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Millie Buck

Millie Buck was interviewed on April 10, 1998 by William Schneider at her home in Glennallen, Alaska. At the time of the interview, her family was preparing food to take to Chitina to celebrate her mother's birthday. Her mother, Margaret Eskilida, lived in Chitina. Millie was raised in the Chitina area and in this recording recalls growing up in the area, the town of Chitina, and the subsistence activities which her family participated in when she was a young girl. She discusses the impact of her grandfather on her interest in preserving the Ahtna language, the assistance she got from Michael Krauss, Jim Kari, and Jeff Leer of the Alaska Native Language Center at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. She discusses the value of languages and the ability to express certain concepts in one language that don't easily translate into another language.

Digital Asset Information

Archive #: Oral History 98-16

Project: Wrangell-St.Elias National Park
Date of Interview: Apr 10, 1998
Narrator(s): Millie Buck
Interviewer(s): Bill Schneider
Location of Interview:
Location of Topic:
Funding Partners:
National Park Service
Alternate Transcripts
There is no alternate transcript for this interview.

After clicking play, click on a section to navigate the audio or video clip.


1) Her personal background

2) Growing up with her grandparents

3) The holiday season during her childhood

4) The railroad and businesses in the Chitina area

5) Her mother, Margaret Eskilida

6) Her husband, William Buck

7) Her work in bilingual education and the Ahtna language

8) Her role in the publication of works using the Ahtna language

9) The importance of Native language and culture

10) The importance of preserving Native languages and the meaning of language within a culture

11) Funding and support of her work on bilingual education and language documentation

12) The importance and meaning of Native languages

13) Traditional cultural values of respect for land and animals

14) Impact of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) and the establishment of Native corporations

15) Involvement of the Native corporations in local business, and the impact of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park on hunting activity

16) Hunting in the national park, and her grandfather's employment on a steamship

Click play, then use Sections or Transcript to navigate the interview.

After clicking play, click a section of the transcript to navigate the audio or video clip.


Section 1: personal background\ Chitina\ school -- BIA\ boarding school -- Eklutna\ grandparents\ cultural lifestyle\ hunting -- grounds\ fish wheel\ old stories

Section 2: grandparents -- Buck, Millie\ trapping\ family background\ boarding school -- Eklutna\ Indian language -- appreciation of\ Anchorage\ Palmer\ education\ fish\ furbearing animals

Section 3: childhood\ mountains\ holidays\ school\ Christmas\ train\ Cordova\ Kennecott

Section 4: train -- passengers\ Cordova\ Chitina -- population\ (Overland Hotel)\ Chitina Hotel\ (Breedman's Hotel)\ meat market\ pool hall\ stores -- types\ jobs -- loss of\ Buck, Millie -- mother\ Native Hospital -- Anchorage\ earthquake --1964

Section 5: Buck, Millie -- mother\ Elder in Residence Program -- UAF\ native corporations\ elders\ Boarding school -- Eklutna\ marriage\ mother -- employment

Section 6: Buck, William\ Eskimo\ Unalakleet\ birth of daughter\ Glennallen\ Glenn Highway\ grandchildren\ carpenter\ pipeline\ carving -- diamond willow

Section 7: bilingual education\ Krauss, Michael\ Kari, Jim\ Ramos, Elaine\ songs\ Ahtna language\ writing language\ Copper River Native Association (CRNA)\ Johnson-O'Malley Program\ interviewing elders

Section 8: elders -- guidance\ stories\ Ahtna' yanida'a (Ahtna Stories)\ Native language -- English translation\ publications\ Ahtna Noun Dictionary\ Ahtna Workbook\ Jack is Jumping (Jack nic'ana'ilyel)\ placenames\ map

Section 9: Kari, Jim\ Ramos, Elaine\ Yakutat\ Native culture -- documentation of\ boarding school -- Eklutna\ Native language -- importance of

Section 10: Native language -- loss\ Native language -- importance of\ Native language -- meaning\ Buck, Millie -- grandfather\ God\ language -- meaning of\ language -- differences\ Ahtna\ English\ God\ love\ grandson\ Copper River Native Association (CRNA)\ Native language -- preservation of\ Native language -- documentation of\ Native language -- education\ Ahtna Noun Dictionary\ Kari, Jim\ elders\ Copper Center\ Gulkana\ Chistochina\ dialects

Section 11: funding\ Copper River Native Association (CRNA)\ Alaska Native Language Center -- publication\ Alaska Native Land Claims\ land selection\ elders\ retirement\ land committee

Section 12: Native language -- meaning\ Native language -- importance\ Native language -- teaching\ Buck, Millie -- grandson

Section 13: respect -- graves\ respect -- land\ respect -- animals\ fish\ sky\ disrespect -- signs of\ relationship with land and animals\ respect -- animals\ respect -- land\ heaven\ corporations\ development\ traditional cultural values\ shareholders

Section 14: Alaska Native Land Claims\ respect -- land\ elders\ corporation\ development\ traditional lifestyle\ sharing\ Chitina Native Corporation\ Ahtna Native Corporation

Section 15: electric business\ land -- leasing\ timber\ cabin rental\ National Park -- impact of\ hunting\ hunting -- grounds\ corporation\ control of business

Section 16: Hunting regulations -- National Park\ Buck, Millie -- grandfather\ (Chief Goodletah)\ boat -- steamships\ Cordova\ wood -- cutting\ Fairbanks\ Wood Canyon