Shareholder Spotlight: Tristan Madros
Tristan Jovan Madros, 20, of Kaltag, is the son of Shanna Cook. He has six siblings and holds his family dear, especially his grandparents. Madros was traditionally adopted by his grandparents, Franklin Madros, Jr. and Cora Madros. They taught him the fundamentals and ancestral way of life. Madros has great passion for Native traditions. He grew up building birch sleds, sewing moose-hide boots, hunting, fishing and speaking Koyukon Athabascan. He has further embraced his culture by learning how to construct a fish wheel, processing and storing fish for the winter, and by making and enjoying Indian ice cream. He learned early on to respect the Elders and how valuable their insight and experience is not only for himself but also for future generations.
Giving back to the community, especially using his acquired skills, is very important to Madros. At the age of 19, he was chosen to be the second chief on the Kaltag Village Council. He has also served on the Denakkanaaga board for several terms, upon their request. In 2017, he received Doyon’s Chief Andrew Isaac Leadership Shareholder of the Year award, which is given to a person under the age of 35 who demonstrates exceptional leadership qualities.
At the 2018 35th Elders and Youth Conference in October, Madros delivered the youth keynote speech, clearly focusing on passing traditions on to the next generation. “We should be incorporating our traditions, our oral histories, and dancing into our curriculum,” he said. “We should be teaching these things to the children, in the schools. You have to start somewhere.” During his speech, he also encouraged the youth to take pride in their heritage and the Elders to invest very intentionally into the young people.