Purruq Erica Khan
Indigenous Storytelling & Communications Strategist
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Erica Purruq Masu Khan is Iñupiaq and Pakistani, born and raised from Utqiaġvik, Alaska, and her pronouns are she/her/they. Purruq is the maternal granddaughter of the late Thomas Panningona, from Flaxman Island and Dorothy Panningona, from Atqasuk. She is the daughter of Clarissa Panningona and Naeem Khan. Purruq spent her upbringing on her grandparents whaling crew, and her time in Pakistan during family reunions and events. She spends time on the land with her brother mostly, learning to harvest fish, caribou, seal, and bowhead whale. All of Purruq's life experiences regarding art and story, culture and livlihood, have attributed to her way of knowing and being, and is carried thoughtfully into spaces.
Purruq also earned her associate's from Ilisaġvik Tribal College, located in Utqiaġvik, and further earned her bachelor's from the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa in Ethnic Studies. Prior to working with First Alaskans Institute, Purruq holds experience at Institutions on campus, working alongside both Institutional staff and students, working in Human Resources, and working with community on story-telling through grants and grassroots organizations. She also serves on the Board for Sovereign Iñupiat for a Living Arctic, SILA, where the mission is to cultivate healthy communities for our people through Land Sovereignty. Purruq is also a board member for Mental Health Mosiacs by Out North, focusing on art and stories to destigmatize conversations around mental health. Purruq is an artist, a sister, an aunty, a learner, and a spiritualist, and intentionally brings those teachings that have been instilled in her.