Above: Indian council held at Fairbanks, July 1915. (University of Alaska Archives)
The Society supports students on National History Day (NHD), a year-long academic organization for elementary and secondary school students that focuses on the teaching and learning of history. More than a half million students across the nation participate each year. History Day in Alaska is the Alaska affiliate of the NHD program. TYHS provides awards annually on National History Day to students researching local topics. The Jane Williams Prize and Niilo Koponen Award are awarded to students for their best local history exhibit displayed on National History Day.
2019 History Day
Holding her 2019 History Day certificates, Justine Wassillie and her parents, Olga and Anders, stand in front of her prize-winning senior competition display: “Yugtun Qaneryaram Tamaqsaitellra: Saving the Yupik Language”. The judges commented: It is obvious she is passionate about the subject and has put together a very well researched argument about the complexities and history of the language and Yupik culture.
The Tanana-Yukon Historical Society annually recognizes exemplary History Day projects on local or Alaska history; Justina received a certificate and book store gift card for her project.
With Alaska Native Groups
Photo: Government-to-Government meeting between consulting tribes and the US Army Garrison Alaska [USAG-AK], Nenana Tribal Hall, 06 June 2019: Standing: Bertha Rickman, Tribal Administrator, Healy Lake Traditional Council; Dan Rees, Natural Resource Specialist, USAG-AK; Christina Stewart, Tanana Chiefs’ Conference; Christopher Denny, Tanacross Village Council; Lisa Fisher, wife of: Col.Sean Fisher, USAG-AK Commander; Cmmd Sgt. Major Juan Cornett, USAG-AK CSM; Victor Lord, Nenana Native Council; Donald Charlie, 2nd Chief Nenana Native Council; Elizabeth Cook, Cultural Resources Manager & Native Liaison, USAG-AK; Seated: Katherine Quirk, Tribal Family & Youth Services, Healy Lake; Elizabeth Cook, Meeting Facilitator, Tanana Yukon Historical Society; Debra Lynne, Tanana Chiefs’ Conference; Virginia Charlie, Nenana Native Council
The Society facilitates the government-to-government process between Alaska Native groups and the U.S. Army Garrison Alaska by serving as a facilitator of formal meetings with tribal entities affected by past, present and future Army activities. Meetings are held 2–4 times per year in Tetlin, Northway, Tok, Tanacross, Dot Lake, Eagle, Healy Lake, Nenana and on Fort Wainwright, and generate a small amount of profit for the Society. As facilitators, we:
- Contract for air transport when necessary
- Cater meetings
- Reimburse tribal government representatives for their travel costs
- Document meetings with minutes and photos
With the Military
We also work with the Army to discover and maintain Alaska history on military lands by:
- Digging through abandoned dump sites looking for historic treasures
- Exploring the architecture of WWII buildings at Fort Richardson (Anchorage) and the Ladd Army Airfield National Historic Landmark area of Fort Wainwright
- Creating signage to allow visitors to understand military history in Alaska
- Helping the Army manage its public land