by Greg Lincoln
The Association of Village Council Presidents hosted their 58e annual convention last fall and awarded several members of the tribe the annual President’s Awards. Their names and biographies are below, courtesy of AVCP. The winners were announced at the local convention and were also included as nominees for the 2022 Federation of Alaska Natives. Congratulations to the winners as well as Michael Fredericks and Golga Oscar who were chosen as the winners of the Awards of the AFN Presidents at the 2022 AFN Congress. Quyana!
2022 AVCP President’s Award Recipients
Health: Catherine Beebe, Kwinhagak Tribe
Catherine Beebe is originally from Eek, Alaska and lives in Quinhagak. His mother is Theresa Beebe llutsik from Eek. The grandparents are the late Fritz Beebe Sr. and Edith Beebe. Catherine is married to Timothy Beebe Jr. and they have three children Roselyn, Conner and Jackson.
Catherine Beebe is a community health practitioner in Quinhagak, Alaska. Ms. Beebe graduated with her Community Health Associates in 2021. She enjoys community outreach with school presentations and announcements supporting reproductive health and vaccinations. Although she is young, she is the main person to consult within the Quinhagak clinic. She is a source of motivation, support, encouragement and never fails to help those in need. She never fails to show her smile even in stressful situations. She educates the community in what is available to them without hesitation.
She is a mother of three children and raises them to lead healthy, subsistence lives while teaching them the traditional values she grew up with. As a Yup’ik, Catherine believes we should live humbly and kindness is never wasted.
Education: Monica Charles, Orutsarrmiut Indigenous Council
Monica Charles, Naucetaaq Nayak’aq, is a Yup’ik born and raised in Bethel, AK. His parents are Frank and Louise Charles. Monica is the mother of three children Helen, Nanugaq Jordan and Hannah. Ms. Charles holds a B.Ed. in Elementary Education from the University of Alaska-Fairbanks.
Monica has been a GAL (Guardian ad Litem) with AVCP since 2015.
Monica was president of the Alaska Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder Partnership for 10 years. Monica has lectured on FASD and conducted education-focused trainings across Alaska and at major FASD conferences in Washington State and Arkansas, and is frequently invited to present on FASD to professionals in the field of child protection. In 2019, Monica was part of a 5 member professional training team in Alaska for an FASD clinic in Perth, Australia. Monica continues to work to raise awareness and provide resources to families caring for and raising children with FASD in the Yukon Kuskokwim Delta, statewide and nationally.
Ms. Charles has volunteered on several boards including Tundra Women’s Coalition, Alaska FASD Partnership, Ayaprun Elitnaurvik Academic Policy Committee, Parent Navigator for Yukon Kuskokwim’s FAS Dx Team Health Corporation. Monica received the Legislative Citation of Recognition: YK Delta Women in Philanthropy, April 2018; inducted into the Tom and Linda Daschle FASD Hall of Fame in June 2015.
Distinctive quotes to help children with FASD succeed: “If they have a stable person in their school life, whether it’s the janitor, their teacher, a stable friend, the secretary, or whether it’s the teacher’s aide, they may have a greater chance of success in the school setting. It also doesn’t mean they can’t succeed, it just means they need more support in the school setting.
Hunter/Fisherman: Agnes Gregory, Kwethluk Tribe
Agnes “Aggie” Gregory was born in Bethel 60 years ago. from. His parents were Martha Gregory Toguyak and Wassillie Paul (both deceased). She was raised by adoptive parents Joseph & Freda Lomack. Aggie’s children are Staci, David and Ana.
Hunting and fishing are important, but just as important is taking care of what a person catches. Agnes enjoys her subsistence lifestyle and enjoys processing all fish, game and country foods. Agnès will share all of her traditional dishes with anyone in need, especially her friends and family.
In December 2021, unforgiving weather over the Yukon Kuskokwim Delta halted air travel in the region. This left many individuals and families stranded in Bethel without food or resources. Many people have been stranded at the airport for days. Aggie began cooking and delivering food to the airport to ensure those stranded had home-cooked meals. The weather was bad for days and not improving as many people and families were waiting for their flights. Aggie began posting on social media to help others feed residents stranded for a week due to bad weather. Before we know it, much of Bethel has started offering support and cooking meals to help stranded families in need. Aggie coordinated food efforts and helped many people from surrounding villages on their way home. She led by example by sharing what she had with those who needed it most.
Aggie’s strong Yup’ik upbringing shows the high value of respect, sharing, hard work, and love for family and children is very apparent in everything she does.
Small Business: Michael Fredericks, Georgetown Tribe
Born and raised in Anchorage, Michael Fredericks is an Alaskan native of Yup’ik descent and a member of the Georgetown Tribe. Her late father, Glenn Fredericks, was born in the Kuskokwim area, and her late mother Jan Fredericks arrived in Alaska in the early 1960s, having been raised around the world in a military family. Michael received his bachelor’s degree in architectural studies from the University of Washington and his master’s degree in architecture from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Michael is the chairman and majority owner of SALT. Michael has used his architectural background to specialize in complex stakeholder engagement around design projects. Over his 16 years of experience, Michael’s facilitation services have evolved to include business planning, community engagement, project planning, complex problem solving, organizational planning, action and focused conversations around difficult issues. Ms. Fredericks is trained as an architect, but her passion and expertise lies in strategic planning, visioning, facilitation and grant writing.
Ms. Fredericks is a firm believer that the most successful initiatives harness collaborative thinking and align the solution with stakeholders – not the other way around. Providing a robust process for stakeholder engagement not only empowers the user, but has also been shown to result in savings on the bottom line. Michael is adept at helping groups define their unique version of success and providing them with a roadmap to achieve their goals.
Youth Leadership: Golga Oscar, Kasigluk Tribe
Golga Oscar’s parents are Molly and David Oscar from Tununak.
Golga Oscar, Yup’ik, is an artist from Southwest Alaska who researches and uses modern textiles that reflect his cultural identity. He seeks the revitalizing aspects of his ancestral work with a mix of contemporary materials and design. Mr. Oscar has explored different mediums ranging from leather/hide stitching, grass weaving and wood/walrus ivory carving. A strong cultural identity shines through in his work. Using his knowledge of traditional art forms and his sewing skills, he creates cultural garments that become a strong visual element in his photographic imagery.
Golga taught art classes focused on creating Yup’ik clothing ranging from headgear, shoes, headpieces, dancing fans, and boots. Golga received the Calista Cultural Bearer 2022 award. This knowledge he possesses is what he shares with those around him, especially with the younger generation. Golga Oscar says, “Yup’ik culture and traditions saved my life from collapse. – This means that Yup’ik culture can save anyone’s life by practicing it every day, keeping the mind occupied with negative thoughts or staying away from negative environments. Always follow the warnings given to you by your parents and grandparents, because they save you from their experience.