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Elisabeth Sager

Elisabeth Sager

Originally from Munich, Germany, Elisabeth Sager came to Alaska in 1974 with her then husband, Mike Sager. After a brief stay in Anchorage, they moved into a cabin at Mendeltna Creek near Glennallen, where they learned about subsistence and how to live a remote lifestyle from local Native families. After a brief stint in Homer, they wanted to return to more remote living and chose to go to Eagle, Alaska, located on the Yukon River. In 1975, they built a cabin at Trout Creek, a tributary of the Yukon River located about 40 miles downriver from Eagle. They lived a subsistence lifestyle there based upon fishing, hunting, berry picking and trapping. They raised two daughters, Sonja and Iris, at Trout Creek, used dogteams as their winter mode of travel and a boat on the river in the summer, and Mike often was away from the cabin for months at a time in the winter to work his trapline. Around 1988, the Sagers moved into Eagle and divorced. Elisabeth eventually had another daughter, Hanna, with Andy Bassich, and the family continued to rely upon hunting, fishing and berrypicking to fill their freezers, and Elisabeth established a large garden to add to their food supply. At Trout Creek, Elisabeth had learned how to prepare furs and sew skins, so she often made and sold fur hats to bring in some extra income. Elisabeth still lives in Eagle, close to her children and grandchildren, and continues to fish and garden. Given her long history of living off the land and feeling connected to the places, water, and animals of the area, Elisabeth has a strong environmental ethic and conservation philosophy.

Elisabeth Sager appears in the following new Jukebox projects: