Alaska Federation of Natives Recognizes Three from Kodiak Region for Service
Margaret Roberts and April Laktonen Counceller at the opening of an Alaska Native art exhibit, Musée Boulogn-sur-Mer, France, 2016.
Last week, the Alaska Federation of Natives (AFN) conference honored three members of the Kodiak community for their service to Native people—Margaret Agnguarta Roberts, Carl Marrs, and Jim Dillard. All three have served the Alutiiq community with distinction and supported the Alutiiq Museum’s work.
Margaret Agnguarta Roberts received the Hanna Paul Solomon “Woman of Courage” award for her lifetime commitment to heritage preservation. Roberts is a founder of the Kodiak Alutiiq dancers and was a member of the culture committee that first envisioned the Alutiiq Museum. She has devoted more than thirty years to promoting cultural education and preservation, as a dancer and through her service to numerous organizations. Roberts is currently the chair of the Alutiiq Heritage Foundation, the organization that governs the Alutiiq Museum. She was born and raised in Kodiak.
AFN named Carl Marrs, the chief executive officers of the Old Harbor Native Corporation, its citizen of the year. The award honored Marrs’ successful efforts to change federal tax law in ways that allow Native Corporations to better serve their shareholders with dividends and services. He was also applauded for mentoring non-profit leaders. Marrs was born in Seldovia and attended school in Kodiak. The award was his second recognition as citizen on the year by AFN. He was first honored in 2001.
The Denali award, which recognizes the service of a non-Native individual to the Alaska Native community, went to Jim Dillard. A retired educator, Dillard taught cultural arts in Port Lions and Kodiak beginning in the 1980s. He was one of the first classroom teachers connect students with Alutiiq heritage. His efforts helped to revitalize Alutiiq carving traditions.
The Alutiiq Museum congratulated these three leaders for their well-deserved awards and thanked them for their outstanding service to their community.