student Union, Inu-Yupiaq dance group, and Festival of Native Arts, all of which are with the Rural Student Services at the Brooks Building. They helped me stay busy and stay active!