Elaine Abraham, ANSC Chairperson
Elaine Abraham was born and raised in Yakutat,
Alaska, where she now resides. Her father was a traditional Tlingit
chief and Elaine was raised in the traditional Tlingit manner. After
earning a nursing degree and working for several years in Arizona,
she returned to Alaska as the first Tlingit registered nurse. She
served at hospitals in Juneau, Mt. Edgecumbe and in Bethel during
a diphtheria epidemic. She assisted in the opening of the Alaska
Native Health Service Hospital in Anchorage in 1954.
Ms. Abraham moved to Sitka where she worked as
a nurse; served as school board president during the desegregation
of the village school; organized the Southeast Health Aide Program
with Dr. Justice from Mt. Edgecumbe, which became the model for
the statewide Alaska Native Health Aide Program; and organized the
Southeast Native Board of Health.
At Sitka's Sheldon Jackson College she served as
Associate Dean of Students, Director of Social Services and Vice
President for Institutional Development. She developed the Tlingit
and Haida Language Teachers Training program and helped in the creation
of the Alaska Native Language Center, University of Alaska.
In 1976, Ms. Abraham began her service at the University
of Alaska, serving as Vice President for Rural Education Affairs,
Coordinator of Native Student Services and Associate Professor at
the Anchorage campus.
Her educational credentials include a Masters of
Arts in Teaching, Alaska Pacific University; a Bachelors degree
in Human Resources Development, APU; a Certificate in Native Linguistics,
University of Albuquerque, New Mexico; Associate of Arts in Anthropology,
Sheldon Jackson College; and she received the highest recorded score
for the Psychiatric Nurse Evaluation in Arizona.
Ms. Abraham is a revered Tlingit elder and serves
as Chairperson of the Board of Commissioner's of the Alaska Native