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Walter Sampson is an Iñupiaq elder who was born in 1948 in Noorvik, Alaska. Walter was educated at the high school in Noorvik, Kotzebue Friends High School, and Chemawa Indian School in Salem, Oregon. After graduating from Chemawa in 1968, Walter was drafted and served in the army for two years, including training at Fort Lewis in Washington and serving in Vietnam with the Americal Division combat infantry unit. He was awarded two bronze star medals, one Army commendation medal, a Vietnam service medal, a National Defense medal, a Vietnam campaign medal, and a combat infantry badge. After he was discharged from the military, Walter returned to northwestern Alaska where he has worked in a variety of positions, including for NANA Regional Corporation from 1973 to 2014 when he retired, being a member and president of the Northwest Arctic Borough Assembly, being a board member of the Alaska Electric Cooperative, and serving on a variety of federal and state boards and commissions representing subsistence, land and tribal rights for the NANA region. From February 29 to March 2, 1996, Walter was the facilitator for the Communities of Memory public storytelling event held in Kotzebue where local residents spoke about their memories of and experiences related to the military.