Native Leadership Continues to Monitor Missing Persons Cases

Fairbanks, Alaska − The missing person cases of Frank Minano, Debbie Nictune, Doren Sanford, Willis Derendoff and Steven Hjelm remain unresolved.  Tanana Chiefs Conference, Fairbanks Native Association, and Doyon, Limited continue to monitor the cases and work with families and local law enforcement.


“We know families are still searching,” said PJ Simon, Jr. “They are still hurting.  We will continue to assist in any way we can to help bring our people home.”


The leadership of TCC, Doyon and FNA have been talking frequently about these cases.  In late November 2020, the Native Leadership of TCC, Doyon, FNA and Denakkanaaga met with family members of Minano, Nictune and Sanford and listened to the concerns and requests of the family,


In mid-December 2020, a joint letter from TCC, Doyon, FNA and Denakkanaaga, was sent to City Mayor Jim Matherly, Fairbanks North Star Borough Mayor Bryce Ward, Alaska Public Safety Commissioner Amanda Price, Acting Fairbanks Police Chief Richard Sweet and Captain Ron Wall of the Alaska State Troopers.  The letter asked for a meeting with law enforcement, family members and the Native leadership to fully understand the current status of each case and to discuss ways to support the search efforts.  Scheduling conflicts have delayed the meeting, now expected to be held in the near future.


“As I stated in the letter in December, we look forward to working with law enforcement to resolve these cases and improve community safety,” said Steve Ginnis, FNA executive director.  “If anyone knows anything about the whereabouts of any missing person, please contact the appropriate agency.”


To report information contact the Alaska State Troopers or the Fairbanks Police Department. TCC VPSO Coordinator Darrell Hildebrand is also available at 907-452-8251.


Tomorrow, Saturday, Jan. 23, 12 p.m. community members will gather outside the Chief Peter John Tribal Building in Fairbanks for a prayer vigil and call to action alongside the families of the missing persons. The event is open to the public and we encourage everyone who attends to practice social distancing and to wear a mask.


Headquartered in Fairbanks, Doyon, Limited has more than 20,100 shareholders and was established under the 1971 Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act. Doyon has subsidiaries in oilfield services, government contracting, and tourism, is also the largest private landowner in Alaska and one of the largest in North America. Its mission is to continually enhance its position as a financially strong Native corporation in order to promote the economic and social well-being of its shareholders and future shareholders, to strengthen its Native way of life, and to protect and enhance its land and resources. For more information, visit


Tanana Chiefs Conference is an Alaska Native non-profit corporation that works toward meeting the health and social service needs of the Alaska Native people living within the 235,000 square mile region in Interior Alaska. TCC was formally founded in 1962 and emerged out of the long-standing tradition of Interior tribes working together to advocate for their communities. For more information visit

Fairbanks Native Association was incorporated as a nonprofit organization in 1967. Members are descendants of Alaska Natives or other Native American people and vote on a nine member board of directors. Today FNA is a powerful and influential Native American voice in Alaska. Over the years our organization has changed public policies that were discriminatory to our people and our programs have helped countless people find new jobs, maintain sobriety, celebrate their culture, and receive an education