This is part of the ANKN Logo This is part of the ANKN Banner
This is part of the ANKN Logo This is part of the ANKN Banner Home Page About AKRSI Publications Academic Programs Curriculum Resources Calendar of Events Announcements Site Index This is part of the ANKN Banner
This is part of the ANKN Logo This is part of the ANKN Banner This is part of the ANKN Banner
This is part of the ANKN Logo This is part of the ANKN Banner This is part of the ANKN Banner
Native Pathways to Education
Alaska Native Cultural Resources
Indigenous Knowledge Systems
Indigenous Education Worldwide

Back to HAIL

Honoring Alaska's Indigenous Literature:

2003 Award Recipients:

Howard Luke

Publication: My Own Trail
Published by Alaska Native Knowledge Network, P.O. Box 756730, Fairbanks, Alaska 99775-6730, 1998.

Athabascan Elder Howard Luke's book, My Own Trail was written so that Howard could share his life story and the Athabascan culture with others and for future generations. He continues to lecture and teach the Athabascan culture in and out of the classroom setting offering his camp-Galee'ya Spirit Camp-as a place of learning. Teaching the Athabascan culture and values to students is very important to Howard Luke. His humor will set you straight and cause you to think with common sense and respect, not just for yourself, but for future generations. Howard has been an Elder-in-Residence at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. He lectures and teaches a wide variety of subjects such as piloting boats, building sleds, butchering moose and, most importantly, the value of respect. He has traveled extensively sharing his cultural knowledge.

Catherine Attla

Publication: Sitsiy Yu-gh Noholnik Ts'in'. As My Grandfather Told It. Traditional stories from the Koyukuk.
Published by Yukon-Koyukuk School District/Alaska Native Language Center, 1983.

Publication: K'etetaalkkaanee. The one Who Paddled Among the People and Animals. The Story of an Ancient Traveler.
Published by Yukon-Koyukuk School District/Alaska Native Language Center, University of Alaska, Fairbanks, 1990.

Publication: Bekk'aatu-gh Ts'u-hu-ney. Stories We Live By. Traditional Koyukon Athabaskan Stories.
Published by Yukon-Koyukuk School District/Alaska Native Language Center, 1996.

For the past quarter century Catherine Attla has been the tireless bearer of oral traditional stories and information for her Koyukon Athabascan people. Beginning in the early 1980s she tape-recorded traditional stories she learned from her grandfather. These stories have been translated into several books that stand as the ultimate resource for anyone wishing to understand the way of life of the Koyukon people and their cultural beliefs. Her willingness to share this priceless traditional knowledge has placed her in a unique category among Native authors. Her books are used by public schools, university classes, and individuals throughout Alaska and the world.

Dr. Dolly Garza

Publication: Tlingit Moon and Tide Teaching Resource: Elementary Level.
Published by University of Alaska Fairbanks/Sea Grant College Program, University of Alaska Fairbanks, 1999

This is an excellent education resource for elementary  educators. Dolly Garza is a UAF, SFOS Sea Grant Program Marine Advisory Agent based in Ketchikan. She is Haida and Tlingit. This book was the recipient of the Sister Goodwin Award from the Before Columbus Foundation American Book Awards in 1999.

John "Aqumggaciq" Active

John Aqumggaciq Active is a Yup'ik Eskimo from Bethel in Western Alaska. He was adopted by the Active family from the village of Chukfaktoolik around 1948 soon after he was born. His grandmother, the late Maggie Lind of Bethel, raised him. John is currently a commentator for the Tundra Drums Newspaper in Bethel owned and operated by Bethel Broadcasting, Incorporated.

From a very early age, it was Maggie who instilled the art of storytelling to John and today he greatly enjoys writing commentaries for the newspaper and reporting the news in the Yup'ik Language for the listeners of the KYUK broadcast area.

John also reported cultural and traditional commentaries on the Alaska Public Radio Network out of Anchorage, and "All Things Considered" on National Public Radio in Washington D.C.

