Shareholder Spotlight: Joe Turner
Joe Turner was born and raised in Holy Cross, Alaska, and moved to Nulato about 13 years ago.
At age 18, Turner was known for being one of the youngest Native barge pilots on the Yukon River. He credits his father and Elders to teaching him at a young age. “I learned from my dad and Elders how to read water; I could tell how deep the water was and if there were sand bars,” he said.
Turner also works as the village public safety officer, the only law enforcement for 50 miles, he was also a village agent for Ravn Air, where he was responsible for manifests, passengers, and hauling mail. If the weather was bad and passengers were dropped off, Turner would take it upon himself pick up passengers stranded in surrounding communities with his boat and bring them to Nulato.
He comes from a long line of trappers, trapping everything from marten to wolves. Trapping wolves helps positively impact the moose population. Turner has begun teaching youth how to trap properly and safely.
Turner and his wife, Martha, have raised their children in Holy Cross and Nulato in a traditional lifestyle. Together they trap, fish, and are experts in training others to read the river.
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