Class of 2014


Eleanor Andrews

1944 –

Achievement in: Civic Entrepreneurship  

Eleanor Andrews has been building the human infrastructure capacity of Alaska for nearly five decades.  She has been a successful business woman, as the owner of the Andrews Group, and also has been a highly regarded public servant. But it is the effectiveness and sweeping nature of her advocacy on behalf of community that is most amazing. Andrews is most widely known as a “civic entrepreneur” – that is a person who inspires institutions, businesses and individuals to invest in the community at the same time that they being successful at their work.

She has led many people to understand that it is good for business to develop quality schools, affordable housing, accessible economic opportunities and safe neighborhoods and to create a just and fair city and state. She has given her own time, money and talents for decades, but has also inspired and cajoled an army of others to participate in advancing our communities.

During both her private-sector and public-sector careers, Andrews gave back to Alaska in a multitude of typical ways: by serving on boards, raising money and giving time. Andrews also coordinated community action to build the new Fairview School. In that instance she persuaded the Anchorage School District, the voters of Anchorage and financial institutions to redirect unused bond funds to build the new school in a distressed neighborhood.

Andrews brings people together to solve community problems and to equalize the playing field for all people, particularly those disadvantaged by poverty, racism or institutional bias.  She is known as a successful African American business woman, an accomplished person of integrity, a generous philanthropist, a strategic mentor, a loyal friend and a loving mother and grandmother. She relishes cooking for and sharing time with her adult children and grown grandchildren.

However, Andrews believes her greatest legacy is to have inspired others to generously give back – to invest time, talents, money and energy into making our communities as healthy and supportive of families and with as much social and economic justice as is possible.  She deeply values being regarded as a “civic entrepreneur.” (More…)


Jane Angvik

Jane Ruth Angvik

1948 -

Achievement in: Community Development and Collaboration

Jane Angvik has been involved in Alaska public life since 1973. She has served as an elected member of the Anchorage Assembly and the Anchorage Charter Commission and has taught many women how to conduct campaigns for public office.

Angvik devoted much of her professional life to improving understanding between rural and urban Alaskans, particularly around issues of access to subsistence resources. She started work with the Alaska Federation of Natives in 1974 and in the 1990s she managed the planning for the Alaska Native Heritage Center. Today she is welcomed with joyous hugs at the AFN convention.

She has lived in Alaska for 40 years where she is a force who brings people together to create better, more open and inclusive communities. She connects people and resources, government entities and organizations to each other.

Angvik is a happy and welcoming person. When people inquire how she is, she responds with words such as “joyful, terrific and grateful.” She inspires people to counter the hatred and fear of the radio airways with hope, courage and commitment.

She has shown many people that you can debate, disagree, find common ground and follow it up by breaking bread and doing what is right.

She is joyfully married to Vic Fischer, who shares her enthusiasm for social and economic justice, public affairs and entertaining friends and family. They have raised a successful daughter, Ruth, who graduated from the University of Alaska and is married to a member of the armed services and together they are raising their children to be givers.

A strong advocate of women’s rights, Angvik’s lasting legacy is the energy she has dedicated to the development of girls and women and to the protection of women against abuse and discrimination. She has hired, trained, guided, mentored and encouraged women to seek and accomplish their own goals with skills that enable them to fully participate in decision-making. She has helped lay the foundation for the development of the next generation of strong and capable women.  (More…)

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Beverly D. Dunham

1932 –

Achievement In:  Journalism and Community Advocacy

Beverly, “Bev”, Dunham is a pioneer in Alaska journalism and a tireless community advocate. She is described as being ahead of her time and a strong role model to many women and young girls growing up in Alaska.

Dunham founded the Seward Pheonix Log in 1966 and as editor/publisher expanded the role women play in publishing and opened doors for women in journalism. Her impressive public service record spans more than six decades and the list of accomplishments is long. She’s held elected office on the Seward School Board and Seward City Council even acting as mayor for a time. She’s been appointed and served with distinction on many committees, commissions, and volunteer efforts from planning to tourism to corrections to historical preservation. Her community advocacy has had significant influence in Seward for a very long time.

In 2005 Dunham was named the Person of the Year by the Seward Chamber of Commerce and was named one of First Lady Nancy Murkowski’s Persons of the Year.

