The Y-K Delta’s regional for-profit corporation, Calista, has announced the honorees for the 2013 shareholders awards. The awards go to people who have exemplified our cultural traditions in various ways.
For the Axel C. Johnson Distinguished Shareholder is Nelson Angapak for fighting for subsistence rights and for his work with Calista Corporation and the Alaska Federation of Natives, which he retired from AFN on June 1, 2013 leaving behind a legacy of hard work and dedication.
The Calista Elder of the Year goes to Anna “Quayarr” Alexie who blessed our region since her birth 98 years ago. Anna was an avid subsistence gatherer in all seasons and is known for her skills creating traditional Yup’ik regalia and being fluent in both Yup’ik and English. Along with her late husband, a lay pastor, she broke barriers and built bridges.
The award for Calista Culture Bearer goes to Louise Matchian Leonard. She was born in the old Chevak site and held onto her Cup’ik traditions and values through missionary schools and onto nursing college in Washington. She has served as a translator and worked at summer camps for at-risk youth teaching traditional activities including catching and smoking fish, and arts and crafts. She is an accomplished grass basket artist and participates in Eskimo dances with different groups and continues to share and teach our values to people of all ages.
Peter Twitchell has been named Calista Youth/Educator of the Year for showing tremendous passion and belief as a counselor in substance and anger management programs. He has worked for the Tundra Center, Orutsaramiut Native Council, and currently for the Yukon Kuskokwim Correctional Center. Under contract with Akeela, he helps educate and move people toward a healthy life through guidance, humor and living our traditional Yup’ik values.
And for Calista Business of the Year there is ArXotica run by the Sparck triplets; Amy, Cika and Michelle the daughters of Lucy (Jones) Sparck. They have sought approval from Elders as they shared a vision to create a steady, healthy employment in our region through sustainable business practices.
This year there was no nomination for the Raymond C. Christiansen Community Service Award.
In a written statement, Calista Corporation President/CEO Andrew Guy said “The Yukon-Kuskokwim region has for generations created strong, humble leaders. At the direction of the Board of Directors, we wish to celebrate and honor these real people and how they uphold our traditions. These people are living examples that there can be balance living Yup’ik and Cup’ik historical values in today’s world.”
These recipients will be honored at the 2013 Calista Corporation Annual Meeting of Shareholders which will be held on September the 28th in Bethel at the elementary school gym. Each honoree or designated representative will receive transportation to the meeting, a jacket, a plaque and a financial award.
At the annual meeting registration for Shareholders will begin at 10 a.m. The meeting is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. but attendees are encouraged to arrive early. For extra space, Calista has also rented the elementary school cafeteria.