The keynote speaker for the 2024 Annual Meeting of Shareholders is LaVerne Xilegg Demientieff.
LaVerne Xilegg Demientieff is Deg Xit’an and her family is originally from Holy Cross and Anvik, Alaska. Her parents are the late Rudy and Alice (Frank) Demientieff. Her paternal grandparents are Stanley Demientieff and Edith Bifelt and her maternal grandparents are Joe Frank and Marcia Reed.
LaVerne is a Professor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, Bachelor of Social Work program where she has taught since 2006. She is a community wellness practitioner and leads training on healing centered engagement, ancestral trauma and wellness, adverse childhood experiences, trauma informed care, and cultural resilience and strength.
She is engaged in Indigenous language revitalization with a foundation in love, relationality, and safety, specifically learning and teaching the Deg Xinag language. She is deeply committed to exploring the connection between language and well-being and practicing compassionate, healing centered language learning, and growth.
LaVerne’s research interests include exploring how cultural and traditional practices contribute to individual, family, group and community resilience, health, healing, and wellness. She works closely with Elders in research and teaching and is always transformed and healed by their compassionate wisdom and aspires to be a respected Elder in the future.
Two quotes from Elders that have inspired and ground her is: “Learning is healing” and “Take care of the old person we are going to become”.