Alaska bids farewell to beloved elder

MENTASTA, AK—The tiny village of Mentasta, Alaska, population 100, was bursting at the seams on June 8, 2013, as family and friends gathered to say goodbye to a beloved Ahtna Athabascan elder.

Katie John died May 31 at the Alaska Native Medical Center in Anchorage at the age of 97.

“Though Katie was our Elder, she was known and respected throughout Alaska and the world,” said Michelle Anderson, President of Ahtna, Incorporated. “We know we are not alone in our sadness and appreciate the outpouring of support from all those who knew her. Katie was a strong, traditional Athabascan woman who spok...