Today Dunham continues to do a little writing; works on historic preservation projects; is involved in women’s and children’s issues; does some traveling; and, enjoys being with her family, grandkids and her 19 great-grandkids! Dunham, due to the love and support from her husband, family and her many friends in Seward as well as all across Alaska, has continued her long and deep commitment to Seward and to the State of Alaska. (More…)

Mary Jane Fate1

Mary Jane (Evans) Fate

1933 –

Achievement in: Native Leadership

Mary Jane Fate, a Koyukon Athabascan born in Rampart, labored tirelessly to improve all aspects of Alaska Native people’s lives. As one of the original Alaska Native Land Claims Settlement Act lobbyists, she worked with others to convince the White House and Congress of the fairness and justice in conveying 40 million acres and $1 billion to Alaska Natives through the passage of the Native claims act in 1971.

After graduating from Mt. Edgecumbe boarding high school in 1952 she became one of the first Native women to attend college at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks. Because of her numerous accomplishments, she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Laws degree from UAF in 1992.

Fate was recognized for her leadership abilities by becoming the first woman co-chair of the Alaska Federation of Natives. She served on her Alaska Native village corporation board since its inception in 1972 until recently and was its president for many years. She is a founding member of the North American Indian Women’s Association and in 1975 was its third national president.

As co-chairs of the Alaska Natives Commission Fate and Perry Eaton led a two-year study which produced a report designed to serve as a blueprint for change regarding the way the federal and state governments are to deal with Alaska Native issues.

Appointed at the end of 2001 by President George H.W. Bush, Fate served as the only indigenous member on the U.S. Arctic Research Commission for a little more than four years with her last meeting held in June 2006, USARC’s 80th meeting, which was held in Barrow, Alaska.

In 2003 President George W. Bush appointed her as a member of the U.S. Census Advisory Committee on American Indian and Alaska Native Populations.

In 2012 Fate was honored by her Native regional corporation, Doyon, with their most prestigious award, Citizen of the Year: “for her leadership, strong commitment, competence and sensitivity in the educational and cultural survival of Alaska Natives.” 

Her achievements do not stop at serving only her people. Fate was among four prominent Americans chosen to receive Cancer Awareness awards in 1998. She served as director on the Alaska Airlines board for 25 years, the first 23 years as the only woman to do so, and in 1981 she was the first woman and Alaska Native appointed to the Alaska Judicial Council. She was a Regent for the University of Alaska from 1993 through 2001. Until recently she was a member of the board for the Breast Cancer Detection Center in Fairbanks which she helped found in the l970s with Nancy Murkowski. (More…)


Katie John

1915 – 2013

Achievement in: Advocating for Native subsistence rights; respected Ahtna Athabascan elder and culture bearer.

Katie John started life in 1915 near Slana, Alaska, and was raised in the Native village of Baltzulneta in the traditional way. Her long life, spanning 97 years, carried her from a traditional native village life to a modern western lifestyle, from travel by foot to travel by plane and from being taught traditional ways and learning traditional knowledge to being awarded an honorary doctorate of laws from the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. Subsistence is key to how John lived her life: as a child; as a parent raising 20 children with her husband; to her successful battle to have subsistence recognized as a legal right inherent in Native culture.

The “Katie John case,” litigated by the Native American Rights Fund, began in 1985 and continues to this day. By standing up for her belief that she had the legal right to live a subsistence lifestyle, John forced the federal government to protect and preserve subsistence rights on federal lands and waters and forced the State of Alaska to cede management authority to the federal government over subsistence uses of Alaska’s fish and wildlife on federal lands.

John led and taught other aspects of Ahtna Athabascan culture as well. She helped develop the first written alphabet for the Ahtna Athabascan language in the early 1970s and then recorded pronunciation guides to help teach and preserve that language. She was a tireless teacher of the language and culture to her many (more than 250) grandchildren, great grandchildren and great-great grandchildren. As a strong, resolute and persistent woman, Katie John is recognized as a respected elder, culture bearer and matriarch. (More…)

Kay Lahdenpera

V. Kay Lahdenpera

1936 -

Achievement in: Public Health Nursing

Kay Lahdenpera is a legend in nursing in Alaska and has touched thousands of women’s lives throughout her 45-year career in public health. Born in Juneau, Alaska, in 1936 she is a third generation Alaskan. Lahdenpera earned her nursing degree from the University of Washington in 1961. After graduating she worked in New York at Bellevue Hospital and was the nurse for 100 neglected children at St. Barnabas House. In 1965 Lahdenpera returned to Anchorage and was hired by the Greater Anchorage Area Borough Health Department as a public health nurse. In 1967 she became manager for the Region X, Title X Family Planning Clinic. Lahdenpera completed her Master’s in Public Health in1985.

