Dillon and Triston Chaney, brothers from Dillingham, have been nominated for the Spirit of Youth Award.
Dillon and Triston Chaney were nominated because of their effort to lobby state and federal officials to protect commercial and subsistence fishing in Bristol Bay. The award is given to students across Alaska who make noteworthy achievements in their communities.
The Chaney brothers have been strong voices in preserving the environmental resources of Bristol Bay. They even went as far as to testify against the Pebble Mine in Washington DC.
10th grader Triston says the trip to DC was a fun experience, except the long flight over there.
"We got to go to a lot of cool places. We got to see the White House,” said Triston.
8th grader Dillon says they had one clear message they wanted to share with lawmakers in DC.
"To protect Bristol Bay, it's resources and people, because that's a big part of life here is fishing, and hunting, and our traditions,” said Dillon.
In addition to the trip to DC, the brothers also gave a tour of Aleknagik Lake to top EPA officials. Their mother, Robyn Chaney, says this type of speaking out doesn’t come easy to her sons.
“I am very proud of them as fishermen. And like I said, I don't think they would choose to be public speakers," said Robyn Chaney. "They won't want to naturally speak in front of crowds or some of the things they've done but our family is so committed to protecting our resources, to protecting our region, and protecting them for future generations that they do it.”
Having been nominated, the Chaney brothers may be eligible for a scholarship from the UA College Savings Plan.