Nyché Andrew

2021 - AT LARGE REGION

Nyché Andrew, whose traditional names are Skavaq Sivulliuqti, is an 18-year-old Indigenous senior at Service High School. As a Yup'ik and Inupiaq Alaska Native student, Nyché's work revolves around eliminating racism and advocating for equity in education. In October 2018, she joined the Anchorage School District’s Native Advisory Committee to push for a policy that would allow students to wear their tribal regalia during high school graduation ceremonies. As a member, she helped send out thousands of letters as part of a campaign asking for support of the policy from corporations, legislative bodies, and villages. Nyché then testified to the school board, dressed in her own regalia, explaining the importance of celebrating such a milestone as graduation with cultural pride. A policy was passed in April 2019, and she is currently championing a resolution to expand the established policy. Nyché's efforts to better education within her community did not stop there. In October 2019, Nyché established the Indigenous Student Union at Service High School. The purpose is to encourage Native students to embrace their identity by hosting culturally enriching activities, promoting inclusivity school-wide, and encourage academic excellence. Through this organization, she and the Union hosted multiple school gatherings, implemented land acknowledgments, and held regular meetings with traditional activities and opportunities. During the Covid-19 pandemic, she earned a grant in which she gathered and distributed school and food supplies to address the financial needs students faced.