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Jacob "Anaġi" Adams, Sr.
Jacob Anaġi Adams, Sr. is an Iñupiaq elder from Barrow, Alaska. He was born in 1946 to Rebecca and Baxter Adams, and grew up in a family of twelve children that was highly dependent upon hunting and fishing. He started whaling when he was seven or eight years old, learning from his father and his uncle, Whitlam Adams. Jacob left Barrow to attend the Wrangell Institute boarding school in Wrangell, Alaska, and completed high school at Mount Edgecumbe High School in Sitka, Alaska, because at the time school in Barrow only went through the elementary grades. Not only is Jacob a successful whaling captain with his Anaġi Crew, but he has been an active participant in Barrow’s political and business arena. He fought for passage of the 1972 Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act and helped establish Arctic Slope Regional Corporation. He was elected to the first assembly when the North Slope Borough was incorporated in 1972, was first elected president of the Assembly in 1978, and was appointed mayor of the North Slope Borough following the death of the Borough’s founding mayor, Eben Hopson, Sr. in 1978. From 1983-2006, Jacob was President and CEO of ASRC, and remained a member of their Board of Directors. He also was chairman of the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission from 1977-1980. Jacob also has been active in the Native sobriety movement, helping to create the Alaska Native Blue Ribbon Commission in the late 1980s. He was Chief Administrative Officer of the North Slope Borough under Mayor Charlotte Brower (2011-2016). Jacob Adams, Sr. passed away in September 2020 at age 73.