Current Village Council
- Eileen (Birdie) Ewan – Udzisyu – Ahtna Shareholder Service Manager and President of the Gulkana Village Council
- Nick Jackson – Udzisyu – Ahtna, Inc. Board member and Chair of the Ahtna Netiye’ Executive Committee
- Teri Nutter – Udzisyu – Executive Director at Copper River Basin Regional Housing
- John Dye – Tsisyu – Ahtna, Inc. Board member, Ahtna Netiye’ Executive Committee Vice-Chair
- Brenda Tyone – Tsisyu – Council Member
- Felicia Ewan – Udzisyu – Council Member, Ahtna SVO
- Frances Jackson – Tsisyu – Council Member, Principal of Glennallen Elementary School
Remembering our Previous Leaders
Nicholas Jackson was born and raised in Copper Center, Alaska, where living off the land was the way of life for his family. From 1958 to 1964 Jackson served in the military. Afterward, Jackson worked in the field of construction, including as a manager for roughly twenty years. A resident of Gulkana, Alaska, Jackson also has many years of service on the Gulkana Village Council. Jackson is currently the Vice-Chair of Ahtna Inc.’s Board of Directors, and serves on multiple committees, including the subsistence committee. Throughout his life, Jackson has been committed to preserving the hunting and fishing rights of the people of Ahtna and protecting the habitat and renewable resources necessary to support a subsistence way of life.
Frances Jackson is a Gulkana Village tribal member, a GVC council member, and the principal of Glennallen Elementary School. She is the school’s first alumni principal. Jackson is of the Tsisyu clan and her parents are Nick and Lorraine Jackson
Angela Vermillion is a Gulkana Village tribal member, and the CEO of the Copper River Native Association (CRNA). Mrs. Vermillion is an experienced leader who has served many years as a tribal administrator and as a Board member of Ahtna, Incorporated, and CRNA. She was raised in Gulkana Village and is a graduate of Glennallen High School.
Michelle Anderson, President of Ahtna, Inc., was raised in the Ahtna region and graduated from Glennallen High School. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Alaska Anchorage and a Master of Arts in Rural Development from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Michelle is a past “Top 40 Under 40” Alaska recipient. She serves on the ANCSA Regional Association and Alaska Federation of Natives boards and previously held board positions with Indian Dispute Resolution Services and the Council of Advisors for the Alaska Native Studies Program at UAA.
In July of 2006, in a meeting held amongst the Ahtna Elders to select a new Ahtna Traditional Chief following the death of Traditional Chief Harry Johns, Sr., Ben Neeley was selected alongside his long-time friend Fred Ewan (who became Traditional Second Chief) to become the new cultural leader of his people. As Chief, Ben was a representative of the Ahtna way of life. He was often invited to and attended various events throughout the state and abroad, usually being asked to speak first. His words are remembered for their honesty and wisdom; his advice was cherished and heeded. A humble and generous man, Ben had a simple yet powerful message for his people: love one another, try your best to get along, and work together.
Roy Ewan served on the Ahtna Board for over 20 years. He was the former president/CEO of Ahtna and also served on many Ahtna subsidiary boards and committees. Roy was involved in the passage of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act and continued to advocate for the Ahtna region. He was instrumental in advocating for the co-management of Ahtna lands and the protection of our ways of life. He was a past board member of the Alaska State Chamber of Commerce, the Alaska Native Heritage Park, the Alaska Federation of Natives, and the Resource Development Council. He was also past co-chair of the Alaska Federation of Natives, SNOW PAC, and the Southcentral Subsistence Advisory Council.
Morris Orlando Ewan, an Athabascan from the Ahtna region, was born in 1948. After attending Glennallen High School, he worked clearing land, building cabins, on the Copper Valley Electric Project, and in construction. Morris loved sports and was selected to be a catcher for the Alaska Gold Panners baseball team. He eventually became active in local politics. He worked on Ahtna land issues and was active in matters related to migratory birds and subsistence hunting and fishing. Morris was a member of Gulkana Chapel, Gulkana Shareholder Committee, Gulkana Village Council, and Copper River housing representative. He was also a staunch advocate for sobriety.
