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Celia Beetus

Celia Beetus

Celia Beetus was a Koyukon Athabascan elder from Hughes, Alaska. She was born in 1922 to Annie and Jimmy Koyukuk at the mouth of the Alatna River at Allakaket, Alaska. She grew up living a traditional subsistence lifestyle moving from camp to camp with the seasons. Despite this seasonal lifestyle, Celia did attend the mission school in Allakaket for a while, and most of her summers were spent at the family's fish camp, ten miles below the village. In l938, when she was sixteen years old, Celia married Joe Beetus and they settled in Hughes, Alaska. Joe was a trapper and hunter, so they continued to follow this traditional subsistence pattern with their own family of eleven children until 1957 when a school was built in Hughes and they settled in the village permanently. Celia hoped future generations would be able to continue to live off the land according to their cultural traditions. She was a culture bearer and a bilingual teacher in Hughes for many years, was known for her beautiful work and artistry in Athabascan sewing, knitting and cooking, and was always willing to teach and share her traditional knowledge and skills to those who were interested in learning. Celia Beetus passed away in 2019.

Date of Birth:
Sep 5, 1922
Date of Death:
Jul 1, 2019
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