John is being recognized for his contribution in educating the general public about the Yup'ik culture and his skill at portraying Yup'ik humor which is a vital part of the Yup'ik people. He makes his home in Bethel, Alaska.


Florence Pestrikoff, Mary Haakanson, Sophie Katelnikoff, Jenny Zeeder, Nick Alokli

Publication: Alutiiq Word of the Week
Published by the Alutiiq Museum, 1999.

Alutiiq Word of the Week has increased exposure of our Alutiiq language and offered valuable cultural knowledge and stories. The Alutiiq Word of the Week project is the publication and distribution of a weekly lesson on a traditional Alutiiq word. Each word is accompanied by an Alutiiq sentence using the word and a description of its place within Alutiiq culture and history. The project distributes each word through a wide variety of channels in hopes of reaching the largest audience and having the greatest impact in promoting and preserving the Alutiiq language. It is distributed weekly via Volume One of the Alutiiq Word of the Week sold at the Alutiiq Museum; the Kodiak Daily Mirror; KMXT Radio;; and through an email and fax mail list. You can find out more about the project on the Alutiiq Museum's website or call 907-486-7004.

The following five Elders have supported production of this project:

Florence Pestrikoff

A fluent Alutiiq speaker originally from Akhiok. She is the daughter of Martha and Larry Matfay. Florence has advocated for preservation of the Alutiiq language for the past 15 years. She has been a leading contributor to the Alutiiq Word of the Week project, and has taught Alutiiq through the Kodiak College.

Jenny Zeeder

A fluent Alutiiq speaker originally from Akhiok. She has been a mentor to Florence Pestrikoff in her work on the Alutiiq Word of the Week project.

Mary Haakanson

A fluent Alutiiq speaker from Old Harbor. She has always encouraged her children and other youth to speak Alutiiq. She has carried this message in her participation in the Alutiiq Word of the Week project.

Sophie Katelnikoff

A fluent Alutiiq speaker from Larsen Bay. She brings a rich depth of traditional knowledge and scope of traditional word to the Alutiiq Word of the Week project.

Nick Alokli

A fluent Alutiiq speaker from Akhiok. He recently became involved in the Alutiiq Word of the Week project.

Aangaarraaq Sophie Shields

Aangaarraaq Sophie Shields was born and raised in Tuntuuliaq, Alaska. Her parents are Joe and Martha Manutoli of Tuntuuliaq. She has two older sisters, Elsie and Edith; two older brothers, James and Wilson; and one younger sister, Lucy Enoch. She is married to Ted Shields. Their children are Charlotte, Tracy and Anthony. She also has a granddaughter, Rhiannon. Her linguistic work began in collaboration with Irene Reed, formerly of the Alaska Native Language Center, University of Alaska Fairbanks. Sophie has contributed many hours of hard work editing, transcribing, and translating materials that are produced for Yup'ik speakers. She has also worked for distinguished authors, individual scholars, and church communities since the early 1970s. Her most recent work is the soon-to-be released Qulirat that has been passed down from generation to generation in collaboration with Yup'ik Elder author Paul John and Anthropologist Ann Riordan-Fienup.

Posthumous Awards

Cedar Snigaroff

Publication: Niigugis Maqaxtazaqangis "Atkan Historic Traditions"
Published by Alaska Native Language Center, University of Alaska Fairbanks, 1979.

Cedar Snigaroff's parents were Leonty and Vera Snigaroff both from Atka, Alaska. Cedar had five brothers and one sister. He had six children: four sons named Poda, John, George, Gabriel and two daughters named Vera and Alice. He lived in Atka all his life as a fox trapper and a laborer before he retired. This is a posthumous award to a man who passed on the Unangaxˆ history through his own language and tells us what really happened during the Russian and American occupation of the Unangas. Without his account of how they were treated, we would not have a picture of what life was like back in those days.

