OCTOBER 20, 2011


Born on March 12, 1939, and raised about 20 miles north of Fort Yukon, Alaska, Alexander was Grand Chief of Gwich’in peoples and the first Chief of Fort Yukon (1980-94). He co-founded both the Council of Athabascan Tribal Governments (and served as its chairman) and the Yukon River Inter-Tribal Watershed Council–a group of 60 First Nations and Tribal Governments protecting the Yukon River Watershed. A former Gwichyaa Zhee and local Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act village corporation chairman, he also founded Gwandak radio, KZPA 900 am, which broadcasts from Fort Yukon. Alexander also helped his wife, Virginia, author the Gwich’in To English Dictionary.  Recipient of the 2004 Ecotrust Indigenous Leadership Award for advocating for environmental justice, tribal rights, and protection of the Yukon River Watershed, he received the Presidential Citizens Medal from President Barack Obama.

  “2004 Ecotrust Indigenous Leadership Award, Awardee: Clarence Alexander,” Ecotrust.  Retrieved 6/24/2019, http://archive.ecotrust.org/indigenousleaders/2004/clarence_alexander.html
Len Anderson, “Fort Yukon Man Receives Presidential Honor,” Alaska Public Media, 10/21/2011.  Retrieved 6/24/2019,   https://www.alaskapublic.org/2011/10/21/fort-yukon-man-receives-presidential-honor/
Photo:   White House, 10/20/2011.   Public Domain.  

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