SEPTEMBER 11, 1939

MORRIS “MORRIE” THOMPSON, KOYUKON ATHABASKAN LEADER, BUSINESSMAN BORN

Born in Tanana, Alaska, “Morrie,” after graduating from the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, first worked at RCA’s Gilmore Satellite Tracking Station.   A good friend of Governor Walter Hickel, he went to Washington when President Nixon named Hickel as Secretary of the Interior in 1969.  Morris initially served as Hickel’s special assistant.  In 1970, however, he became the youngest Commissioner of the Bureau of Indian Affairs at age 34.  Morris was a former president of the Alaska Federation of Natives and founding Vice-President of Commonwealth North. In 1981, he became Vice-President of Doyon Limited Regional Corporation, his Alaskan Native Claims Settlement Act Regional Corporation and, in October 1985, was appointed its President and Chief Officer.  He took Doyon from being $28 million in the red in 1985 to $70.9 million in annual revenues when he retired in 1999.  He, his wife and daughter died on January 31, 2000 in an airplane crash.

Source:  "Morris Thompson," Wayback Machine: Alaska Federation of Natives, 4/27/2003.  Retrieved 7/13/2019, https://web.archive.org/web/20030427170326/http://www.nativefederation.org/history/people/mThompson.html
Photo:  RadioKAOS, 5/23/2011.  Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitors Center.  Permissive use.  Creative Commons 3.0, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/nl/deed.en

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