NOVEMBER 11, 1946


Adams, born in Utqiagvik (Barrow), Alaska (AK), was raised in Inupiaq traditions and became a lifelong practitioner and advocate for his culture. A successful whaling captain, Adams helped found the AK Eskimo Whaling Commission (AEWC) following a ban on the bowhead whale hunt. The AEWC continues to be instrumental in preserving the bowhead whale hunt, a cultural cornerstone and important source of food. At 21, Adams was elected to the Barrow City Council. He later served as the city’s mayor and then mayor for the North Slope Borough, which covers 95,000 square miles across northern AK. Adams also had a big hand in shaping the Arctic Slope Regional Corporation (ASRC), an entity that represents the business interests of about 13,000 Inupiaq shareholders. Adams was ASRC’s president and CEO from 1983 until 2006 and served on the board of directors until his passing. Today, ASRC is the largest AK-owned and operated company. Adams died on September 24, 2020 in Utqiagvik. 

Source:  Alexander Deedy, “Remembering Jacob Anagi Adams, Sr.,” Alaska Magazine, 1/20/2021.   Retrieved 5/18/2022, Alaska Magazine | Remembering Jacob Anagi Adams, Sr.
Photo:  Denali National Park and Reserve, 6/29/2010. Public Domain.  

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