APRIL 10, 1923


Jacob, born near White Mountain, Alaska, attended school there through the eighth grade. He moved to Nome to work for the U.S. Mining Company on their gold dredges and as a mechanic. Ahwinona then became an equipment operator for the Nome public schools. He was an active member of the Nome community being involved in numerous boards and committees, including the Sitnasuak Native Corporation and Kawerak Corporation. In 2003, Nome’s new receiving home was named “Jacob’s House” in honor of his volunteer efforts to improve the lives of children and families in the Bering Straits region. Jacob, proud of his Inupiat heritage, shared his knowledge and stories and worked to correct the historical record about the role of local Inupiat in the discovery ofgold in Nome. In 2011, Ahwinona was named Elder of the Year by the Sitnasuk Native Corporation.  He died June 19, 2012.

Source: “Jacob Ahwinona,” Project Jukebox, Digital Branch of the University of Alaska Fairbanks.  Retrieved 12/9/2020, Jacob Ahwinona's Slideshow | Project Jukebox (uaf.edu)
Photo: National NAGRA (Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act), National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, undated.  Jacob Ahwinona (standing) and Jack Fagerstrom of the Nome and Chinik Eskimo communities examine collections objects during NAGPRA consultations in 2004.   Public domain.  Source:  NAGPRA Grants - National NAGPRA Program (U.S. National Park Service) (nps.gov)

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