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James Johnson, Sr.
James Johnson, Sr. was born in the old village of Kokrines on the Yukon River, near Ruby, Alaska. He grew up living a traditional subsistence lifestyle of trapping, hunting, and fishing. To help with the government's attempt to reintroduce reindeer into Interior Alaska in the 1920s, he took up reindeer herding near Ruby. James was well-known for his woodworking abilities, making sleds, snowshoes, and intricate picture frames out of willow wood. In his later years, he was known for telling traditional Koyukon Athabascan stories. James Johnson, Sr. passed away in 1996 at age 89. (Photo courtesy of Clara Johnson.)