During her 35 years at the Health Department, Lahdenpera was instrumental in implementing the Region X, Title X Women’s Health program and establishing the clinic as a training program for the first women’s health nurse practitioners (NPs) in Alaska. As a result of this training program, NPs were, for the first time, able to perform colposcopies and prescribe medication within their scope of practice. The clinic is a training ground for health care professionals, including medical students. Local physicians saw the value of NPs and began to hire them.

Lahdenpera has presented at numerous local, national and international conferences ultimately elevating NPs to become a vital and a core part of the U.S. and international health care systems. In the 1980s, Lahdenpera’s team presented a poster presentation at both the Circumpolar Health Summit and the Alaska Public Health Summit. This presentation received special interest from Canadian medical doctors to use NPs in rural communities throughout Canada. Lahdenpera and her team also presented at numerous national conferences including the National Family Planning Reproductive Health Association Conference and at the American Public Health Association Conference. These presentations introduced the Colposcopy and the Family Planning for Troubled Teens projects on a national level. Lahdenpera’s success elevated to an international level in 1993 when she joined the Eisenhower Ambassador Program that traveled to China. In 1997 Lahdenpera and her team made a Poster Presentation at the XV FIGO World Congress of Gynecology & Obstetrics, Copenhagen, Denmark. This presentation was the only presentation done by a nurse practitioner and a public health nurse manager at the World Congress for Medical Doctors.

Lahdenpera has volunteered on numerous professional boards throughout Alaska and has received a plethora of awards for her accomplishments including: being one of the first recipients of the Alaska March of Dimes Nurse of the Year Award for “Legends of Nursing” (2009), the first American Nurses Association Excellence in Nursing Award (1993); Title X Family Planning Program Excellence in Management Award (1994); National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association, Inc. (Outstanding Local Service Award from (1997); BP and YWCA Women of Achievement Award (1997); and Alaska Nurses Association “Hall of Fame” Award (2009). (More…)

Janie Leask

Janie Leask,  Gyetm Wilgoosk, Tsimshian name 

1948 –

Achievement In: Alaska Native Leadership and Community Building 

Janie Leask has devoted her personal and professional life to creating honest and respectful connections among diverse peoples. She is a bridge between communities. The characteristics that permeate her career include: leading complex organizations, creating opportunities for diverse communities to engage in meaningful conversation and mentoring young people.

Raised by a Haida/Tsimshian father and Irish/German mother in Metlakatla and Anchorage, Leask initiated her 15-year career with the Alaska Federation of Natives in 1974. During this time, she grew her understanding of public policy and the political system with the encouragement of a supportive mentor. She was selected and served as the President/CEO of AFN from 1982-1989.

These were tumultuous years for the Alaska Native community as they built organizations to implement the Alaska Native Land Claims Settlement Act, participated in drafting the federal land management policies of Alaska in ANILCA and fought for state laws governing access to subsistence resources for rural residents.

Under Leask’s leadership, and in a largely male-dominated environment, AFN began to formally listen to young people and engage in dialogue with many diverse communities of interest while continuing legislative efforts in Juneau and Washington, DC.

During the AFN years she often felt limited by her own her personal self-doubts based on her lack of a college degree and her mixed heritage. Over time she conquered her concern about lack of a formal education as she saw the results of her drive to “get something done.”

Her self-doubt about not being “Native enough” was resolved through her continued work with Alaska Native people, and was capped off when Janie and her son were formally adopted into the Eagle Clan of the Tsimshian Tribe – the clan of her father, the late Wally Leask. At this ceremony she was given her Tsimshian name of “Gyetm Wilgoosk” meaning “person of wisdom.”

After AFN Leask turned her professional attention to the private sector for 15 years and served as the Vice President of Community Development at the National Bank of Alaska as well as the Manager of Community Relations for Alyeska Pipeline Service Company.

Her community involvement included serving on the boards of the Alaska State Chamber of Commerce, Commonwealth North and the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce; from which she received the Chairman’s Award for her work in organizing trips to rural villages to foster understanding between urban and rural peoples. Later, she and former Anchorage Mayor Rick Mystrom co-chaired Commonwealth North’s “Urban Rural Unity Study”.

