Executive Director

Malinda Chase


Malinda is Deg Hit’an Athabascan and lives in Fairbanks, however, her home is Anvik, where she often visits. Her experience is in non-profit management, Native education, learning styles, language revitalization, climate change education, post-secondary distance education, editing, and youth programming. She is a graduate of Wellesley College and the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Malinda serves on the board of directors for Deloy Ges, Inc., Anvik’s ANCSA village corporation, and works with the Association of Interior Native Educators (AINE) on educational initiatives that positively impact Alaska.  When she has the chance Malinda loves cutting and preserving salmon, picnics, and being in a boat or kayak on any Alaskan river.

----Malinda Chase

Office Manager Project Asstistant
Admin. Assistant

Nicole James

Fort Yukon/Fairbanks

Hello,​ My name is Nicole James, and I'm Gwich'in Athabascan from Fort Yukon, Alaska. My grandparents are Skully James Sr. and Margaret James and Stanley and Madelaine Jonas. My biological grandfather is Grafton Bergman. My mom is Denise James and my father is Sonny Jonas. I grew up between Fort Yukon and Fairbanks throughout my childhood.  I have seven children between 5- to 28-years-old, five girls and two boys. My oldest, Teshia, lives here in Fairbanks, and Cheyenne Swanger, who is a nurse in Pennsylvania and is working on a Covid floor. I just received my Associate's Degree in Spring 2020. I do plan on working toward a Bachelor's degree in the near future. I work full-time for the Association of Interior Native Educators (AINE) as the Office Manager, Project Assistant, and Administrative Assistant. I started working for AINE in June 2016 through a 6-month contract with Tanana Chiefs Conference (TCC - GILA program). TCC helped me gain office experience in the field that I desired. Once my contract was over AINE rehired me back in April 2017. I have been learning quite a bit about different learning styles, how climate change is affecting our Way of Life, the many Native cultures and traditions through the AINE curriculum, and the ones, we are developing.

I am so grateful for the awesome opportunity to work with such amazing people!

Malinda Chase, Elena Sparrow, Christi Buffington, Katie Spellman, Maxine Dibert, AINE Board of Directors, NASA, TCC, Doyon, CATG, and IARC for the opportunity to learn and grow!

Mahsìì Chōō (Big Thank You),

---- Nicole James

Curriculum Specialist

Maxine Dibert


My name is Maxine Dibert, I am Koyukon Athabascan and was born and raised in Fairbanks. My grandparents were the late James and Cecelia Johnson from Kokrines, Alaska, and Einar and Katherine Anderson from Sweden and Rampart respectively.  My parents are James Johnson from Kokrines and Clara Anderson from Rampart. I have two children, Christopher, who will be entering 8th grade at Ryan Middle School in Fairbanks, and my daughter Chey, who is currently a Freshman studying and playing basketball for Wenatchee Valley Community College in Washington State. I have taught school for 18 years, and I have just completed my 16th year of teaching at Denali Elementary in the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District. I have a special passion for teaching STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) lessons in my classroom.  I believe technology can be a powerful and exciting tool for teachers and students alike. When technology is used to connect and share ideas among learners across the state, nation, and the world, it is a wonderful addition to the teachers’ tool kits. In addition to my undergraduate degree and teaching credentials, I also earned a Masters degree in Curriculum Development from Lesley University in 2011. I am a contributing member of Women in Science Alaska. I have a great passion for learning and I am eager to instill the power and excitement of life-long learning in others. When I am not teaching, I enjoy running, skiing, hiking, gardening, and being active, especially in the Alaskan outdoors.

---- Maxine Dibert