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Native Pathways to Education
Alaska Native Cultural Resources
Indigenous Knowledge Systems
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2004 HAIL Awards Celebration ProgramDownload the 2004 Awards Celebration Program

Honoring Alaska's Indigenous Literature:

2004 Award Recipients:

Sidney Huntington

Publication: Shadows of the Koyoukuk
Published by Alaska Northwest Books,
6th printing 2000

Born in 1915 Sydney Huntington is a famous, respected Athabascan Elder from Interior Alaska. He is currently residing in Galena. He has been a trapper, fisherman, goldminer and carpenter, but perhaps most important, a storyteller and master of indigenous knowledge in his policymaking career. He has served on school boards, the Board of Game and numerous other committees on the local and state level.

As stated in the preface of his book:

His life story is a fascinating slice of Alaskan history. Sydney grew up in a subarctic wildland of birch-bark canoes, dog teams, trappers, goldminers and Koyukon Indians. He continues to live in essentially the same culture, now modernized with snow machines, bush planes and satellite TV. His is a product of the land, who thoroughly knows his regions, the animals and the people who live there. The memories he shares in this book bring alive a way of life that is gone forever, for as a teenager and a young man he live primarily off the land; his interest in traditional Koyukon tales provides an intriguing peek into Koyukon Indian prehistory.

Sydney has an honorary doctorate from the University of Alaska and is self educated in traditional knowledge and global issues.

Loretta Outwater Cox

Publication: Winter Walk
Published by: Graphic Arts Center Publishing Co., 2003.

Loretta Outwater Cox is an Inupiaq Eskimo woman born in Nome, Alaska and raised in various villages around the Seward Peninsula in Northwest Alaska. She holds a bachelor's degree in Education and a master's degree in Educational Administration. Loretta taught elementary school in Western Alaska for twenty-three years. She and her husband, Skip, currently live in Fairbanks, Alaska. They have four children and five grandchildren.

John Peter Pestrikoff and Julia Pestrikoff

John Peter Pestrikoff was born August 28, 1914 in the village of Ouzinkie to Peter Pestrikoff and Khristina Cheriknov. John is 93 years old and lives at the Senior Center in Kodiak. John helped indentify Afognak Island Sugpiaq place names for a mapping project with Jeff Leer of UAF and the Native Village of Afognak. John told his niece by marriage, Helen Simeonoff, about "little people" at Little Afognak that would sneak up on barabaras-ciqlluaq and look down the smoke hole.

John, along with his wife Julia, were the primary contributors of oral history to the Red Cedar of Afognak childrens' book about driftwood, yet unpublished. The story features them as the main characters from their story of the tidal wave. They had one son, Fredrick, and have three grandchildren living in Port Lions and the state of Washington.

 

 

Nora Marks Dauenhauer

Nora Marks Dauenhauer was born 1927 in Juneau, Alaska and was raised in Juneau and Hoonah, as well as on the family fishing boat and in seasonal subsistence sites around Icy Straits, Glacier Bay and Cape Spencer. Her first language is Tlingit. She began to learn English when entering school at the age of eight. She has a B.A. in Anthropology (Alaska Methodist University 1976) and is internationally recognized for her fieldwork, transcription, translation and explication of Tlingit oral literature.

Nora's creative writing has been widely published and anthologized. Her Raven plays have been performed in several venues internationally, including the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. In 1980 she was named Humanist of the Year by the Alaska Humanities Forum. In 1989 she received an Alaska Governor's Award for the Arts and in 1991 she was a winner of the Before Columbus Foundation's American Book Award. From 1983 to 1997 she was Principal Researcher in Language and Cultural Studies at Sealaska Heritage Foundation in Juneau.

Nora is married to Richard Dauenhauer, writer and former poet laureate of Alaska, with whom she has co-authored and co-edited several editions of Tlingit language and folklore material. She has served on the Southeast Alaska Tribal College Elders Council since 1996. She has four children, thirteen grandchildren, and five great grandchildren.

Mike Andrews, Sr.

Mike Andrews, Sr. was born at the old village site of Amigtuli along the Black River near Kusilvak Mountain. He was raised at Amigtuli until he was about eleven years old, after which he was taken away by a priest for his formal education. He attended school at the Akulurak Mission, one of the first boarding schools in the state and run by the Catholic Church.

While growing up, Mike helped his parents by packing water and chopping firewood. He learned how to do things by observing people and then later trying them on his own. In this way, he learned how to make traditional tools, like fish traps made out of driftwood. He also made his own sled and started his own dog team. As an adult, he made his own qayaq, and began trapping for different kinds of furs such as mink, otter and muskrat.

At a recent community meeting held to discuss the new LYSD cultural curriculum, Mike shared his belief that the Yup'ik language must be spoken and understood by the younger people. He also shared his experiences with the Yup'ik Language Institute and how he is pleased with the efforts made to preserve the language in the region. He likes being involved with the program and sharing his knowledge with the younger generations.

Today, "Upa" Andrews is very busy, being an elder-mentor to several Yup'ik teachers from the region and sharing his cultural wisdom as much as he can. He can often be found in the school at Emmonak, showing the students how to make fish traps or drumming and teaching them how to yuraq (dance). We are very lucky to have him in our lives and he is an inspiration to us all. Quyana, Upa!

 

Posthumous Awards

Belle Deacon

As a child, Belle was favored by her grandmother and was taught how to live a good and long life, never to swear, and always be kind and help old people. Marcia foretold that Belle would outlive the rest of her family, so it was to Belle that she passed on the traditional skills and knowledge she possessed. By watching Marcia work, and then by trying it herself, Belle learned the craftsmanship which has made her well-known in Alaska for her birchbark baskets.

Engithidong Xugixudhoy: Their Stories of Long Ago documents nine Deg Hit'an traditional stories by the late Belle Deacon of Grayling. Belle Deacon was a renowned storyteller, fluent in both English and Deg Xinag. She was a cultural expert in subsistence ways of the Deg Hit'an people and also known for her expertise in making beautiful birch bark and willow root baskets. From the late 1970s through the 1980s, Belle was invited to tell stories and demonstrate her basket-making skills to groups of people all over Alaska. This publication is an invaluble educational and language learning resource.

 

Robert Nasruk Cleveland

Robert Nasruk Cleveland, father of Minnie Gray, shared many stories and legends on reel-to-reel tapes to preserve valuable information on Iñupiaq language, history and heritage. He was recorded by the late Don Foote and by Wanni Anderson in Folktakes of the Riverine and Coastal Iñupiat.

Robert is one of three Kobuk Cleveland brothers. Born toward the end of the 1800s, Robert Cleveland, as a young boy, had personally participated in the historic Sisualik trading meets where Inupiaq from coastal and riverine settlements met each spring to trade. A skilled subsistence Inupiaq and a prolific storyteller, Robert spent a great deal of his growing-up years in a qargi where he acquired his Iñupiaq skill and stories from the Elders.

Robert lived most of his life around the Black River and moved to live in Shungnak after the village was established. Robert was married to Flora Sanmigana (Cooper) Cleveland from Qala and had thirteen children. The four surviving sons and daughters are: Minnie Alitchak Gray, Clara Paaniikaaluk Lee, Homer Qaliaq Cleveland and Levi Anarraaq Cleveland.

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.

 


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Last modified August 21, 2006