After more than twenty years of service, Gloria Stickwan has retired from her role as Ahtna’s Customary and Traditional (C&T) Coordinator. When reflecting on her career, she recalled a memory from 1993 where she was struggling with doubt. She confided in Ken Johns, who was the President at the time, that she didn’t know if she could do the job. He said, “Just try it for three weeks.” Those words of encouragement turned into a two-decades-long career with Ahtna.
Gloria’s early career with Ahtna began in high school and set a foundation for her future role. After school hours and during summer breaks, she worked as a Youth CORE Worker, performing administrative duties at the Ahtna office.
She later worked as a receptionist for Ahtna, Inc. and Assistant to the Office Manager at AC&PPC. Gloria remembers how small the Ahtna headquarters office was in those early days compared to now: just two office rooms in a building shared with Copper River Native Association (CRNA) and Alaska Legal Aid.
Gloria grew up in Tazlina and credits her parents for inspiring her C&T passions by taking her out hunting, trapping and fishing, and speaking to her about Ahtna history and lands. She takes great joy from being at fish camp, cutting salmon with help from her family. Gloria is a wealth of information, and sought to expand her knowledge through Elder interviews and research. From coordinating Ahtna’s Community Subsistence Hunt program to giving public testimony at regulatory meetings, Gloria has been a strong and steady voice for our peoples’ C&T rights. We would like to thank Gloria for her leadership, and wish her all the best in her new chapter!
“Ahtna, Inc. and AITRC should continue to work with the Tribes to protect Ahtna’s way of life. Our ancestors would want that to be, now and forever.”