William Oquilluk

Publication: People of Kauwerak
Laurel L. Bland helped him write the book.
Published by Alaska Methodist University, Anchorage, Alaska, 1973,  second editions 1981

William A. Oquilluk was born in Point Hope, Alaska, on March 27, 1896. His parents were from the central inland area of the Seward Peninsula. When William was nearly seven, his grandparents decided to return to Aukvaunlook Village (Mary's Igloo) in the interior of the Seward Peninsula. He entered school at Mary's Igloo sometime between his tenth and twelfth year. His teacher, H.D. Reese, encouraged him to record the Kauweramiut legends he had learned from his grandfather. He began writing when he was 18 or 19 years old. After twenty years, he had recorded about half the material contained in this volume when a fire that burned his home also destroyed all his writing. After a few years he started writing all over again. Then in 1968 Barbara, William's daughter, suggested that Laurel L. Bland work together with William to transform his manuscript into typewritten chapters. In May of 1971 William, Laurel, and two other fellow workers moved into New Igloo to set up a centrally located camp to serve as their base of operations until the following December. At this time, William read and approved the material now printed in this book. This book is a memorial to William Oquilluk, to one man's dedication to his personal ideals in response to the obligations imposed on him by his cultural heritage.

-Excerpt from Laurel L. Bland's forward to the book, People of the Kauwerak

Katherine Mills

Publication: Tlingit Thinking
Printed and published by Southeast Alaska Regional Health Corporation, 1980.

Publication: Woosh Yáx Yaa Datúwch, Tlingit Math Book
Written by the students of Hoonah High School under the direction of Katherine Mills. Printed by Andy Hope III, 1973, second edition 1997. Available from the Alaska Native Knowledge Network.

Katherine Mills was raised in Hoonah. She was from the Raven moiety. She taught the Tlingit language and culture in the Hoonah schools. Katherine raised eleven children: six boys and five girls. She has been an advocate in getting the Tlingit culture in the schools. She was a participant in a traditional Tlingit dance group in Hoonah for over 30 years. She was one of the first Tlingit teachers in the University of Alaska Southeast. Also, she was the author of the original Tlingit math book.

Martha C. Teeluk

Publication: Martha Teeluk-aam Qulirat Avullri Erinairissuutekun Ukunek Yugnek Evon Benedict, Charlie Hootch, Anna Lee, Matilda Oscar, Isaac Tuntusuk-llu.
Published by Alaska Native Language Center, University of Alaska Fairbanks and Lower Kuskokwim School District, Bethel, Alaska, 2001

Publication: Martha Teeluk-aam Qulirat Avullri Erinairissuutekun Agnes Hootch-aamek.
Published by Alaska Native Language Center, University of Alaska Fairbanks and Lower Kuskokwim School District, Bethel, Alaska, 2001.

Martha was born March 12, l920 in Chiniliak, Alaska at the mouth of the Yukon River. She attended Akuluraq Mission School and continued her education at the University of Alaska. She had worked for the Bureau of Indian Affairs as a teacher, as an administrator with the state of Alaska, and as an educator, consultant, Yup'ik linguist and interpreter. Her contributions as a linguist are greatly appreciated during the years she worked with Irene Reed and Michael Krauss. Martha was the first Yup'ik woman to be known as an expert in the Yup'ik language who contributed many hours of work developing and creating accurate and practical Yup'ik orthography. She also collected traditional stories from her people that are alive today due to her work. She enjoyed skin sewing, basket weaving, outdoor activities such as berry picking and ice fishing, and crocheting, beading, and storytelling.

At the time she passed away, November 13, 2002 in Anchorage, her family described her as someone who "will be remembered for her educational and teaching qualities by everyone who worked with her and knew her. She valued her Native culture and traditional way of life." Her surviving children are Ursula Claunch, Angie Hickel, Rosie Hurst, and Pauline Labs.

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
Questions or comments?
Last modified August 14, 2006