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Elsie "Iqsak" Wassilie
Elsie Iqsak (Alexie) Wassilie is Yup'ik and was born on February 13, 1927 to Minnie and Qerataur Alexie in Akiak, Alaska. She grew up in Akiak living a traditional subsistence lifestyle and completed 4th and part of 5th grade. In 1947, she moved to Akiachak, after marrying John Wassilie who was from Akiachak. Together they raised, four children and three step-children. Elsie worked as a community health aide in Akiachak for more than sixteen years, was a midwife, and pulled teeth when people had toothaches. She enjoyed a subsistence lifestyle and spoke fondly of her memories of the nomadic life her family practiced before Native people settled in one place to live all year round as they do now. Elsie has been involved in the schools as an elder, sharing her knowledge of Yup’ik values and culture with students.