Leask’s work on urban-rural issues earned her several recognitions including the Alaska Governor’s Award, the Alaska Village Initiative’s Chief’s Knife Award, and Shareholder of the Year from Cook Inlet Region, Inc. In 2000 she was named a YWCA Woman of Achievement. In 2006 she was ATHENA Recipient, and in 2001 she was identified as one of the Top 25 Most Powerful Alaskans.

In 2006 Leask returned to work within the Native community as the President/CEO of First Alaskans Institute, where for four years she focused on intergenerational leadership development and public policy issues impacting Alaska Native peoples and communities.

In the past decade she has invested much energy nurturing friendships among women, where common experiences with balancing family, work and service to the community are shared and valued. She finds great strength in a community of capable women who trust each other.

Universally, Leask believes every person has a gift to contribute. Her advice to young people is: find your gift; nurture it and use it. Network as much as possible and recognize and act upon your obligation to give back to the community.

Leask is proud to be the mother of David Moore, a son who has become a wonderful and sensitive man.

She is married to Don Reed and together they are making their new home in Homer. In her recreational time, Leask is a talented ice hockey player who demonstrates finesse and fierceness on the ice. She is a great team player. (More…)


Kay Muriel (Townsend) Linton

1933 – 2003

Achievement in:  Organization, leadership and volunteering

When Kay Linton’s name, or Mrs. Jack (Kay) Linton’s as she preferred, comes up, the words volunteer extraordinaire, consummate organizer and inveterate volunteer are usually close by. When other parts of speech are used, Linton is always described as a true professional volunteer in the superlative sense and as positive, kind, jovial, thoughtful and respectful of her team of volunteers who never were to be called workers in her presence.

Anchorage Daily News columnist Mike Doogan said, “She was an organizer, and if you were in the vicinity, you got organized.” Gov. Tony Knowles is quoted as saying: “To know Kay was to work for Kay.” Alaska’s furrier Perry Green called Linton “a volunteer’s volunteer – someone who would never ask you to do something she wouldn’t do herself.”

Linton arrived in Anchorage in 1960. She was far away from her family and “felt stifled and unhappy, but her marriage was strong,” she told Linda Billington in an interview in 1991. She decided to “find a need and fill it” which became her motto. Thus her professional career as a volunteer organizing, chairing and championing causes and projects began.

Especially proud of two of her biggest projects, Linton knew how to celebrate the anniversaries of Alaska’s 25 years of statehood in 1984, and Anchorage’s 75 years in 1990. It only took two and a half hours to sell 950 Machetanz “Heritage of Alaska” prints signed by Alaska’s first five governors which netted $194,000. For Anchorage Linton organized the re-enactment of the town as a tent city of 1915 along Ship Creek.

She was also known for her creation of time capsules. Some of the more memorable ones are buried near the Anchorage Pioneer Schoolhouse, the Anchorage Log Cabin, the Eisenhower Memorial as well as the General Federation of Women’s Clubs base in Washington, D.C.

The wing-shaped fountain or ice sculpture on the south lawn of the Loussac Library is named after Kay Linton through a formal request of Mayor Mark Begich and an Anchorage Assembly resolution unanimously passed in 2004 because of her tireless fund raising efforts for library programs and the fountain maintenance and repairs.

Community projects with her name on them are far too numerous to name but they ranged from inventing and naming “Will U Readmore,” the library system’s mascot owl, to arranging for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor to give a free public lecture in Anchorage, to planning the Miss Alaska Pageants, to chairing the governors’ picnics and staging their inaugural balls regardless of their political party, to organizing the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce Gold Pan awards.

To name just a few of the major awards she received over her more than 40 years of volunteering: Alaskan of the Year, Distinguished Citizen Award from the Boy Scouts of America (the first woman to be given this award), two Anchorage Chamber of Commerce Gold Pans and YWCA Woman of Achievement.

Indefatigable to the end, in the last weeks before her death Linton had been writing a section of a book about Alaska pioneers and was worried she wouldn’t meet the deadline, said Michelle Cassano, a longtime friend. The deadline was met. (More…)


Jane Vallett Sutherland Niebergall

1931 -

Achievement In:  Advocacy for Rural Education and Training 

Jane Vallett Sutherland Niebergall is a happy, positive, giving woman born in Hollywood and growing up in Glendale, Calif. After graduation in 1953 from a small college in Hollywood she married and started a family, having two children. Several years later her husband died in an accident.  By 1965 she had a teaching certificate and earned a Master’s Degree in Educational Supervision. During that spring she received a call from Juneau and was invited to work on a team of people for Head Start, traveling the Bush. This began her lifelong love of Alaskans and the Alaska Bush.

