University of Alaska, Fairbanks | Ilíiaitchik: Indigenous Correspondents Program (ICP)Contributor
Shondiin Mayo is originally from Stevens Village, Alaska, and grew up in Fairbanks, Alaska, and the Navajo Nation. Shondiin is both Dine and Koyukon Athabascan. Shondiin’s childhood was influenced by the subsistence lifestyle of fishing, living in a rural Alaskan village, and spending time on the reservation with her family. There, she learned values such as an appreciation for the land, preserving traditional knowledge, and the responsibility to continue her heritage for the next thousand years. She recently graduated from Northern Arizona University where she studied Creative Media and Film with an emphasis on Documentary and a minor in Ethnic Studies. Amid the Covid pandemic, Shondiin returned home to Alaska and completed a 10-minute thesis documentary about the cultural erasure of dog mushing due to the advancements of the 21st century. Shondiin’s upbringing in a small community that was only accessible by plane, boat, or snowmachine inspires her to capture her people’s traditional ways of living and knowledge about the environment that surrounds small villages in the Interior of Alaska.