2017 Shareholder of the Year Awards Announced
Doyon, Limited is proud to announce the 2017 Shareholder of the Year Award recipients. Doyon congratulates each of the following shareholders for their exemplary achievements and community involvement.
Tristan Jovan Madros: Chief Andrew Isaac Leadership Award
Tristan Jovan Madros, of Kaltag/Nulato, is the son of Shanna Cook. Madros was raised in Kaltag by his grandparents, Franklin Madros, Jr. and Cora Madros, who traditionally adopted him. Madros has six siblings and holds a special relationship with his family.
From the time he was young, Madros was described by friends as an old soul drawn to the Elders. He was given the Koyukon name “Yadoh,” the name of an old bear hunter, by his late great-grandfather Chief Franklin Madros, Sr. Growing up, Madros spent a great deal of time with local Elders to learn cultural history and tradition. He apprenticed with Al Nickoli, Sr. to learn to make sleds from birch. In school, he learned to sew moose-hide boots to give to others. With his cousin, Madros built a fish wheel, and cut, processed and stored fish for winter for his family. Madros, who deeply values Native traditions, also learned how to make Indian ice cream from his aunt.
Madros works hard to give back to the region. At the request of Denakkanaaga, he served on their board for multiple terms. Currently, Madros works at the Yukon Koyukuk Elder Assisted Living Facility in Galena. Traditionally so, Madros places Elders in high regard, understanding that the knowledge he gains from them is valuable to both himself and future generations.
The Chief Andrew Isaac Leadership Award recognizes a person age 35 or younger who has demonstrated outstanding leadership qualities. The award is named in honor of the late Chief Andrew Isaac, who emphasized the importance of education for youth to become leaders of tomorrow.
Kelly Shewfelt Turner: Richard Frank Military Service Award
Kelly Shewfelt Turner, of Fort Yukon and Fairbanks, is the daughter of Warren Carroll and Nancy Shewfelt, along with her seven siblings. Her grandparents are the late Dave and Addie Shewfelt and Tommy and Nellie Carroll of Fort Yukon. Turner is married to Benjamin Turner and they have two children, Kamryn and Brianna.
Turner completed elementary school in Fort Yukon and graduated from North Pole High School, where she excelled in her studies. After graduation, Turner joined the Air National Guard, where she continued to excel for the past 20 years. Turner currently holds the rank of Master Sergeant (an E-7). In 2001, Turner received her bachelor’s degree in justice from the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
Throughout her military career, Turner has been recognized for her commitment and dedication to our nation. Her honors include Small Arms Expert Marksmanship, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Longevity Service Award, National Defense Medal and Achievement Ribbon (awarded four times). In 2015, she was awarded the Outstanding Unit Member of the Year for her work with the 176th Force Support Flight. Turner has also been recognized for her outstanding leadership qualities and service as an Air National Guard service member, supervisor and co-worker.
Turner successfully maintains a work-life balance and takes care to give back to her military and Alaska Native community every chance she gets through volunteerism and community involvement.
The Gin’tith (Richard Frank) Military Service Award recognizes an Alaska Native who demonstrates a strong commitment and willingness to serve in the U.S. armed forces in the defense of the United States of America.
Eileen Julia Mahler: Citizen of the Year
Eileen “Julia” Mahler, born and raised in Fort Yukon, is the daughter of Cliff Fairchild and Margaret Cadzow. Her grandparents are the late Louis and Ellen Fairchild and the late Ben and Julia Thomas. She is the wife of the late Gene Mahler and mother of six children. Mahler is known as “Nana” to her 12 grandchildren.
Mahler, along with her husband, raised her six children on the Salmon Fork River, about 80 miles above Chalkyitsik. Their love for the land passed to their children, whom they instilled the values of hard work, self-sufficiency, honesty, and respect for Elders and the land. Mahler continues to teach children in the community these same traditional skills and values she taught her own children.
As an independent and traditional woman, Mahler hauls her own wood, and teaches other women to sew and use chainsaws. She also farms her own chickens, which produce enough eggs for her to bring to local Elders. An Elder herself, Mahler competes in Fort Yukon’s spring carnival and Independence Day races as a tough competitor to the younger folks.
For the past two years, Mahler has planned, organized and implemented a 10-day youth camp at her eight-mile cabin on the Porcupine River. The camp, which includes children from six surrounding villages, offers basic survival skills, archery, Gwich’in language, cooking, fishing and many other activities. To this day, Mahler organizes alcohol- and drug-free events that teach traditional activities including how to trap muskrats, snare rabbits, tan hides and sew. She is a role model, mentor and advocate to children, adults and Elders.
The Citizen of the Year Award recognizes a person who has demonstrated leadership, strong commitment, competence and sensitivity in the educational and cultural survival of Alaska Natives. Recipients may be chosen for contributions in the fields of health or education, maintenance of a traditional lifestyle, or for the example they set as parents.
Due to the lack of nominations this year, the Hannah Paul Solomon Elder of the Year and Daaga’ Community Service Awards were not awarded. Each year, Doyon uses newsletter articles and social media to encourage shareholders to nominate fellow shareholders deserving of the awards. An update will be announced for the 2018 award nominations next month. Please visit the Doyon website for more information regarding the Shareholder of the Year Awards and how to nominate an individual for the 2018 awards.