“When I close my eyes, I can still hear my grandmother’s laughter. It’s sounds like Jingle-bells and the crackle of a fire all at once. She became a mother to many throughout her extraordinary life. Through that motherhood, she brought people to together, brought Leslie and I together. As matriarch of the Owl House, everything I learned about being human and being a Łingít woman was based in the ancestry I inherited from her… the bloodline of the Owl House. Leslie asked me to sketch a logo that represents what she hopes to honor in her work. The Owl represents the ancestry and the wisdom of intergenerational teachings. My grandmother continues to guide both of us to this day in spirit after her passing. She illuminates our path. Traces of her spirit laughter visit in the echo of jingle bells and the crackle of a fire.”
~Maka Monture of the Yéil Naa (Raven Moeity), K’ineix Kwáan (people of the Copper River Clan) from the Tsisk’w Hit (Owl House).
Raised by a photographer who was determined to take her kids hiking, spelunking, whitewater rafting, and horseback riding through all the national parks and indigenous lands in the United States and Canada, Leslie Hsu Oh is passionate about travel, outdoor adventures and gear, culture, extreme sports, natural wonders, indigenous knowledge, health and wellness. Adopted by the Navajo Táchii’nii or Red Running into Water People Clan and the Tlingit Yéil Naa (Raven Moeity), K’ineix Kwáan (people of the Copper River Clan) from the Tsisk’w Hit (Owl House).
She is the Outdoor Literature Editor for Panorama: Journal of Intelligent Travel, a White House Champions of Change: AAPI Storytelling and Art, and a Schweitzer Fellow. Her work has been named among the distinguished stories of the year by Best American Essays. Her writing and photography has appeared or is forthcoming in Almost Fearless Magazine, Alpinist, Alaska Magazine, Backpacker Magazine, Conde Nast Traveler, First Alaskans Magazine, Fourth Genre, MIC, Outside Magazine, Panorama, Parenting Magazine, Smithsonian Magazine, Sierra Magazine, Travel + Leisure, Washington Post Health, Washington Post On Parenting, Washington Post Travel, WebMD and more.
She has photographed Alaskan 1600 pound grizzlies tearing into each other at Katmai, snowboarded year-round, glacier-hiked in the Alps, ice-climbed in Alaska, combat fished in the Russian River alongside black bears, and been invited to indigenous ceremonies or sacred landscapes that are not commonly shared with outsiders. Her education in biology, ethnobotany, public health from Harvard University, and a MFA allows her to cover a wide span of fields: travel, culture, news, anthropology, science, environmental issues, fashion, natural history, food and entertainment.
Renowned for extreme sports, adventure travel, and exploration with young kids, she often writes about her kids snowboarding at the age of one and rock climbing at the age of two. When her son was two and her oldest daughter was five, she outfitted both of them with crampons and hiked a glacier in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. That year, they also snowboarded, snowmachined, dipnetted for salmon on the Kenai River, and ran with Iditarod dogs, all fantastic experiences that she wrote about for the award winning blog called Love+eMotion, which originally appeared on Kids These Days!, Alaska’s best talk radio show.
Editors hire her as a “veteran reporter” for 25 years of experience working under publication deadlines for magazines, journals, reports, newsletters, web sites, and blogs; on-time delivery of written and photographic content highly complimented by producers and editors; track record of producing and editing award-winning, innovative, respected products; reputation for being the most productive and calm personnel under pressure.
Losing her mother and brother to hepatitis B at the age of twenty-one inspired her to found the Hepatitis B Initiative in 1997, which she later expanded to the Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. area with Thomas Oh. Today, this award-winning nonprofit continues to operate in several states mobilizing communities to prevent liver diseases caused by hepatitis B and C among Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, African Americans and other high-risk groups.