Photographs taken during the interview with Madeline Bifelt and historic images related to her life.
Madeline Bifelt was a Koyukon Athabascan elder from Huslia, Alaska. She was born in 1926 in Allakaket to Edward and Charlotte Bergman. She grew up in the traditional way following the seasonal subsistence cycle of hunting, trapping, and fishing. Her father worked for Wilfred Evans on his boat, "The Imp" hauling goods from Koyukuk for his store in Allakaket, and at Wilfred's sawmill. He also worked for Sam Dubin who had a store in Alatna, which burned and was later rebuilt, and a store and sawmill in Bettles, and for Les James, the storekeeper in Hughes. Madeline married Cue Bifelt, who is one of several Huslia men of his generation with extensive experience as river pilots and barge men. Cue's parents were Helen and Fred Bifelt, and he lived his early life around Hughes. Cue's mother died when he was young, but at the time of Madeline's 1992 interview, Cue's father, was one of the oldest elders in Huslia, and lived with his second wife, Edith. Madeline was the matriarch of a large family, with several grown children, and lots of grandchildren who would always be coming and going from her house.