Project Jukebox

Digital Branch of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Oral History Program

Jacob Ahwinona

Jacob Ahwinona

Jacob Ahwinona was an Inupiaq elder from Nome, Alaska. He was born near White Mountain, Alaska in 1923 to Joshua and Nora (Apok) Ahwinona. He was raised in White Mountain and attended school there through the eighth grade. He moved to Nome to work for the U.S. Mining Company on their gold dredges and as a mechanic. He then was an equipment operator for the Nome public schools. In 1950, he married Hannah Anagick from Unalakleet. Jacob was an active member of the Nome community being involved in numerous boards and committees, including the Sitnasuak Native Corporation and Kawerak Corporation. In 2003, Nome's new receiving home was named "Jacob's House" in honor of his volunteer efforts to improve the lives of childrena and families in the Bering Straits region. Jacob was proud of his Inupiaq heritage and regularly shared his knowledge and stories. In fact, he worked to correct the historical record about the role of local Inupiat in the discovery of gold in Nome. He encouraged today's youth to know the old ways while emphasizing the importance of education and staying free of alcohol and drugs. In 2011, Jacob Ahwinona was named Elder of the Year by the Sitnasuk Native Corporation. Jacob Ahwinona died on June 19, 2012.

Date of Birth:
Apr 10, 1923
Date of Death:
Jun 19, 2012
Jacob Ahwinona appears in the following new Jukebox projects: