Project Jukebox

Digital Branch of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Oral History Program

JoAnn Polston

JoAnn Polston

JoAnn Polston is the daughter of Stella Healy. She was born in 1958 at the Native hospital in Tanana, Alaska. Although she spent much of her childhood until the age of five in the lower forty-eight states with her mother and step-father (Lee Saylor), she also has many memories of summers at Healy Lake. Soon after the family returned to Alaska, JoAnn's grandmother, Jeany Healy, came to live with their family until her death in 1986, thereby increasing JoAnn's bonds with her own history and connection to Healy Lake. JoAnn's mother died in 1972. JoAnn's fidelity to Healy Lake and her people is evidenced in the many hardships she has endured in the process of making a home there for her children and herself. She has lived in both Healy Lake and Fairbanks, Alaska. JoAnn has been a key figure in the rebuilding of the village. She has held the position of Community Health Aide, providing the only locally available medical care to the village, was the Tribal Family and Youth Services Coordinator, and has sat on both the Tribal Council and Tribal Court.  In 2013, JoAnn was living in Fairbanks and was chief of the Healy Lake Tribal Council. For more about JoAnn Polston see: Mendees Cheeg Naltsiin Keey': An Oral History of the People of Healy Lake Village (annotated and edited by Donald G. Callaway and Constance A. Friend, Revised June 2007).

JoAnn Polston appears in the following new Jukebox projects: