Donald Honea, Sr. has been serving as the First Traditional Chief of Tanana Chiefs Conference since 2008. One of 17 children, Donald was born August 20, 1931 in Ruby to the late Margaret and Bill Honea. He attended school in Eklutna and married Clara McCarty in 1949. They lived in Kokrines for awhile living the “old way”, off the land trapping and fishing and using dogs for winter travel. Clara and Donald had 14 children together.
He worked for the State of Alaska DOT for 35 years as an equipment operator and foreman and is now retired. He founded the Ruby Native Council and served as Chief for 20 years, served as president for 20 years of the Dineega Corporation, served on the local Community School Committee for 30 years, served on the City Council for about 25 years, both as mayor and council member. He served on the Doyon board, Tanana Chiefs Conference board, Koyukon Development board and RurALCAP board. He served both as chairman and board member of the Yukon-Koyukuk School District. He ran in the Iditarod 7 times and was an avid dog musher.