Project Jukebox

Digital Branch of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Oral History Program

Thomas Tilden

Tom Tilden

Thomas (Tom) Tilden lives in Dillingham, Alaska. He was born in 1953 in Dillingham to Mary and Earl Tilden. When he was a young child, his family moved from Dillingham to Portage Creek along the Nushagak River. There, he learned how to hunt, fish, and gather berries and plants. Thomas was sent to high school in Dillingham and went to the University of Nagoya in Japan and the University of Alaska during his senior year. He went on to the Seward Skill Center in Seward, Alaska to get his cooking diploma. He worked on the North Slope of Alaska as a baker and on seafood processors as a cook. In Dillingham, he has worked for the Bristol Bay Area Health Corporation as a safety instructor and tobacco cessation trainer, and for Kanakanak Hospital as a call-in cook. Thomas is a former councilman and Mayor of Dillingham, member of the Bristol Bay Native Association (BBNA), Chair for Indian Education at the Dillingham City School District, board member for Choggiung Ltd. and Nunamta Alukestai, and village representative on the Alaska Federation of Natives’ board of directors. For a number of years, he has served as Chief of the Curyung Tribal Council, based in Dillingham. Through these positions, Thomas has been active in advocating for his hometown and the people of Bristol Bay.

Thomas Tilden appears in the following new Jukebox projects: