Every year Doyon, Limited recognize a few shareholders as “Shareholder of the Year” at our Annual Meeting of Shareholders. In 2023, Doyon recognized Flora J. Deacon, Jolene M. McGinty, Gerald H. “Jerry” Moses, and Wilmina “Daisy” Stevens, as outstanding shareholders who have demonstrated their devotion toward their people, displayed strong leadership, and shown significant commitment to the betterment of their communities.

Hannah Paul Solomon Elder Award – Flora J. Deacon

Flora J. Deacon is Deg Hit’an/Holikachuk Athabascan raised in Shageluk and Grayling. Her parents are the late Wilson Deacon, who was the last fluent Holikachuk speaker, and Edna (Matthews) Deacon. Flora was raised in Grayling with siblings Arlene, Janet, Bruce, the late Ursula, and the late Peter. Her paternal grandparents are the late Yankee and Ella Deacon of Holikachuk and her maternal grandparents are the late Peter Matthews and Anna (Wilson) Matthews. Flora has two children, Michael Deacon-Savage Jr. and Melissa M. Godoy, and grandchildren Alyza, Natalya, Ayriana, Zephyr, and Reyna.

Flora attended Chemawa Indian School in Salem, Oregon. After graduating, she worked for several years as an accounting clerk while raising her children as a single parent. She worked for Bristol Bay Native Corporation, the City of Unalaska, and Norton Sound Regional Hospital.

After her children became adults, Flora followed her passion and attended the New England Culinary Institute in Montpelier, Vermont, graduating in 1999 as a chef. Her dream was to travel and teach people to gather, prepare, and cook foods from the land. After graduation Flora worked as a chef for several companies in Alaska and Antarctica.

In 2009, she was hired as a chef at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) under a grant focused on rural nutrition. She taught students from around Alaska about gathering and preparing traditional foods. During her time at UAF she received an interdisciplinary degree in rural nutrition. Most recently, Flora worked for the National Resource Center for Alaska Native Elders at the University of Alaska Anchorage as an in-house traditional food expert. She provides valuable insight and instruction on traditional food preparation. She worked for an Alaska Native Elders program focused on food preparation promoting positive and healthy aging. Flora is a Rural Nutrition Services graduate who participated as a “guest chef” in the filming of “Traditional Foods, Contemporary Chef,” produced by the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium. She has her own business called Flora Deacon, Indigenous Chef, where she teaches basic cooking skills promoting traditional foods.

Flora aspired to own her own tiny house and live off the grid with solar and a rain water catchment system. In the spring of 2020 her fresh water well was installed and later in the fall her house was hooked up to power. She alternates between solar and power regularly. She recycles and composts to reduce her carbon footprint. Although it took several years to accomplish, she now lives the lifestyle she imagined and enjoys her life’s work of teaching others about the indigenous foods and how to prepare them.

In 2023, Flora and her mother Edna Deacon, lead a healthy foods cooking and basketmaking class with Innoko River School students and community members which was well received by all participants.

In 2019 Flora was elected to the board of Zho-Tse Inc. (Shageluk village corporation) and became president in July 2022. Flora was also elected to the board of directors of Hee-Yea-Lingde (Grayling village corporation) in May 2022.

Poldine Carlo Citizen of the Year Award – Jolene M. McGinty

Jolene M. McGinty was born to Maurice and Josephine (Demoski) McGinty in Anchorage and was raised in a traditional and subsistence lifestyle in Nulato. Her paternal grandmother is the late Patricia Ekada, and her great-grandparents are the late Francis and Ester McGinty. Her maternal grandparents are the late Anita (Ambrose) and the late Leo Demoski Jr. Her siblings are Melissa, Twyla, Maurine, Estelle, Corey, and the late Allen B. She lives in Fairbanks with her son, Adam McGinty. Jolene’s Denaakk’e name is Melodeezoonh, which means her “hands are good” and gifted in memory of her maternal great-grandmother, Julia Demoski.

 Jolene spends much of her free time with her nephews and niece; Ethan, Cole, Elijah, Cain, Cruz, Brayden, Carson, Allen, Trey, Cullen, Duane II, Easton, and Halo Josephine, helping their parents bridge the transition gap and offer guidance as they journey into young adulthood. She enjoys traveling with them during her summer breaks and exploring the continental United States visiting many different cities and historical sites.

 Jolene graduated from Andrew K. Demoski High School in Nulato. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work with a minor in elementary education and a Master of Education in School Counseling from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. She tells her students to never stop learning, and she lives by example, as she is pursuing her Associate of Applied Science in Professional Piloting.

 Jolene is an itinerant school counselor for the Yukon-Koyukuk School District where she spends most of the school year in villages within the district. She visits students and supports them academically, culturally, and emotionally. Past and current students call her for advice about their future and how to reach their educational goals.

