Project Jukebox

Digital Branch of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Oral History Program

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The Fairbanks Native Association Project Jukebox contains oral history interviews with founders and early leaders of the Fairbanks Native Association (FNA), which was involved in the early days of the Alaska Native land claims movement and was one of the first community organizations to provide social and cultural services to Alaska Natives living in an urban setting. The Jukebox also includes written sources and photographs that help tell the story of FNA's history.

The Fairbanks Native Association Project Jukebox was a cooperative effort between the Fairbanks Native Association and the Oral History Program at Elmer E. Rasmuson Library, University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF). The original project was completed in the 1990s with funding provided by the above two organizations and by the National Park Service. During the winter of 2000, Laurie Meijer Drees, a visiting scholar at UAF, transferred the materials from the original Hypercard version of the Jukebox into a web-based format, and added written materials related to the history of FNA. It was updated again in 2005 by Marla Statscewich of UAF's Oral History Program. In 2021, the HTML version of the Fairbanks Native Association Project Jukebox was upgraded to Drupal. The information in this project reflects the context of the original creation date. Some information may now be out of date.

Thanks go to all of the people interviewed who gave so willingly of their time, and to project team members who were instrumental in the development of this program - Bernice Joseph, Walter Newman, Aggie Britt, and members of the UAF Oral History Program staff. Photographs for the project were generously provided by: the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, The Fairbanks Native Association, Sally Hudson, Colleen Lazenby, and The River Times.


Poldine Carlo Poldine Carlo

Poldine Demoski Carlo was a Koyukon Athabascan who was born in Nulato, Alaska in 1920. She was raised by her grandparents, Joseph and Anna Stickman, who were known as two of the most powerful medicine people living on the Yukon River. She grew up living a subsistence-based lifestyle, speaking her Native language, and learning to have a deep respect for people and the natural world. Poldine married William "Bill" Carlo in 1940, and they had eight children. She was active in civic affairs and... Read More

Wally Carlo Walter "Wally" Carlo

Wally Carlo is an Athabascan who was born in 1946 to Poldine and William Carlo in Tanana, Alaska, and grew up in Ruby, Galena, and Fairbanks. Despite living in the city and getting an education in business, Wally grew up living a traditional subsistence lifestyle based upon hunting, trapping and fishing. He learned how to travel and survive in the wilds of interior Alaska and to be a keen observer of the world around him. In fact, between 1969 and 1980, Wally lived in Tanana and hunted,... Read More

Sam Demientieff Sam Demientieff

Sam Demientieff is an Athabascan who was born in Holy Cross, Alaska in 1939, and grew up in Nenana and Fairbanks, and along the Yukon and Tanana Rivers where his father ran a barge service. He graduated from high school at Copper Valley School in Glennallen, and earned a certificate in mineral petroleum technology from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Sam worked for Fairbanks Native Association, Doyon, Ltd. and retired from the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Sam has extensive knowledge of... Read More

Richard Frank Richard Frank

Richard Frank was a respected Athabascan Elder from Minto, Alaska. He was born in 1927 to Justin and Lucy Frank, during a time when a nomadic subsistence lifestyle was paramount for survival. His family moved across the lands of Rampart, Stevens Village and Minto. He grew up learning the skills and traditions of his ancestors. This early training set the path and philosophy that Richard followed throughout his life: a strong work ethic, a sense of place, service to his community, fierce... Read More

Sally Hudson Sally Hudson

Sally Woods Hudson was a Koyukon Athabascan who was born in 1916 to Annie (Ts'sedla) Pitka and Alfred Lyman Woods in Rampart, Alaska. She grew up living a traditional subsistence lifestyle and learned to sew traditional clothing and do beadwork from her mother. On January 10, 1931, Sally married Thomas G. Evans in Manley Hot Springs. They raised four children, and had a large extended family with numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren. When Sally moved to... Read More