It was through this introduction to rural life and education that Niebergall was able, early in Alaska’s statehood, to experience the needs of the people and pave the way for her later work in Juneau for the Department of Education with the new para-professional Native people training to become Early Childhood teachers. But the Department of Education had not experienced what Niebergall had in all her travels for Head Start and Native teacher training would not happen.

This was hard news but Niebergall’s Head Start boss gave her the go-ahead to start training without the Department of Education, and thus was born the institutionalized training of Native women who would be the first Head Start teachers. There were no other programs for early childhood education training of Alaska Natives. Niebergall saw the transition from Governor Egan to Governor Hickel, worked for ISEGR (now known as the Institute of Social and Economic Research) in Fairbanks, built a cabin in Aniak and even wrote her doctoral dissertation for a Doctorate Degree in Education. Sadly, this handwritten dissertation was accidentally dumped into the Kuskokwim and, being the only copy and with all of Niebergall’s other work still raging on, she quietly left the degree on the shelf and never submitted her dissertation. Niebergall has worked for Alaska Methodist University, Anchorage Community College, Kenai Community College and others. Her life of service to Alaskans and education is still going strong and Niebergall is now 83 years old! (More…)

Pratt2 (Photo courtesy Michael Dineen, copy and reuse restrictions apply)

Verna E. Pratt


Achievement In: Educating  Alaskans about their native plants and wildflowers

Growing up on a small farm in Massachusetts, Verna Pratt became fascinated by the flowers growing in her mother’s garden and by the wildflowers in the adjoining fields. This life-long interest has led her to become not only an internationally recognized expert in Alaska’s native plants, but to generously share her knowledge with the public through authoring easy-to-use field guides, teaching, lecturing and leading field trips.

As a self-taught, amateur botanist, wanting to learn about and identify Alaska’s native plants, Pratt found it exceedingly difficult to learn from the reference materials available. The few books were heavy, scientific books, with black-and-white drawings, and were ill-suited for field identification.  Frustrated by her inability to learn and embarrassed by misidentifications, Pratt and her husband, Frank, decided, without any prior experience, to write and publish a useable field guide for the curious generalist. They decided that the guidebook had to meet three stipulations: good color photographs, scientifically correct text and stitched bindings, so the book would not fall apart when used in the field. Pratt then made a creative, key decision that has led to the great success her guidebooks have achieved: to organize the plants by color; not scientific classification. This opened up a new way for the novice to learn and think about plants, their varieties, similarities and their sheer beauty.

Of her many achievements, including the authorship of six publications and multiple honors, Pratt is proudest of the fact that through her efforts she has helped people to learn about Alaska’s native plants, wildflowers and berries. (More…)


Barbara Sweetland Smith 

1936 – 2013

Achievement in:  Preserving Alaska’s Russian History and Culture

A dedicated Russian scholar, Barbara Sweetland Smith earned international respect and awards for her research and publications on the Russian Orthodox Church and Russian America. Among the awards she received were the Order of Friendship of the Russian People from the government of the then-Soviet Union; the Order of St. Herman from the Russian Orthodox Church; the Best Book of the Year 1982  from the American Association of Archivists for “Russian Orthodoxy in Alaska: a history, inventory, and analysis of the church archives in Alaska”. Smith also twice received the President’s Award from the Alaska Historical Society in 1988 and in 1996. In honor of her many contributions and achievements, the Alaska Historical Society renamed its Pathfinder Award for the preparation of guides and other resource materials to assist researchers. It is now called the Barbara Sweetland Smith Award.

A graduate of California’s Mills College, Smith went on to do graduate work at Columbia University’s Russian Institute. It was here she developed her expertise in the history of the Russian Orthodox Church and its far-reaching influence in shaping the history of Alaska. She then accepted a position as administrative assistant at the prestigious Harvard Russian Institute for two years before moving to Anchorage in 1970. At the University of Alaska Anchorage, Smith taught Russian history and brought to light many early documents published by the Russian Orthodox Church, explorers, and adventurers.  Smith shared her extensive knowledge of Russian historical resources through publishing many books on the influence of the Russian Orthodox Church in the development of Russian America. She authored articles and books about the church activity after 1867 as Russian America became Alaska. Several of her books became widely acclaimed earning her international distinction as a scholar of Russian history in Alaska.

