A Koyukon Athabascan entrepreneur is achieving her goals through a combination of grit, an inborn ability to foster productive communications between people, and a firm footing in her Tribal heritage.
Huntington launched Uqaqti Consulting in 2011. Uqaqti, pronounced “oo-kuk-ti,” is Inupiaq for “one who speaks.” The title was given to Huntington by the Northwest Arctic Borough Assembly, and Huntington accepted the honor by renaming her business, saying that being the recipient of the title from another Alaska region signifies how she builds bridges across the state.
Uqaqti’s main business lines are planning and facilitating community meetings, coordinated communications and marketing strategies, and government relations. Huntington is a DBE-certified public involvement consultant. Combined with her cultural ties and knowledge of Tribal protocols, she’s become a sought-after facilitator for jobs ranging from meetings involving environmental impact statements on the North Slope of Alaska to transportation planning meetings. “Any time we work in rural Alaska, we call Joy,” says Maryellen Tuttell of DOWL, a civil engineering and planning firm. “Her calmness and warmth make a huge difference in sometimes very contentious meeting situations.”
Huntington also recently finished serving a term on the Fairbanks City Council.
Her advice to aspiring Native entrepreneurs? “Go all in,” she says. “Grow your skills, push yourself to the next level.”