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Avis Sam is an Upper Tanana Athabascan elder from Northway, Alaska. She grew up living a subsistence lifestyle where she and her sister had to work hard to help chop and carry firewood. She is an expert beader, seamstress, and birch bark basket maker. As a speaker of her Native language, she has helped to document and teach others the language. She is married to Roy Sam, and raised a family mostly from subsistence harvested resources.