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Maurice Newman was born in 1917 in Holy Cross, Alaska, and briefly attended school at the Holy Cross Mission. Maurice did a lot of hunting, fishing and trapping in the countryside around Holy Cross. He used a dog team to get to his trapping cabin, walked to check the trap line, and went to fish camp every year. In the 1940s, Maurice married Irene Anthony, and to help support his family he worked a variety of jobs, many away from the village, but was also the power plant operator in Holy Cross for a long time. Maurice passed on his hunting, trapping and fishing knowledge to his sons, Evan and William, and taught them how to successfully hunt moose, trap, and fish. During his many years of traveling on and living off of the land, Maurice observed changes in the beaver, mink, and salmon populations, and how the Yukon River channels and sandbars shifted.