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Elsie Bergman is Koyukon Athabascan and was born in September 1944 to Mary and Arthur Williams in Allakaket, Alaska. She grew up living a traditional subsistence lifestyle based upon hunting, fishing, trapping and berry picking with her father, step-mother (Jenny Williams) and siblings. Elsie married Kenneth Bergman, Sr. on December 31, 1962 at the St. John's in the Wilderness Church when it was 62 degrees below zero. Together they had seven kids, raised their three grandchildren, and cared for many other children as foster parents. Elsie became a health aide in 1969, and received her first training in 1971. She worked with Bertha Moses for several years in Allakaket, and then became the only health aide in 1983 when Bertha moved to Fairbanks. Elsie retired from being a health aide in 2004, and until then never realized how stressful the job was.