Andrea Burgess

Andrea Akall'eq Burgess is Global Director of Conservation in Partnership with Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities at The Nature Conservancy. She is also the founder and owner of With Real People LLC, an Indigenous consulting firm dedicated to advancing truth and excellence through creative and strategic advocacy, policy guidance, and facilitation. In addition, Andrea serves as co-founder and president of Native Peoples Action and as a board of trustees for the Institute of American Indian Art (IAIA). 

Prior to coming to TNC, Andrea was Director of the Alaska Native Policy Center within First Alaskans Institute, a role which allowed her to develop and cultivate relations and community connections all across the state of Alaska, and with Indigenous communities nationally and internationally. She also previously worked for US Senator Mark Begich, supporting him on the Senate Indian Affairs Committee and as the telecommunications lead for the Senate Commerce Committee. 

Originally from Bethel Alaska, Andrea currently resides in Oahu Hawaii. Her cultural background is Yup’ik (Inuit) on her mother’s side and Belgian/Norwegian on her father’s side. Andrea is a Tribal Citizen of the Native Village of Kwinhagak.

3 words to describe Nature?




3 things Nature taught you?

You are never alone in Nature, our Ancestors are always with you there.

Nature has cycles, patterns, and rhythms that go beyond our human comprehension. 

To come into balance, is to be on the land and water.

3 most treasured Nature spots?

The traditional homelands of the Yupik people along the Kuskokwim River in Southwest Alaska. 

Imuruk Basin 

Mākaha Valley and Coast

When you look at the ocean, it makes you feel...?


When you see a forest, it makes you feel...?

Spiritually connected

When you see a volcano, it makes you feel...?


When you see a sunrise or sunset, it makes you feel...?

Gratitude always

When you hear thunder, it makes you feel...?


When you hear the wind howling, it makes you feel...?

Like home 

Are you an Ocean, Mountain, Forest, or Desert person?


On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being?


Share with us a childhood nature memory?

As a child, summertime in Alaska was filled with boat rides, camping trips, and fishing. I remember one summer my dad took me and two of my closest friends on a camping trip along the Kuskokwim River. We enjoyed our separate tents and resulting sleeping schedules, which for us girls meant midnight walks and adventures along the river sandbars as daylight never ceased. We saw porcupine, beavers and all kinds of birds. They were our company and entertainment and wonder.