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John Phillip is a Yup'ik elder from Akiak, Alaska. He was born at a fall camp near Eek, Alaska and grew up living a traditional subsistence lifestyle of hunting, trapping, and fishing. He moved to Akiak, Alaska in 1946 when he was eight years old after his father died and his mother married Eddie Owens. His stepfather took him to seasonal camps and taught him how to trap mink and beaver, set fish traps and nets, travel the country, and know the traditional Yup'ik place names of the area. In the early 1960's, he married Mary Ivan of Akiak, and supported his family by selling furs he trapped and by working outside of the village as a commercial fisherman in Bristol Bay, on the Pribilof Island seal harvest, and at the Nyac Mine. In 1971, the family lived in Bethel for eight months as Mary received extra health aide training from the newly formed Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation and John was able to find a job with one of the local airline companies.