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Leona "Kisautaq" Okakok

Leona Okakok

Leona Okakok (Kisautaq) is an Iñupiaq scholar from Barrow, Alaska (now known as Utqiaġvik) and the daughter of the late Reverend Samuel Simmonds. She attended college at Sheldon Jackson Junior College in Sitka, Alaska and the University of Alaska Fairbanks, majoring in Iñupiat Studies. She has been a leader in her community and held a variety of jobs, including as an Iñupiaq language translator for the North Slope Borough, Iñupiat History, Language and Culture Commission (IHLC), as Liaison Officer for IHLC, as Deputy Director of the North Slope Borough's Department of Planning and Community Services, director of the Personnel Department, and manager for the Arctic Slope Regional Corporation's Arctic Education Foundation. She has developed bilingual education programs on the North Slope, served on the North Slope Borough School Board, was a member of the statewide Alaska Judicial Council from 1987 to 1993, and as a member of the Presbyterian Church was involved with translation of the Bible into Iñupiaq. She is the author of numerous publications, including: Puiguitkaat, the 1978 Elders Conference (1981, North Slope Borough Commission on History and Culture); a chapter titled "Language and Cultural Considerations" in Kusiq: An Eskimo Life History from the Arctic Coast of Alaska by Waldo Bodfish, Sr. (University of Alaska Press, 1991); and "Serving the Purpose of Education," Harvard Educational Review (1989) 59 (4): 405–423. In 2002, Leona was the recipient of an Honoring Alaska's Indigenous Literature Award (HAIL) from the Alaska Native Knowledge Network, and has been recognized in numerous ways for her many contributions to Iñupiaq education, culture and language preservation, and community service.


Leona "Kisautaq" Okakok appears in the following new Jukebox projects: