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Clifford Weyiouanna was born in 1942 and is Iñupiaq from Shishmaref, Alaska. He and his wife's family have a long history of reindeer herding. His grandfather, William Malakiak, worked for the large herd introduced by Sheldon Jackson at Wales, Alaska, and eventually he, his wife, and his brother earned enough reindeer to start their own herd. Clifford's father continued the family's herding tradition and Clifford grew up helping with the herd. In 1970, he started his own herd with 500 reindeer obtained from his father-in-law. He also was a pilot, which is helpful when trying to locate reindeer out in their summer range. Clifford has also been a life-long subsistence hunter and ivory carver, and served on the Bering Straits School District Board of Education, including being president and chairman of the board.