NOVEMBER 5, 1944


Born in Barrow (now Utqiaġvik), Alaska, Edna was punished for speaking Iñupiaq at school.  She earned a Bachelor’s degree in History from Colorado Women’s College, Denver, and her teaching certificate from University of California, Berkeley (1969).  From 1976-87, Edna rose to Associate Professor at University of Alaska Fairbanks teaching Iñupiaq & developing a related degree program while publishing an Iñupiaq dictionary (1981) and grammar book (1986).  Edna was Special Assistant for Rural & Alaska Native Education to the Commissioner of Education (1987-90) before receiving a Master’s degree (Bilingual Education) from University of Washington (1991) & Ph.D. (Education) from Stanford (1995).  From 1995-2005, Edna was President, Iḷisaġvik College.  Awards include:  Citizen of the Year, Alaska Federation of Natives (2005); Distinguished Service to the Humanities, Governor of Alaska (2006); and Alaska Women’s Hall of Fame (2018).  Edna lives in Anchorage.

“E. A. MacLean,” University of Alaska Fairbanks.  Retrieved 1/12/2021, 
 “Edna Agheak MacLean, Phd.,” Alaska Women’s Hall of Fame, 2008.  Retrieved 1/12/2021, Womens Hall of Fame Edna (Ahgeak) MacLean Ph.D. » » Alumnae (
Photo:  Courtesy of Alaska Women’s Hall of Fame

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