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Mary Phillip was a Yup'ik elder who was born in Aniak, Alaska in 1936 to Susan and Steven Ivan. She grew up living a traditional subsistence lifestyle and learned to sew skins and make boots (mukluks) and clothing from her mother. She attended school until the 8th grade and later became a community health aide and earned a degree in nursing. In the early 1960's, she married John Philip and raised a large family while also working. In 1971, the family lived in Bethel for eight months after the Yukon-Kuskoskim Health Corporation took over the health aide program and Mary was required to take extra training. She retired in 2001, after 32 years as a health aide, but returned when they asked her to fill in when they were short of staff. Eventually, she retired for a second time with little fanfare. Mary passed away in 2011.