Kenneth and Caroline Frank identify historic photographs from the Kenneth Frank Collection in the Alaska and Polar Regions Collection & Archives at Elmer E. Rasmuson Library, University of Alaska Fairbanks. In September 2000, they chose sixteen photographs and briefly talked about them in Gwich'in and English.
Kenneth Frank is a Gwich'in "young elder" who was raised in Venetie, Alaska and also lived in Arctic Village, Alaska for many years. He grew up living a traditional subsistence lifestyle based on hunting, fishing and trapping and speaking his Native Gwich'in language. Kenneth is an indigenous scholar who is devoted to the preservation of his culture and language, and ensuring that knowledge is passed on to the younger generation. He has donated historic photographs from his family's collection to the Alaska and Polar Regions Collections & Archives at Elmer E. Rasmuson Library, University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF), and was interviewed, along with his wife Caroline, by Bill Burke, a Research Technician for UAF's Oral History Program, on September 21, 2000 to identity some of these photographs. Kenneth and Caroline chose 16 photographs and briefly talked about them both in Gwich'in and in English. Kenneth continues to work closely with elders, youth, and scholars to document Gwich'in history and discuss climate change and its effects on their subsistence lifestyle and communities. He is also co-author with Craig Mishler of Dinjii Vadzaih Dhidlit: The Man Who Became a Caribou, a bilingual volume based on a series of oral interviews with Gwich'in elders living in rural northeast Alaska and the Yukon Territory (2019),
Caroline Tritt Frank was born to Naomi (Peter) and Rev. Issac Tritt, Sr. in Arctic Village, Alaska. She grew up living a traditional subsistence lifestyle based on hunting, fishing, trapping and berry picking and speaking her Native Gwich'in language. Caroline is an indigenous scholar and educator who is devoted to the preservation of her culture and language, and ensuring that knowledge is passed on to the younger generation. She graduated from Mt. Edgecumbe High School in 1972, earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in elementary education in 1991 and a Masters of Education degree in 2000, both from the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF). She is the first Gwich’in woman from Arctic Village to receive a graduate degree and has taught in many villages in rural Alaska. Caroline has spent the past forty years translating and transcribing and teaching bilingual education in the Gwich’in language. She’s also known for her work in immersion curriculum development. Caroline also writies children stories in the Gwich’in language and is a role model for many others intereste in higher education and Native language learning. In 1986, she married Kenneth Frank of Venetie, who was also committed to preserving his Gwich'in language and traditions. In 2020, Caroline received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the UAF Alumni Association. She and Kenneth have lived in Fairbanks for many years, where she is currently working as a lead teacher for the Fairbanks Native Association, but they continue to spend time in their home villages of Venetie and Arctic Village.
Kenneth Frank donated historic photographs from his family's collection to the Alaska and Polar Regions Collections & Archives at Elmer E. Rasmuson Library, University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF), and he and Caroline were interviewed on September 21, 2000 by Bill Burke, a research technician for UAF's Oral History Program, to identity sixteen photographs they had selected. They spoke briefly each image in both Gwich'in and in English. Caroline continues to work closely with elders, youth, and scholars to document the Gwich'in language, history, and culture.