DENA’INA ATHABASKAN ALASKAN WRITER/STORYTELLER PETER KALIFORNSKY BORN
Born at Unhghenesditnu (Kalifornsky Village), on the Cook Inlet bluff north of the Alaska’s Kasilof River, Peter’s interest in Dena’ina storytelling began by listening to Fedore Sasha (1880-1945). Over 19 years, Peter worked to record as many sukdu or traditional stories as he could remember, translating them also into English. A self-taught writer and ethnographer, he wrote original works in Dena’ina, including a number of autobiographical works including Ch’enlahi Sukdu/The Gambling Story, and Kahtnuht’ana Qenaga/The Kenai People’s Language. His most celebrated book is A Dena’ina Legacy: K’tl’egh’i Sukdu, a collection of Peter’s memoirs, plus both traditional stories and those of his own invention. He also began teaching language classes, first at Wildwood and through Kenaitze Indian Tribe, and later at Kenai Peninsula College. He died June 5, 1993, in Nikiski, Alaska.
Source: “Dena'ina Writers and Speakers,” Dena’ina Qenaga. Retrieved 7/16/2019, http://qenaga.org/people.html Photo: Sam Kimura. Date unknown. Source: http://web.kpc.alaska.edu/denaina/ Used by permission of Kenai Peninsula College.