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George "Ayaginaar" Moses, Sr.
George Ayaginaar Moses, Sr. was a Yup'ik elder born on January 6, 1920 in Kwethluk, Alaska. George was in the Alaska Territorial Guard during World War II and then the Alaska National Guard until he retired in 1956. George had three children from his first marriage, and on August 24,1953, he married his second wife, Nellie Moses, and together they raised eight children, including one they adopted. To support his large family, George worked in fish canneries in Bristol Bay and was a commercial fishing permit holder for the Kuskokwim River. He was involved in Search and Rescue operations beginning in the early 1970's until he no longer was able to go in the field due to his age. He was the leader when searching for people lost in the wild or when there was a drowning in either summer or under ice. He was well known for his predictions as to where a body would end up after falling under the ice. He became an expert in searching for lost bodies and many of the younger generation followed his expertise. Search and Rescue became well known in the Kuskokwim River region, and George was the head of the Yukon-Kuskokwim team. He was also a trapper, and a firefighter in the Kenai Peninsula area. He was an active member of the Moravian Church as an elder and acolyte. George also was involved in the school, teaching students Yup’ik values and survival, and collaborated on a Yup’ik Math program with the University of Alaska Fairbanks. George Moses, Sr. passed away in 2005 at age 85.
Biography written by Sophie Kasayulie of the Yupiit School District.
View a short video clip of George Moses, Sr. speaking in Yup'ik about how to survive in open water conditions produced by Frank Chingliak of the Yupiit School District, along with a written English summary of the video.