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Books by Alaska Native authors - for Alaska Book Week: Home
This bibliography of books by Alaska Native authors accompanies a display at the Alaska State Library, in the Andrew P. Kashevaroff Building, to celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day and Alaska Book Week. As such, it's not comprehensive. It's generally limited to titles available in our circulating collection. Only titles where Alaska Native authors are given primary credit are included, although there may be additional editors or compilers. If you notice a title that would fit these parameters that we've missed, please let us know.
Blonde Indian by Ernestine Hayes
Call Number: E99.T6H39 2006
Publication Date: 2006-09-21
In the spring, the bear returns to the forest, the glacier returns to its source, and the salmon returns to the fresh water where it was spawned. Drawing on the special relationship that the Native people of southeastern Alaska have always had with nature, Blonde Indian is a story about returning. Told in eloquent layers that blend Native stories and metaphor with social and spiritual journeys, this enchanting memoir traces the author's life from her difficult childhood growing up in the Tlingit community, through her adulthood, during which she lived for some time in Seattle and San Francisco, and eventually to her return home. Neither fully Native American nor Euro-American, Hayes encounters a unique sense of alienation from both her Native community and the dominant culture. We witness her struggles alongside other Tlingit men and women--many of whom never left their Native community but wrestle with their own challenges, including unemployment, prejudice, alcoholism, and poverty. The author's personal journey, the symbolic stories of contemporary Natives, and the tales and legends that have circulated among the Tlingit people for centuries are all woven together, making Blonde Indian much more than the story of one woman's life. Filled with anecdotes, descriptions, and histories that are unique to the Tlingit community, this book is a document of cultural heritage, a tribute to the Alaskan landscape, and a moving testament to how going back--in nature and in life--allows movement forward.
My Own Trail by Howard Luke; edited by Jan Jackson
Call Number: E99.A86L84 1998
Publication Date: 1998-10-01
The elders' gifts to each of us, Native and non-Native, is their guidance and support. Howard shows us how their attention can sustain and nourish us throughout our lives. This support is the basis of our "luck" and the reason why "respect" is so important to Howard. He believes that his respect for elders is the basis of his success and is the message that he wants to impart to the rest of us. [from the back cover]
Raising Ourselves by Velma Wallis
Call Number: E99.K84W34 2002
Publication Date: 2002-09-01
Born in 1960, the sixth of thirteen children, Velma Wallis comes of age in a two-room log cabin in remote Fort Yukon, Alaska. Life is defined by the business of living off the land. Chopping wood. Hauling water from the river. Hunting moose. Catching salmon. Traping fur. Taking care of the dogs. For a thousand years, the Gwich'in clan had followed migratory animals across the north. But two generations before, the people had settled where the Porcupine River flows into the Yukon. Now, the Wallis family has a post office box and an account at the general store, and Velma listens to Wolf Man Jack on armed forces radio. The author discovers that her people have surrendered their language, traditional values, and religion to white teachers, traders, and missionaries. Flu epidemics have claimed many loved ones. Village elders seem like strangers from another land, and in a way they are. There is much drinking when the monthly government checks come, and that is when the pain comes out of hiding. RAISING OURSELVES is a gritty, sobering, yet irresistible story filled with laughter even as generations of Gwich'in grief seeps from past to present. But hope pushes back hopelessness, and a new strength and wisdom emerge.
The Roots of Ticasuk by Ticasuk (Emily Ivanoff Brown)
Call Number: E99.E7T543 1981
Publication Date: 1981-06-01
"Emily Ivanoff Brown - Ticasuk - tells the story of her life and that of her family's along Alaska's Bering Sea coast. Handed down from parent to child to grandchild, this story tells of Eskimo customs and taboos, and of attempts to Westernize a proud culture." [from the back cover]
Shadows on the Koyukuk: An Alaska Native's life along the river by Sidney Huntington; Jim Reardon (Translator)
Call Number: E99.K79H864 1993
Publication Date: 1993-04-01
In his dramatic autobiography, Alaskan elder Sidney Huntington, half-white, half-Athabascan, recounts his adventures, tragedies, and ultimate success.
Madeline Solomon by Madeline Solomon; Curt Madison; Yvonne Yarber
Call Number: E99.K79S62 1981
Publication Date: 1980-01-01
The life and times of Native Eskimo Madeline Solomon of Koyukuk.
Josephine Roberts by Curt Madison; Yvonne Yarber
Call Number: E99.K79R63 1983
Publication Date: 1983-12-01
Autobiography of Athabaskan elder from Tanana, Josephine Roberts.
