Project Jukebox

Digital Branch of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Oral History Program

Ann Edwards

Elma Sam and Ann Edwards

Ann Edwards is an Inupiaq elder from Alatna, Alaska. Ann was born in Alatna to Oscar and Cora Tobuk Nictune. Her sisters include Elma Sam, Kitty David, and Bertha Moses. Ann grew up living a subsistence lifestyle moving from camp to camp with the seasons and speaking her Native language. Her father was a particularly well-known and widely-liked elder on the Koyukuk River. She and her five sisters and two brothers grew up (another brother and sister died as young children) spending a lot of time camping away from the village. Her father and both sets of her grandparents had camps up the Alatna River. As long as her mother was living, they did not spend a lot of time in town. When her mother died in 1942, her father took a job with the Public Health Service, and traveled widely throughout the state, encouraging people in Native communities to adopt more sanitary ways of living, so she and her siblings worked together to keep the family going. She learned many skills like cooking, sewing, hunting, fishing, and berry picking. Ann married Jimmy Edwards and they had eleven children. At the time of her 1992 interview, Jimmy Edwards was no longer living, but Ann lived quietly in her tidy cabin in Alatna.

Ann Edwards appears in the following new Jukebox projects: