Rep. Mary Sattler Peltola was born in Alaska and raised on the Kuskokwim River in Kwethluk, Tuntutuliak, Platinum, and Bethel. She was just six years old when she began fishing commercially with her father.
She completed a state legislative internship during college and felt a calling to public service. At age 24 years old she won her first state election and represented the Bethel region in the Alaska State Legislature.
During her ten years in state office she built consensus around budgets that improved lives in rural Alaska. She was a founding member of the Bush Caucus, which elevated the issues of communities off the road system. After leaving the state legislature, she worked as Manager of Community Development and Sustainability for the Donlin Gold mining project in the Yukon-Kuskokwim region. More recently, she was Executive Director of the Kuskokwim River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission, where she helped mobilize 118 Tribes and rural Alaskans to advocate for the protection of salmon runs in Western Alaska.
Rep. Peltola also served on the Orutsararmiut Native Council Tribal Court and the Bethel City Council, and on the boards of the Nature Conservancy, the Alaska Humanities Forum, the Alaska Children’s Trust, and the Russian Orthodox Sacred Sites in Alaska.
She was elected to Congress in August of 2022 in a special election to fill the seat of the late Representative Don Young, and passed her first bill, the Food Security for All Veterans Act, through the House in September. She won re-election to the House in November of 2022, and has begun work in the 118th Congress as a member of the “freshman-plus” class.