Thirteen educators were honored May 1 at the Alaska Native Sisterhood's Annual Native Women's Conference.
The recipients were designated by their local Alaska Native Sisterhood Camps. They were: Evelyn Hotch, Genevieve "Janie" Cadiente-Mack, Debbie Head, Ronalda Cadiente- Brown, Kitty Eddy, Shgen George, Nancy Douglas, Priscilla Martin, Carol A. Trebian, Florence Marks Sheakley, Emma Widmark, and the Eddy Clan: Kitty, Nancy, Francine and Rocky Eddy.
The categories included Outstanding Educator, Culture Bearer and President's Award.
The Outstanding Educators Award recognizes those who have demonstrated outstanding services, leadership and cultural enhancement through innovative approaches and dedication in meeting the educational needs of Natives.
The Culture Bearer Award recognizes a person who has been diligent in preserving the traditions, cultures, languages, stories, dances and histories of Native people of their region.
Evelyn Hotch of Haines ANS Camp 5 and Klukwan Camp No. 8 was designated as Culture Bearer.
For the past three years Hotch has taught Tlingit culture and language in the Klukwan School as well as at the Sheldon Museum in Haines. She also has served in different offices of the Alaska Native Sisterhood since 1971 and is the Grand Camp Treasurer Emeritus.
Genevieve "Janie" Cadiente-Mack of Juneau, ANS Camp 2, was designated as President's Award.
Each morning and afternoon for the past eight years, Cadiente-Mack monitors a bus stop in her neighborhood to insure student safety and orderliness.
Debbie Head of Craig, ANS Camp 19, was designated as Culture Bearer.
She teaches kindergarten through 12th grade and has created a Native education program called Southeast Alaska Lifestyles Studies. She teaches respect for culture, methods of creating Northwest art, language, and indigenous practices such as food preparation and Native medicine. She has been teaching at Craig City School District for nine years.
Ronalda Cadiente-Brown of Juneau, ANS Camp 2, was designated as Outstanding Educator.
Cadiente began her tenure with the Juneau School District in 1982 as director for the Indian Studies Program. She also has been assistant principal at Marie Drake Middle School and at Dzantik'i Heeni Middle School. Cadiente currently serves as principal of Yakoosge Daakahidi High School, where she has nurtured marginalized youth who were at risk for dropping out of school. Under her leadership, students (Native and non-Native) have succeeded in earning their high school diploma.
Kitty Eddy of Juneau, ANS Camp 70 was designated as Outstanding Educator.
Shgen George of Juneau, ANS Camp 70 was designated as Outstanding Educator.
Nancy Douglas of Juneau, ANS Camp 70 was designated as Outstanding Educator.
Each of these educators does an outstanding job working with Alaska Native children in the Harborview Elementary School Tlingit Culture and Language Program in Juneau.
Kitty Eddy and Nancy Douglas are members of the Yanyeidi clan. They were raised in Sitka. Eddy has taught in the Juneau School District for 18 years. Douglas was an assistant cultural teacher with the Sitka Native Education Program and has been a cultural resource specialist in the Juneau School District for 17 years. Shgen George is Daaklawedi from Angoon. She was raised in Angoon and returned there to teach second and third grade for four years before moving to Juneau. She is in her second year with the Juneau School District.
Priscilla Martin of Juneau, ANS Camp 2, was designated as Culture Bearer.
Martin was born in Sitka; she is from the Eagle moiety, is Kaagwaantaan and comes from the Eagle's Nest House. Her name is Koowaa.
Martin has an international reputation as a song and dance leader. She has been drumming and singing for the past 25 years. She now sings and is lead drummer for the Juneau Tlingit Dancers. Martin has been teaching songs in the Juneau School District. She worked for the Juneau Community School System teaching beading and sewing regalia.
Carol A. Trebian of Juneau, ANS Camp 2, was designated as Outstanding Educator.
Trebian is of the Eagle moiety, Wooshkeetaan Clan, from Aak'w Khwaan. She taught in Wisconsin. She graduated with her master's degree with one of her sons. Trebian now works in the Indian Studies Program at Mendenhall River Community School. The children are taught how to bead and sew, learn their moiety, what clan they are and their Tlingit name.
Florence Marks Sheakley of Juneau, ANS Camp 2, was designated as Culture Bearer.
Sheakley is from the Raven moiety, Lukaaxhadi, Sockeye Clan from Haines. She comes from a long line of artists. Her father was Willie Marks, a noted carver of Tlingit masks and her mother is Emma Marks, a nationally recognized beader. She is the only certified teacher of the Tlingit language. She has been teaching at the University of Alaska Southeast for the past few years.
Emma Widmark of Juneau, ANS Camp 2, was designated as Outstanding Educator.
Widmark was born in Klawock. She worked for the University of Alaska Extension Service in several towns and she visited outlying villages. She also worked for the Tlingit and Haida education program. She is a past Grand President of the Alaska Native Sisterhood and now serves on the Executive Committee.
The "Eddy clan": Kitty Eddy, Nancy Douglas, Francine Eddy and Rocky Eddy of Juneau, ANS Camp 2, designated as Outstanding Educators.
All of the Eddy clan are of the Eagle moiety, Yanyeidi having the Wolf crest from Taku and Juneau area. Rocky Eddy teaches at Gastineau Elementary School in Juneau.
Francine Eddy is director of the Tribal Family and Youth Services Department of Tlingit-Haida Central Council. To quote one of her co-workers, "Francine is one of the most hard-working, conscientious, energetic advocates for all our families and children."