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Martina Redfox Lauterbach is Yup'ik and was born in Kwiguk, Alaska, two miles up river from the village of Emmonak, Alaska, which is located at the mouth of the Yukon River. She grew up in Emmonak, graduated from high school in Oregon in 1969, and was the community health aide in Emmonak from 1969 to 1972. In 1972, she went to nursing school and earned a bachelor of science degree in nursing from Alaska Methodist University (now Alaska Pacific University) in Anchorage in 1976. She was the first person in Emmonak to graduate from college. Martina has worked in the nursing and health education fields in Anchorage ever since, including as a nurse at the US Public Health Service Native hospital, as a researcher on an influenza vaccine study, as a community health nurse with an immunization program at the Alaska Native Medical Center, on a community health high risk program for mothers and infants, case managing for Native pediatric patients around Alaska, and in the mid-2000s on a traditional foods and nutrition project at the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium.