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Fred Lauth - Citizen Of The Year

Oct. 29, 2015

The Alaska Federation of Natives presented its top awards to carver Fred Lauth Sr. and environmental specialist Alex Whiting of Kotzebue. 

Lauth, who was raised in Hydaburg in Southeast Alaska, received the Citizen of the Year award, the highest honor given to an Alaska Native.  A former president of the Cape Fox Corporation in Saxman, Lauth has a carving shop in the state of Washington where he carves totems, masks and other works of art.  He donates many of his works and has helped create a Haida dance group in Seattle.

"He is known as a loyal person with a giving heart," said a statement from the AFN.

Whiting received the Denali Award, the highest honor for a non-Native, for combining traditional knowledge in his scientific work at the Native Village of Kotzebue.

Whiting's groundbreaking research projects have included tagging efforts to study ice seals in Kotzebue Sound.  He has also advocated for "culturally relevant" wildlife hunting regulations, such as helping change Fish and Game requirements related to hunting wolves, wolverines and caribou on snow machines so they are in line with traditional practices.

"Alex shares food he harvests with his family and others and has regularly donated food for the monthly elders' potlucks in Kotzebue," said a statement from AFN.