Her expertise and dedication helped make possible the restoration and preservation of rare icons and historic Russian Orthodox churches in the Aleutian and Pribilof islands damaged during World War II. Among other things, Smith was instrumental in securing major funding to conserve, catalog and restore icons of the Holy Ascension Church in Unalaska, perhaps the largest single collection of pre-20th century art in Alaska.

Smith also curated four major exhibitions for the Anchorage Museum of History and Art: “Russian America: the Forgotten Frontier,” “Heaven on Earth: Orthodox Treasures of Siberia and North America,” and “Science Under Sail: Russia’s Great Voyages to America 1728-1867.” These popular, world-class exhibits, some of which traveled the country, portrayed how the Russian presence has shaped Alaska’s history and cultures. She was also active in advocating for private, state and federal funding and support for archives, historical programs, and museums. She was a founder of the respected Alaska History Journal.

Also finding time for community work, Smith served as president of the Anchorage Fellowship in Serving Humanity (FISH) for 28 years – working with the Food Bank of Alaska to provide food pantries for those in need. She also served as a board member and President of Soroptimists International of Anchorage, a group dedicated to improving the lives of women and girls locally and around the world, and as a board member of the national archives of the Episcopal Church. (More…)

 Francine Lastufka Taylor

Francine Conat Lastufka Taylor

1937 –

Achievement in: Advocacy and preservation of Alaska arts, culture and history. 

With the culturally diverse blood of Mexican, Spanish and French aristocrats, Blackfoot, Sioux, and French Canadians running in her veins, Francine Lastufka Taylor was a natural to lead Alaskans through their infancy in recognizing and celebrating their unique culture. For her efforts over the years, Francine was a finalist for the YWCA/BP Women of Achievement Award in 1996. In 1998 she was a finalist for the National Federation of Press Women’s Communicator of Achievement Award and earned the Alaska Press Women’s Lifetime Achievement Award the same year. One of her many successes was the creation of the Alaska Native Arts Festival 1966-1972, which she served as a founding director. Perhaps her greatest feat, however, is the founding of Alaska Moving Image Preservation Association, AMIPA, in 1991.

Collections of Alaska’s motion picture films, video and audio recordings were held by libraries, museums, archives, producer and the general public – none of which had the technical resources to preserve and provide access to them. Taylor led the charge to preserve these materials and to make them available to the public through the creation of AMIPA. Through public and private donations the collection and technical capacities of the organization quickly grew, and in 1997 AMIPA transitioned from an all volunteer organization to one having a paid curatorial, technical and administrative staff.

An accomplished pianist and singer, Taylor first used her talents to help disabled children at the Alaska Crippled Children’s Association through music. The program she developed became such a success the Anchorage School District asked her to volunteer her program to include all the city’s elementary schools. Taylor also performed with the Anchorage Community Chorus, the Anchorage Opera, the Alaska Festival of Music and the Alaska Chamber Singers. She served 15 years as a board member for the Visual Arts Center and is an award-winning documentary film maker.

A colleague and friend, Irene Rowan, a former president of Klukwan, Inc. and now a director of Northrim Bank, says Taylor, “became a fearsome activist at a time when most women lacked the inclination or courage to make waves.” (More…)


Gertrude M. Wolfe

1933 – 2007

Achievement In: Health care and Education

A life-long Alaskan, born in Sitka and member of the Tlingit Coho Clan, Getrude “Trudy” Wolfe helped the people of Hoonah as well as all Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian peoples of southeast Alaska get better educational opportunities and medical care. A health aide in the early 1950s before there was a certified program, Wolfe’s 34-year career included helping to organize the Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium in 1975, a nonprofit tribal organization that promotes healthy lifestyles, has a traditional foods program and provides health services. Wolfe served many years on the Hoonah School Board and was active with the Alaska Native Sisterhood, serving as its grand president. A wife, mother of six of her own children and a foster mother to a number of others through the years, health care provider and community activist for education, Wolfe was recognized with a proclamation by the Alaska Legislature in 2007 and inducted into the Sheldon Jackson Hall of Fame the same year. (More…)