Jolene lives and shares her traditional Koyukon Athabascan knowledge and skills with family, friends, students, or anyone who wants to learn. Jolene makes it a point to empower all that come her way for advice. She is an avid crocheter, beader, and sewer, and she often hosts Alaska Native craft nights at her house. She invites others from the region that are knowledgeable with various crafts, and she brings them out to her sites to teach students and community members.

 Jolene challenges her students, both past and present, to always remember their foundation or background, what it took to make it stable, and to continue building on that platform. There are many learning curves to just about every downfall that we encounter. Learn to be good with your past to keep progressing forward.  Lastly, the airplane takes off going against the wind.

Daaga’ Community Service Award – Gerald H. “Jerry” Moses

Gerald H. “Jerry” Moses is the son of the late Charles Moses, Sr and Judy Moses of Camden, Maine. Jerry’s paternal grandparents are the late Henry Moses, a well-known Athabascan fiddler, and the late Mabel Moses. Jerry’s maternal grandparents are the late Edgar and Betty Hussey of South Berwick, Maine. Jerry currently resides in Anchorage with his partner Amanda and her two sons.

Jerry is a member of the Native Village of Stevens. He was raised in Fairbanks where he attended high school at West Valley and was a standout basketball player. Jerry obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Biological Sciences and a minor in Political Science from the University of Alaska Fairbanks in 1998. Jerry then earned his Juris Doctorate from the University of Arizona School of Law in 2001 and his Master of Public Health from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in 2005.

Jerry has an extensive background in American Indian and Alaska Native health policy. He worked in Washington, D.C. as an analyst at the Indian Health Services’ national headquarters and then served as senior counsel to the United States Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. Jerry returned to Alaska to work as the Vice President of Intergovernmental Affairs at the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium where he oversaw the interaction of the Consortium with federal and state governments and agencies in addressing issues that impact the health of Alaska Native people.

Jerry has played a role in advancing many significant tribal health issues over his career, none more important than helping to obtain full funding for the over $2 billion in sanitation infrastructure needs for rural Alaska in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act that was enacted into law in November of 2021.

In addition to his frequently required work trips to Washington, DC, Jerry enjoys leisure travel as much as possible, having hiked and biked through almost every national park in the western United States over the past couple of years.

Hannah Paul Solomon Elder Award – Wilmina “Daisy” Stevens

Wilmina “Daisy” Stevens was born to the late Hannah and Paul Solomon Sr. of Fort Yukon. Daisy was raised in Fort Yukon with her siblings Hannah, Regina, Belva, and the late Sambo, late Ralph Noah, late Billy Boy, late Charlotte, late Julia, late Charlie Crow, late Mardow Sr., late Grafton, late Jonathan Sr., late Paul Jr., late Peter, late Ronnie, late Franklin, and late Vernon. Daisy’s paternal grandmother, Sarah Abel, was from Old Crow, Canada and was a great influence on Daisy. Daisy was married to the late Robert Stevens and their children are Robert Stevens II and Nicholas Matthew Stevens. Her grandchildren are Isaiah Horace, Amara, and Robyn Stevens.

Daisy is a tribal member of the Gwich’yee Zhee Gwich’in Tribe of Fort Yukon. In her younger days, Daisy would have been considered a hippie. She spent time traveling the country being a free spirit. When Daisy returned to Alaska, she worked as the Executive Director for her Tribe. Later, she relocated to Fairbanks and Anchorage, working in various administrative positions. In 2009, Daisy started at Tanana Chiefs Conference as a Patient Advocate at the Chief Andrew Isaac Health Center. In 2013 she was hired as a Campaign Coordinator at Tanana Chiefs Conference and she also worked with the National Congress of American Indians as a Get Out the Native Vote Coordinator. Before retiring in 2016, Daisy was the Office Manager at St. Matthews Episcopal Church.

Daisy is active in the Alaska Native community. She is an engaged Doyon shareholder and attends nearly all Doyon, Limited Board of Directors meetings. Daisy knows that teaching our children to engage and vote is critical to the well-being of the Native community. She strongly advocates for participation in all political elections. Each year, Daisy encourages youth to participate in Kids Voting at the Doyon, Limited Annual Meeting of Shareholders. Daisy is an elder who voices concerns on behalf of others and never shies away from a challenge

Daisy enjoys attending many Alaska Native events throughout the State, including Fiddlers Festivals, potlatches, and basketball games, especially the Fort Yukon Eagles games. In 1991, Daisy, along with Cliff Joseph started the Golden Heart Native Athletic Association to support native youth sports.

Daisy is proud of her Gwich’in cultural heritage and is a fluent Gwich’in speaker.

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