K'etetaalkkaanee, the One Who Paddled Among the People and Animals: The story of an ancient traveler by Eliza Jones (Translator); Catherine Attla
Call Number: E99.K79A875 1990
Publication Date: 1990-05-01
"Perhaps the longest of the Koyukon traditional narratives (kk'edonts'ednee), it recounts the epic journey of a traveler, strong in spirit power, who traverses the North. As K'etetaalkkaanee follows his destined path, he effects the transformation of animals, establishes customs, defines features of the physical world, and illustrates practical wisdom."
Haa Kusteeyí, Our Culture: Tlingit life stories by Nora Marks Dauenhauer; Richard Dauenhauer
Call Number: E99.T6H217 1994
Publication Date: 1994-09-01
This book is an introduction to Tlingit social and political history. Each biography is compelling in its own merit, but when all are taken together, the collection shows patterns of interaction among people and communities of today, and across the generations. By combining historical documents and photographs with accounts gathered from living memory, the book also enables the present, living generations to interact with their past. The book features biographies and life histories of more than 50 men and women, most born between 1880 and 1910, including a special section on the founders of the Alaska Native Brotherhood. Additional lives are described tangentially. Each biography or life history follows a standard format that includes vital statistics, genealogical information, names in Tlingit and English, and major achievements. But each is also unique. Like the lives they describe, all vary in length, detail, and style, depending on authorship and available human and archival resources. To the fullest extent possible oral and written material from the subjects and their families has been incorporated. Some is more anecdotal, some historical. The appendixes include previously unpublished historical documents and Tlingit texts with facing translations. The lives in this volume show how individual people both shaped and were shaped by their time and place in history.
Once upon an Eskimo Time by Edna Wilder; Dorothy Mayhew (Illustrator)
Call Number: E99.E7T838 1986
Publication Date: 1988-12-12
Discover the stories of a remarkable 109-year-old Eskimo woman who grew up on the Bering Sea in northwest Alaska.
Aanka Xoodzi ka Aasgutu Xoodzi Shkalneegi [NOTE: the diacritics in the title won't transfer over] by Ernestine Hayes; Wanda Culp (Illustrator); Ethel Makinen (Translator); Roby Littlefield (Transcribed by)
Call Number: PZ10.3.H29 Sto 2011
Publication Date: 2011-02-15
Children's picture book in Tlingit for use by Tlingit speakers and students in Tlingit language programs.
Native Values: Living in Harmony by Rosita K̲aaháni Worl
Call Number: E99.T6W67 2017
Publication Date: 2017-09-01
Explores the four core cultural values of the Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian of Southeast Alaska.This book is part of Baby Raven Reads, an award-winning Sealaska Heritage program for Alaska Native families with children up to age 5 that promotes language development and school readiness. Baby Raven Reads was awarded the Library of Congress's 2017 Literacy Awards Program Best Practice Honoree award.
Strong Man: a Tlingit story by Ishmael Hope
Call Number: E99.T6H66
Publication Date: [2007?]
Graphic novel retelling of the story of Strong Man, the Tlingit hero Dukt'ootl.
Ellangellemni: When I became aware... by Compiled by Eliza C. Orr; Ben Orr, Victor Kanrilak, Jr., Andy Charlie, Jr.; Lower Kuskokwim School District Staff; Alaska Native Language Center Staff
Call Number: E99.E7E46 1997
Publication Date: 1997-08-01
The Storytellers' Club by Loretta Outwater Cox
Call Number: PS3603.O923S76 2005
Publication Date: 2005-09-01
In the dark months of the Far North, a group of women decide to meet regularly and tell stories about the times and people of their youth. Each story delivers universal truths about family unity, respect, grief, and overcoming challenges.
Two Old Women by Velma Wallis
Call Number: E99.K84W35 1994
Publication Date: 1994-07-13
An Athabascan Indian of Alaska's Yukon flats, author Velma Wallis retells a classic legend wherein two old women are abandoned by their tribe during a brutal winter famine and must survive on their own or die trying. A wise and simple story now in paperback. Winner of a 1993 Western State Book Award.
Yupik Stories by Dolores Kawagley
Call Number: E99.E7K3
Publication Date: 1975
A collection of Yupik stories, most credited to elders from Hooper Bay
The Alaska Tlingit: Where did we come from? Our migrations, legends, totems, customs and taboos by William Lewis Paul (Editor); Frances Paul DeGermain (Editor)
Call Number: E99.T6P372 2011
Publication Date: 2011-11-21
This book is about the migrations of the Tlingit people interspersed with legends, stories from the Native perspective, how various tribes developed, branched, and acquired new names and identities. The period covered was hundreds of years.
History of the Northern Koyukon, Western Gwich'in, and Lower Tanana.
