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Willa Ashenfelter is Iñupiaq and was born on July 4, 1940 to Lucy and Abraham Lincoln in the village of White Mountain, Alaska. She grew up living a traditional subsistence lifestyle with summers at fish camp. Her father died in 1952 from tuberculosis, so her mother and the children did all the hard work of harvesting, cutting, and drying the fish. Willa got married in 1959 to George Ashenfelter and raised six children in White Mountain. In the early 1960s, the Ashenfelters spent five years in Chicago, Illinois while George received training as cook at a trade school. In 1967, Willa became the health aide in White Mountain when the Tribal Council had a job opening and she said she was willing to do it. She credits her interest in being a health aide to having grown up watching her mother be a medical aid to tuberculosis patients and help with doctor visits to the village. Willa worked with and was trained by long-time village health aide, Martha Agloinga. Willa retired in 2001. For more about Willa Ashenfelter, listen to an interview with her aired in 2017 as part of KNOM radio station's Elder Voices series.