2023 WE Ignite Speaker
Indigenous Scientist & Arctic Youth Ambassador, Education Activist
Charitie Ropati (Yup'ik & Samoan) is a 21 year old education and environmental activist who worked to implement an accurate and inclusive sub-curriculum of Indigenous peoples in Western pedagogy in Alaska. She is a researcher who studies the intersections of plant ecology, permafrost, and cultural resilience in coastal Native communities at Columbia University in the Griffin Lab and is an Indigenous woman in STEM. She also works on the Co-Production of knowledge and is a member of the Earth Network at the Columbia Climate School. She is also an Arctic Youth Ambassador.
She was awarded Champion for Change by the Center for Native American Youth (CNAY) for her work in education and she has been featured and nationally recognized for her advocacy in Teen Vogue, The Malala Fund, The Guardian and elsewhere. She serves as Vice Chair for the Youth Advisory Board for CNAY. She also co-led and created a policy in the Anchorage School District that allowed students to wear their cultural regalia when graduating highschool. This policy is still in place. She firmly believes that an Indigenous child's access to safe and equitable education is rooted in climate justice.