Juneau by Ernestine Hayes
Call Number: F914.J9H394 2013
Publication Date: 2013-12-02
Juneau has not always been the capital of Alaska. In fact, Juneau has not always been Juneau. But the place nestled against the slopes of Mount Juneau and Mount Roberts, originally named Dzantik'i Heeni, has always been picturesque and welcoming. After a successful strike triggered nearby mining claims in the 1880s, a makeshift camp grew on the waterfront to serve the needs of adventurers and gold-seekers. As numbers increased, the settlement was called Rockville, then Harrisburg, and finally named after Joe Juneau, one of the prospectors who, guided and advised by Tlingit leader Kowee, had made the original strike. In spite of efforts to move the capital to a central location, Juneau has remained Alaska's capital since 1906 and continues to invite settlers, adventurers, and explorers to visit and appreciate its beautiful setting and rich history.
Bekk'aatu̳gh ts'u̳hu̳ney = Stories we live by : traditional Koyukon Athabaskan stories by Catherine Attla (As told by); Eliza Jones (Introduction by, Translator); Chad Thompson (Introduction by, Translator); Cindy Davis (Illustrator)
Call Number: E99.K79A87 1989
Publication Date: 1989-07-01
Stories recorded in Dinaakk'a, here transcribed and translated into English.
A Dena'Ina Legacy - K'tl'egh'I Sukdu by Peter Kalifornsky; James Kari (Editor); Alan Boraas (Editor)
Call Number: E99.T185K25 1991
Publication Date: 1991-08-01
A Dena'ina Legacy is a fascinating collection of 147 bilingual Dena'ina-English writings by the self-taught writer and scholar, Peter Kalifornsky of Kenai, Alaska.
Ellangellemni: When I became aware by Eliza C. Orr and others; Lower Kuskokwim School District Staff; Alaska Native Language Center Staff
Call Number: E99.E7E46 1997
Publication Date: 1997-08-01
Khehkwaii Zheh Gwiichì: Living in the Chief's House by Katherine Peter; Alaska Native Language Center Staff (Contribution by)
Call Number: E99.K84P47 2001
Publication Date: 2001-01-01
The life of Katherine Joseph, of Fort Yukon, is told in Gwich'in in the first half of the book, and then in English in a loose translation.
Shtutda'ina Da'a Sheł Qudeł : my forefathers are still walking with me : verbal essays on Qizhjeh and Tsaynen Dena'ina traditions by Andrew Balluta; James M. Kari (Transcribed by)
Call Number: E99.T185B35 2008
Publication Date: 2008-01-01
Essays with direct translations from Dena'ina to English, with accompanying audio CD.
Sukdu neł nuhtghelnek = I'll tell you a story : stories I recall from growing up on Iliamna Lake by Walter Johnson; James M. Kari (Transcribed by)
Call Number: E99.T185U65 2004
Publication Date: 2005-01-01
Walter Johnson of Old Iliamna Village and Homer is an expert in the Iliamna dialect of the Dena'ina language. The fourteen texts in this collection are supplemented by an audio CD in which Walter narrates and comments on his stories, traditional legends, and personal remembrances. The text is in Dena'ina with English translations.
Maniilaq by compiled by Ruth Ramoth-Sampson and Angeline Newlin, from tape recordings by Beatrice Anausuk Mouse ... [and others] ; edited by Tupou L. Pulu and Ruth Ramoth-Sampson ; illustrated by Dennis Remick.
Call Number: E99.E7M32
Publication Date: 1981
In Iñupiaq and English, "Maniilaq is the name of a man that is held in very high regard by the older Iñupiaq Eskimos of the Northwest Arctic...and to some of the elders in the area, he was an Eskimo prophet." [from p. vi of the text]
Qanemcikarluni Tekitnarqelartuq: One must arrive with a story to tell by Traditional Narratives by the Elders of Tununak, Alaska, edited by Eliza C. Orr; Ben Orr
Call Number: E99.E7Q36 1995
Publication Date: 1995-01-01
Traditional stories in Yup'ik and English.
A Yupiaq Worldview: A pathway to ecology and spirit by A. Oscar Kawagley
Call Number: E99.E7K26 1995
Publication Date: 1995-03-01
Oscar Kawagley is a man of two worlds, walking the sometimes bewildering line between traditional Yupiaq culture and the Westernized Yupiaq life of today. In this study, Kawagley follows both memories of his Yupiaq grandmother, who raised him with the stories of the Bear Woman and respectful knowledge of the reciprocity of nature, and his own education in science as it is taught in Western schools. Kawagley is a man who hears the elders voices in Alaska, knows how to look for the weather and to use the land and its creatures with the most delicate care. In a call to unite the two parts of his own and modern Yupiaq history, Kawagley proposes a way of teaching that incorporates all ways of knowing available in Yupiaq and Western science. He has traveled a long journey, but it ends where it began, in a fishing camp in southwestern Alaska, a home for his heart and spirit.