Yagheli da, Ruth Miller sh’izhi. Dena’inaq ełnen’aq’ gheshtnu ch’q’u yeshdu. Dena’ina qenaga sheł ghun qenash. Anchorage shugu yesduda, Ekuk ethnen shugu shqayeh qilanda. Curyung ełnena shit’eh. Ruth Miller is a Dena’ina Athabaskan woman who was born and raised in Alaska and currently lives in Anchorage. Her family on her maternal side is from the village of Ekuk in Bristol Bay. She claims Russian Jewish heritage from her Father’s side.
She is a climate activist, Indigenous rights advocate, traditional beadwork artist, storyteller, and singer. She is also on the path of becoming a traditional healer. She is a recent graduate of Brown University and received a BA in Critical Development Studies with a focus on Indigenous resistance and liberation. She believes that the true liberation of Indigenous peoples must begin with a deep spiritual foundation in the wisdom of the ancestors, and knowledge of how to live in harmony and respect with the lands, waters, plants, and animal relatives. This means honoring the power of cultural bonds, the strength of healthy communities, and the beauty of Indigenous lifeways and artforms.
Towards the goal of Indigenous sovereignty and just representation, Ruth has advocated for political and cultural rights on a local, state and national level. She began her work with United Tribes of Bristol Bay, campaigning against the proposed Pebble Mine, an extractive and destructive copper mine that threatens all life in the Bristol Bay watershed. She continued this advocacy while working in Washington D.C. for former Senator Mark Begich (AK-D), where she contributed to the Traditional Foods and Nourishment Act.
While at University, Ruth networked with other Indigenous university students through the Ivy Native Council Conference, and led the student group Natives at Brown. She served as a programmer for the Native American Heritage Series and was invited to deliver one of two student commencement speeches for her graduating class as the first Native American student speaker. Ruth chose to speak on the importance of radical compassion. She has also participated in various convenings at the United Nations, focusing on decolonizing and indigenizing the international space at the UNA Global Engagement Summit, the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, and the UN Youth