Elizabeth Fleagle Recipient of the Hannah Paul Solomon Elder of the Year Award
BOARD RESOLUTION NO. 2016-16
SUBJECT: HANNAH PAUL SOLOMON ELDER AWARD – ELIZABETH FLEAGLE
WHEREAS, Elizabeth “Betty” (Nictune) Fleagle was born July 20, 1935 near Alatna to the late Oscar Nictune, Sr. and Cora (Tobuk). Her Inupiaq name is Kavruk. Betty and her eight siblings were raised in a traditional way along the Alatna River. After their mother died, and until she was 13 years old, Betty was raised by her late sister Elma and Frank Sam; and
WHEREAS, Betty was raised in a subsistence lifestyle and attended school until the 8th grade. Much later she went to Mt. Edgecumbe High School to earn a practical nursing certificate. Betty attended the Seward Skill Center and obtained her GED while receiving culinary and nutritional training; and
WHEREAS, in 1958 Betty married Richard Fleagle and a year later they moved to Manley Hot Springs. Together they raised five children: Michael, Geraldine, Timothy, Tammy and the late Franklin, before moving to Fairbanks in 1979. Over her twenty years in Manley, Betty became very close to the late Judy Woods who shared many adventures with her; and
WHEREAS, Betty worked at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Fairbanks and began work in 1981 as a janitor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) until her retirement in 1997. After retiring, Betty was hired as an elder advisor at UAF’s Rural Human Services Department, where she helps professors prepare students for social work in rural Alaska; and
WHEREAS, Betty’s father accurately predicted that she would be working with many cultures, which she does through her role as an elder advisor. Her mentors include Howard Luke and the late Reverend Chief Doctor David Salmon; and
WHEREAS, Betty has received many awards including the UAF’s Employee Excellence Award in 1988, the Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce Golden Days Citizen’s Chieftain Award in 2010 and the 7th Generation’s Vision Award in 2015. She will be bestowed with an Honorary Doctorate of Education from UAF in May of 2016; and
WHEREAS, in her spare time Betty enjoys spending time visiting with Elders at Denakkanaaga, the Denali Center and the Pioneers’ Home. She also shares her life experiences and Native knowledge with others at UAF, various events in the Native community and at classes held by Denakkanaaga. Betty has suffered and survived alcoholism, domestic abuse, and the suicide of her son Franklin; she draws on these experiences to help others. She is a mentor, spiritual counselor and inspiration to many of all ages in rural and urban Alaska and imagines she will still be working in her 90’s. When she is not busy with work, she enjoys beadworking and berry picking; and
WHEREAS, her advice to young people is, “You can be rich on your own no matter how hard it will be, you can get through everything. There is always hope. If you live an addiction-free life, it is so much easier.” Her humor and independence allow her to live a richly blessed and spiritual life.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Board of Directors of Doyon, Limited on behalf of the shareholders, hereby recognize Elizabeth “Betty” Fleagle for her devotion toward the betterment of Alaska Natives. Her efforts directly impact Alaska Native people as she works tirelessly to promote Athabascan traditions, culture, and heritage. The Board of Directors hereby honors Elizabeth “Betty” Fleagle as the recipient of the 2016 Hannah Paul Solomon Elder of the Year Award.
ADOPTED and DATED this 20th day of February 2016 at Fairbanks, Alaska.