ATHABASCAN MAYOR/CIVIC LEADER/BEADWORKER HANNAH SOLOMON BORN
Solomon, born in Old Rampart, Alaska (AK), was raised by adoptive parents. After her marriage, she lived a subsistence lifestyle in Fort Yukon where she helped to organize it into an incorporated city, created a school board, and was its 1st female mayor. Hannah, despite only an elementary school education, was an advocate for Native youth education. She spoke fluent Gwich’in and passed the language to her children. Moving to Fairbanks in 1965, Solomon helped organize the Fairbanks Native Association (FNA) and developed programs for the elderly. Her beadwork, learned from her mother, can be found in collections at: the Smithsonian Institution, University of AK Fairbanks (UAF); and Anchorage Museum, Rasmuson Center. Awards include: Governor’s Native Arts Award (2000) and induction into the AK Women’s Hall of Fame (2012). Solomon was also an Elder in Residence at UAF. Hannah died on September 16, 2011, in Fairbanks. FNA named its senior care building the “Hannah Solomon Building.”
Sources: “Hannah (Paul) Solomon,” Alaska Women's Hall Of Fame. Retrieved 9/24/2022, Hannah Solomon | Alaska Women's Hall Of Fame (alaskawomenshalloffame.org) Mary Smeltzer, “Athabascan matriarch Hannah Solomon remembered,” Alaska Daily News, 9/18/2011. Retrieved 9/24/2022, Athabascan matriarch Hannah Solomon remembered (adn.com) Photo: Courtesy of the Alaska Women’s Hall of Fame.