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Honoring Alaska's Indigenous Literature:

2001 Award Recipients:

Nora Marks Dauenhauer

Publication: Life Woven with Song
Publisher: University of Arizona Press
Tucson, Arizona
Published in 2000

The Tlingit Indians of southeastern Alaska are known for their totem poles, Chilkat blankets, and oceangoing canoes. Nora Marks Dauenhauer is a cultural emissary of her people and now tells the story of her own life with the context of her community.

Life Woven with Song recreates in written language the oral traditions  of the Tlingit people as it records memories of Dauenhauer's heritage. Through poetry, prose, and plays, she affirms the goodness of life as found in family and community, in daily work and play, and in tribal traditions.

Lucille Davis

Publication: Gathering Native Alaskan Music and Words
Publisher: Surreal Studios/Nightwork Records, Anchorage, Alaska
Published in 2000

Lucille Davis is an Alutiiq Elder originally from the Kodiak Island Village of Karluk. She has shared many childhood memories, woven with Sugpiaq, the language of her People and the values of her ancestors. Lucille has been an ambassador for the Alutiiq people, sharing her stories with visitors at the Alaska Native Heritage Center and children throughout the Anchorage School District. Lucille is a treasured guest at many special cultural events that take place on Kodiak Island. She currently resides in Anchorage, close to her daughter.

Marie Meade

Publication: Agayuliyaraput: Kegginaqut, Kangiit-llu
Our Way of Making Prayer: Yup'ik Masks and the Stories They Tell
Publisher: Anchorage Museum of History and Art in association with the University of Washington Press
Published in 1996

Marie "Arnaq" Meade is a Yup'ik woman from the village of Nunapicuar. In her work as a translator and transcriber for the Yup'ik Elders, she has traveled with them to visit museums in Berlin, Germany and New York. She has also been a translator for the Calista Elders and Youth convention. She is currently involved with the Smithsonian Institute and the National Museum of American Indian in a new Yup'ik exhibit to be housed in the new National Museum of American Indian museum being built in Washington DC. She currently resides in Anchorage, Alaska where she teaches Yup'ik classes at UAA.


Eliza Jones

Publication: Koyukon Athabaskan Dictionary
Publisher: Alaska Native Language Center
Fairbanks, Alaska
Published in 2000

Eliza Jones is a Koyukon Athabascan Linguist from Koyukuk, Alaska. She was born and raised in a camp near Huslia. She has worked for over 25 years at the Alaska Native Language Center in Fairbanks transcribing the work of Father Jetté and Native Elders from the Koyukon Athabascan area. She also works as a Koyukon Language teacher for ANLC and teaches the langueage and culture at Ella B. Vernetti School in Koyukuk. Her work has culminated into an excellent production of the book, Koyukon Athabascan Dictionary, which incorporates Koyukon knowledge, worldview, technology, social life, history, traditional stories, spiritual beliefs and values of the Koyukon Athabascan. Her work has and continues to contribute immensely to the survival of the Koyukon Language. Because of her work, her children, grandchildren and students are learning the culture, language and values of the Koyukon Athabascan.

Lela Kiana Oman

Publication: Epic of Qayaq
Publisher: Carleton University Press in collaboration with Carleton University Art Gallery. Printed and bound in Canada.
Published in 1995

Lela Kiana Oman was born in 1915 at Noorvik, Alaska. She is the seventh child of Jim and Emma Kiana. She started writing this book in the mid 1940's while she was running a roadhouse in a mining town of Candle, Alaska. She heard these tales from Inupiat people who were passing through her roadhouse. She kept the stories for thirty years in a box. In 1975, she looked at them and wished to make the stories into a month long tale out of them.

The tale is about a man named Qayaq who travels in a kayak and by foot through Kobuk, Selawik, Noatak and the Yukon rivers. Qayaq wanders on through the Arctic Ocean to Barrow, to Herschel Island in Canada and all the way to a Tlingit Indian village. This book is illustrated from collections of art by Priscilla Tyler and Maree Brooks, both Inuit artists. Lela presently resides in Nome, Alaska

Go to University of AlaskaThe University of Alaska Fairbanks is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer and educational institution and is a part of the University of Alaska system.


Alaska Native Knowledge Network
University of Alaska Fairbanks
PO Box 756730
Fairbanks  AK 99775-6730
Phone (907) 474.1902
Fax (907) 474.1957
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Last modified August 14, 2006