Georgianna Lincoln Georgianna Lincoln

Georgianna Lincoln is Athabascan who was born in 1943 in Fairbanks, Alaska. She grew up in Rampart and Fairbanks, where she graduated from Lathrop High School and attended the University of Alaska. Eventually, Georgianna became involved in local Native political and social issues. This led her to become Executive Director of the Fairbanks Native Association (FNA) in their early days and a director at Tanana Chiefs Conference. She worked to secure Alaska Native land claims in the 1970s,... Read More

Stephen Matthew 1993 Stephen Matthew

Stephen "Steve" Matthew was born in 1931 to Cora and Julius Matthew at camp at the Rapids on the Yukon River, Alaska. He spent the early years of his life in the river communities of Rampart and Stevens Village. His mother was originally from Stevens Village, and his father was from Tanana. As an adult, Steve also lived at Tanana, Nenana and Galena, where he worked a variety of jobs, including on the sternwheelers, as a cook, and a dishwasher at the Tanana Hospital..In the early 1960s, Steve... Read More

John Sackett John Sackett

John Sackett was an Athabascan who was born in 1944 near the village of Cutoff, Alaska at spring camp on the Huslia River, a tributary of the Koyukuk River. When he was six years old, he attended St. Mark's Mssion in Nenana for a year. Later, he went to Sheldon Jackson High School in Sitka and graduated in 1963. He attended one year of college Ohio University, and graduated from the University of Alaska Fairbanks in 1972 with a degree in Business Admistration (Accounting) and a minor in... Read More

Hannah Solomon Hannah Solomon

Hannah Solomon was a Gwich'in Athabascan who was born in 1908 in the village of Old Rampart, Alaska near the Canadian border to an Athabascan mother and non-Native father. She was raised by adoptive parents, Eliza and Mardow, and lived a subsistence lifestyle following the traditions of the Gwich'in Athabascans of the Yukon Flats area. She was married to Paul Solomon, Sr. for 46 years, and living in Fort Yukon she helped raise his four children plus 14 children of their own, as well as many... Read More

Tim Wallis Tim Wallis

Tim Wallis is Gwich'in who was born in 1940 in Fort Yukon, Alaska. He later lived in Juneau before graduating from high school in Fairbanks. Tim became involved in the Native land claims movement and Native political and social affairs in 1968, and from 1970-1972 served as president of the Fairbanks Native Association (FNA). Tim also has been president of DNH Development Corporation, Doyon Ltd., and Tanana Chiefs Conference, and Chairman and Vice-President of Doyon Utilities LLC. From 1975... Read More

William "Spud" Williams William "Spud" Williams

William "Spud" Williams is an Athabascan who was born in Seattle to Alaska Native parents and moved to Nenana when he was two years old. He moved to Fairbanks to finish high school and attended the University of Alaska Fairbanks. He worked for the U.S. Geological Survey, as well as working in the construction industry, before starting his own business in appliance repairs and sales. He then went on to work for the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation (AHFC). Throughout the years, Spud was... Read More

Jerry Woods Jerry Woods

Jerry Woods is an Athabascan who was born and raised in Interior Alaska. His mother, Ruth Samuelson, was originally from Tanana, and his father was from Rampart. Jerry grew up in Manley Hot Springs, Rampart, and Tanana living a subsistence lifestyle and using dog teams for transportation. Eventually, the family moved to Fairbanks and his mother married his Moses "Moe" Samuelson who was originally from Bethel but moved to Fairbanks as a teenager. In the 1970s, Jerry worked for the Fairbanks... Read More

Jules Wright Jules Wright

Jules Wright was born in 1933 to Myrtle (Rose) and Arthur Wright at St. Mark's Mission in Nenana, Alaska. His Athabascan father, Arthur Wright, was born in Tanana and served as an Episcopal minister at the church in Nenana. Jule's mother, Myrtle, originally from the Lower 48, came to Nenana as a medical missionary, and is where she met and married Arthur Wright. One of seven children, Jules spent his childhood in Nenana, and when he was thirteen years old, his father died, leaving the family... Read More