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Irene Tanape is a Sugpiaq Elder from Nanwalek, Alaska. She grew up living a traditional subsistence lifestyle of fishing, hunting, and gathering. Growing up in a large family, she was responsible for caring for her younger siblings and doing chores, which taught her the value of hard work. Later she worked in the cannery, married and raised her own children. Irene is a fluent speaker of her Native Sugt'stun language, and is an expert in traditional and medicinal uses of plants. She has generously shared her traditional knowledge and Sugpiaq cultural practices with many people, and organizations over the years, including the Chugachmiut Heritage Library & Archive, the Chugach Regional Resources Commission, and for school curriculum.