Markle Ewan, Sr. was born in Wood Camp, Copper Center. A Gulkana Shareholder, Markle served as a valuable mentor to the leaders of Ahtna. The Ahtna people will long remember him for his dedication to the preservation of our culture and land and his commitment to education.
Markle helped organize the first meeting for Alaska Native Brotherhood Camp 31 in 1954 and later served as a Vice President. He also served as a Board Member and officer of the Copper River Native Association and Ahtna, Inc.
In later years, the Ahtna Board of Directors officially recognized his life and accomplishment through a letter of appreciation placing his name among the great Ahtna leaders.
Jeanie Alice Tyone-Maxim was born Jeanie Alice Tyone (Tsisyu) on 01/18/1941, the youngest daughter to James Tyrone (Taltsiine) and Annie Ewan-Tyone (Tsisyu) who raised 5 children, Nicolas Tyone, Andrew Tyone, Martha Tyone (Snell), and Peter Tyone.
Born in Crosswind Lake, she grew up on Tyone lake and Crosswind lake going back and forth between subsistence seasons, and also Gulkana for the summer for fishing subsistence until she was 8 yo in 1949, then her parents moved to Gulkana permanently because of school. Her
parents were told she needed to attend or that she would have to go to boarding school in Wrangell. That was when she started in Glennallen school. She was an avid subsistence hunter and gatherer all her life, which she learned from her parents. Jeanie also did many moosehide tannings with
her mom, throughout the years and also sewed many moccasins, slippers, and beaded slipper tops. She relearned her language after not being allowed to use it after starting school in 1949-1955 and so-1955 Fred & Stella Ewan, Harry Johns, Jim McKinley, Ben & Hazel Neely, and Henry Bell, taught her and she became an interpreter for the elders in the church. She later got involved with the Sisterhood in 1955 and into the early 1960’s Helping raise money for various
brotherhood new projects and community events. She married Luke Maxim on 11/12/1960 of Shageluk, Ak, and made their family home in Gulkana, raising 7 children together. She helped with Ahtna Heritage in the 1970s, and also with language and teaching with Chickaloon Ya Ne Dah Ah,
as a bilingual teacher in Kindergarten-12th grade, and also as a revitalist of her language from 2006-2020.
Jeanie also helped with the interpretation and writing of the Traditional Physical Response book with Chickaloonk and did many recordings of her teaching of words and phrases of the Ahtna language that is in the archive with Chickaloon, Ak. She went to Whitehorse, Canada in 1991 and later in 1996 to have Ahtna Language recorded and Archived. Also attended classes and helped teach, and revitalize the Ahtna language and Traditional Culture at the University of Fairbanks, Ak in the early 2000s and 2017. She worked in various jobs starting in 1955 with Paxon lodge, in 1973 at the Rosents Restaurant which is now the Hub of Alaska, and in the 1980s at Ahtna Lodge and Ahtna Construction, early 1980s Division of Forestry. Late 1980s – mid-1990s at Copper River
Native Association/Elders program. 2006 -2020- Chickaloon Ya Ne Dah Ah School.
Jeanie gave her heart to the Lord Jesus in the summer of 1991 and grew in her walk til she passed on 07/08/2020. She was a very caring, and compassionate person to her family, strangers, and all people. She advocated foremost for her belief in God, then sobriety, traditional culture, and the Ahtna language. She leaves her descendants of 7 children and 59 grandchildren and great-grandchildren altogether.
Eileen, part of the Alaska Native sisterhood, passed on December 8, 1995.
“I remember summer… going fishing. Cutting fish, which I really used to enjoy. I like to smoke fish. My mother and I used to go and take care of fish early in the morning. I used to like it because we got up early. That was Tazlina. We had to pack the fish up a steep hill. It was a lot of fun, packing fish. It was 2 dried fish my mom would let us pack because we were too little. We picked a lot of berries too, in August. Cranberries for the winter. That was our fruit. It was a hard life. That was fun. When you work for your living!” – Eileen E Ewan