In March Tanana Chiefs Conference premiered the Legacy of Our Elders, a project that documents the lives of 18 Athabascan elders throughout the TCC region.
In 2015, TCC Communications secured a National Park Service Tribal Heritage Grant, which provided funding for TCC to interview elders from each of the six subregions to document their language, culture and history.
Through this grant the Legacy of Our Elders project was developed. This project includes several volumes of books and DVDs, each including interviews with 6 six elders – one from each subregion within the TCC region.
These books and DVDs will be sent to all tribal offices throughout the region, local schools, and are already being used in classrooms at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
All of the videos will be available to view for free on the TCC website.
The elders interviewed in our first three volumes include: Poldine Carlo, Nulato; Trimble Gilbert, Arctic Village; Elizabeth Fleagle, Alatna; Sam Demientieff, Holy Cross; Irene Solomon-Arnold, Tanacross; Nick Alexia, Nikolai; Don Honea Sr., Ruby; Nancy James, Fort Yukon; Howard Luke, Nenana; Joseph Maillelle, Grayling; Jerry Isaac, Tanacross; Oline Petruska, Nikolai; Leo Lolnitz, Koyukuk; Paul Williams Sr., Beaver; Luke Titus, Minto; Daisy Demientieff, Holikachuk; Roy David, Tetlin; and Frank Miller of McGrath.
TCC plans to continue this project by interviewing elders throughout the region. Elders are a treasured part of any community and their stories, lives, and experiences are priceless. Their stories of perseverance inspire us and remind us the importance of keeping the Athabascan culture, traditions and language alive.
Finally, TCC would like to thank all of our elders for the gift of their stories. It is a true honor to be able to preserve those gifts.