Ronald Brower, Sr.
Ronald H. Brower, Sr. is an Iñupiaq elder from Barrow, Alaska. He was born in 1949 to Annie (Qaġġun) and Harry (Kupaaq) Brower, Sr. The early years of his childhood were spent inland at Iviksuk on the Inaru River. The family moved back to Barrow around 1954. He started going whaling and hunting on the sea ice when he was about nine years old. Ronald’s knowledge of sea ice around Barrow comes from his many years of experience whaling and from listening to his elders when he was a boy. He whaled with his uncle, Tom Brower, his father, Harry Brower, Sr, and has been co-captain with is younger brother, Harry Brower, Jr. Ronald attended the Wrangell Institute, Mt. Edgecumbe, and received an associate’s degree in Arctic Studies from Sorbonne University in Paris, France and a bachelor’s degree at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Ronald has been active in his community, where he was involved in establishment of the North Slope Borough in the 1970s, and served on the board of the Ukpeagvik Inupiat Corporation (UIC) for 21 years and as their president and land chief for eight and a half years. Ronald has a deep interest in and commitment to preserving Iñupiaq history and language, and has applied this by serving as chairman of the North Slope Borough’s Commission on Iñupiat History, Language and Culture, archeological facilitator for the State of Alaska for the North Slope region, founding director of the Iñupiat Heritage Center in Barrow, and vice-president of the Inuit Circumpolar Council and president of the Inuit Circumpolar Council-Alaska. Ron worked with the Inuit Elders International Conference from Greenland from 1979 to 1998 and served on the Inuit Circumpolar Conference executive council from 1998 to 2006. He currently is an Iñupiaq language instructor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and is a skilled artist of ivory carvings, oil paintings, baleen boats, and ulus.