Meet Native Movement's Summer Intern: Amaya Shaw

This summer, Native Movement hired four interns who are passionate about social and environmental justice and who want to build grassroots organizing and nonprofit management skills. We are excited to introduce you to a group of highly driven and skilled individuals through blog pieces.

Today, we are highlighting Amaya Shaw, who is working in our Anchorage community organizing space and office. Wondering who the other interns are? Follow our blog, we are looking forward to highlighting two more wonderful individuals!


Shoozhrì’ Amaya Shaw oozhįį. Tseeduu ts’a’ Gwichyaa Zhee gwats’an ihłįį. Shahan Rochelle Adams ts’a’ shahan viyehghan naįį Angela Peter-Mayo ts’à’ Cliff “Tuffy” Adams Jr. goovoozhrì’. My name is Amaya Shaw and I am Gwich’in Athabascan from Beaver and Fort Yukon, in the Northern Interior of Alaska. My mother is Rochelle Adams, and her parents are Angela Peter-Mayo and the late Cliff Adams Jr. My traditional name is Too Aht’sin which means night rain and has the same meaning as my given name Amaya, which comes from the Japanese side of my family.

Currently, I am living in Anchorage since my recent graduation from the Interior Distance Education of Alaska homeschooling program. I have worked with my mother Rochelle Adams on many projects to gain and share knowledge of our traditional arts and language. 

As I come from a matriarchal bloodline, I feel right at home with these powerful women running Native Movement. Every day I strive to uphold my traditional values with everything I do, and Native Movement helps me to continue my shared vision of environmental and social justice for our Indigenous peoples and lands. It makes me very happy to see organizations like Native Movement making a change in our communities so gracefully in a direct, positive, and informative way.

Some of my favourite things to do include making digital and traditional arts, learning new languages, gardening, playing with my dogs, and reading/writing poetry. A major interest of mine resides in our traditional medicines and our traditional healing. I love to ask questions and learn more about our many uses for all surrounding resources from my home in the Yukon Flats and our many other regions.