Juneau / Kodiak | Historian, writer, curator, legislative aide
“Salmon are metaphors, manifest on earth. Salmon are biologically engaged in Joseph Campbell’s hero’s journey, as they leave their redds to experience the big, broad sea before returning home as transformed beings. We too must think of salmon when we consider our own journey as Alaskans and wonder, what is the future home to which we hope to return?”
Anjuli Grantham is a writer, historian, producer, and museum professional who specializes in the history of Alaska’s seafood industry. She balances positions as Project Director of the Alaska Historic Canneries Initiative and Legislative Aide to Representative Gabrielle LeDoux with research, writing, and presenting at conferences across the state and country. From curating exhibits about maritime history, to directing the Alaska Historic Canneries Initiative, producing radio stories about fishing industry culture, and writing a monthly column in Pacific Fishing about Alaska's fisheries history, nearly all of Grantham’s work is directed to documenting, preserving, and educating about the history of Alaska's seafood industry and salmon-dependent communities.
Grantham grew up commercially beach seining and set netting for salmon on the west side of Kodiak, which seeded her focus on projects related to coastal community culture. She also concentrates on the racial, gender, and economic privilege that are deeply engrained in the commercial salmon industry by directing her research and writing towards documenting and sharing female, Native, and Asian experiences with salmon.
Grantham holds a M.A. in Public History from the University of South Carolina and a B.A., magna cum laude, from the University of Oregon. She has worked as Curator of Collections and Exhibits at the Baranov Museum/ Kodiak Historical Society, as an intern and graduate assistant at National Historic Sites and preservation offices, and as an English Language teacher and grant writer. Her public service includes roles on the Kodiak Downtown Revitalization and Beautification Committee, Alaska State Historical Records Advisory Board, and Kodiak State Parks Citizens Advisory Board. She received the 2015 President’s Award from the Alaska Historical Society and was named the 2010 Diversity Scholar by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
“I want history and culture to be a legitimate part of fisheries management, and the Salmon Fellows program provides an exceptional platform for sharing this conviction. The fields of biology and economy dominate policy decisions. Considering the nuances of history and presenting a contextualized understanding of culture will lead to more responsive, culturally-appropriate policies that might be better embraced within the communities that the policies impact.”