FAIRBANKS — Four Doyon, Limited shareholders were spotlighted and honored with awards Friday at the Alaska Federation of Natives President’s Awards Luncheon.
James Gallen, Poldine Carlo, Susan Paskvan and Mary Jane Fate each were recognized for individual achievements.
• James Gallen received the Glenn Godrey Law Enforcement Award, made more meaningful since he was trained under the late Godfrey, former director of the Alaska State Troopers. Gallen was born in Fairbanks and raised in Northway in a traditional Athabascan subsistence lifestyle.
He began his law enforcement career in 1972, and has served in the federal protective service and the Alaska State Troopers and is now a lieutenant in the Alaska Cold Case Unit in Anchorage. Earlier in his career he served as a Northway Highway Patrol officer, covering 200 road miles from the Alcan Port of Entry (Canadian border) to Dot Lake, Mentasta and Eagle.
• Poldine Carlo is the first recipient of the Hannah Paul Solomon “Woman of Courage” Award, especially fitting since the two women were close friends for many years and adopted each other as sisters. Solomon passed away in 2011.
Born in Nulato in 1920, Carlo was one of the founders of the Fairbanks Native Association in 1960, which today is a multimillion-dollar organization with 40 different programs and a staff of more than 200 employees. The two matriarchs, Hannah Solomon from the upper Yukon, and Poldine Carlo from the lower Yukon, shared the same values and helped and brought people together on many projects over the years.
• Susan “K’etsoo” Jones Paskvan was accorded the Culture Bearer Award for her extensive work in teaching and preserving a Native language. Susan was born to Benedict and Eliza Jones in the village of Koyukuk, located at the confluence of the Yukon and Koyukuk rivers, and she is one of the Toneedze Gheltseelne Clan.
Susan has made learning and teaching the Koyukon Athabascan Denaakk’e language her life’s work. She is one of the most active Native people involved with Denaakk’e preservation today. Her enthusiasm and energy for the Denaakk’e language and culture engages and excites others, a method of teaching language immersion that can be applied across cultures. For more than six years, Susan has voluntarily been providing an “Athabascan Word of the Week” with photographs, that appears Saturdays in the News-Miner. Susan is married to Steve Paskvan, and they have two sons, Jason and Adam.
• Mary Jane Fate was presented the AFN Public Service Award on Friday, the second public recognition at this year’s AFN conference. On Thursday, she received the Shirley Demientieff Award for advocacy on behalf of Alaska Native women and children.
Mary Jane Fate was born 1933 in Rampart to Sally Woods Evans Hudson and Thomas George Evans Sr. She graduated from Mount Edgecumbe High School in 1952, and was one of the first Native women of her generation to attend college at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Mary Jane has dedicated her life to improving the economic, educational, health, social, and cultural issues for all Alaska Native people. She worked tirelessly for the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act and was one of the founding membeers of Fairbanks Native Association, Tundra Times, Institute of Native Arts and the North American Indian Women’s Association. In addition she was the first woman co-chair of AFN and the only indigenous member of the U.S. Arctic Research Commission during her term. She has been married to Dr. Hugh Fate for 57 years.
On Thursday, Doyon shareholder Bernice Joseph, who was raised in Nulato, was named AFN Citizen of the Year for 2012. She is vice chancellor of rural, community and Native education at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. More about Joseph and other award winners was published in Friday’s News-Miner.
Joseph said her interest in education stemmed from the example set by her mother, Edith, who worked on university degrees to become a teacher while raising her seven children alone after her husband died
“My mom served as a guiding light and role model,” she said. “She taught for 34 years in the village of Nulato, so she instilled the importance of education to all of her kids and grandkids, and I’ve been blessed to use my education in exciting, adventurous, challenging and rewarding ways.”