David Salmon (tribal chief)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
David Salmon
David Salmon (tribal chief).jpg
Born 1912
Salmon Village, Alaska
Died October 11, 2007
Chalkyitsik, Alaska
Occupation Episcopalian priest

Reverend Chief David Salmon (1912 – October 11, 2007) was an Alaska native and Episcopalian priest. He was also a Gwich'in elder who was known for his traditional toolmaking skills and work ethic.[1]

Salmon was born in Salmon Village and raised in Chalkyitsik.[2] He was first chosen as Chief of Chalkyitsik at the age of 29 and helped shape his hometown and community.[2]

Salmon was elevated to First Traditional Chief for the Athabascan people of the Interior in 2003.[1] following the death of the previous chief, Chief Peter John of Old Minto.[3] The position of First Traditional Chief was nonpolitical and honorary.[1] The title was held in very high esteem by the Athabascan and other indigenous Alaskan peoples.[1] He was also the grandfather of former Alaska state representative Woodie Salmon.[2]

He died at the age of 95 from cancer at his home in Chalkyitsik on October 11, 2007.[4] He had been diagnosed earlier in the summer of 2007.[1] Salmon died just 10 days before the opening of the 2007 Alaska Federation of Natives convention, which he was scheduled to address as a guest speaker.[1]

Alaska governor Sarah Palin ordered that all Alaskan flags be lowered to half-staff in honor of Salmon.[2] Palin stated that "Alaska has lost a true treasure."[2]

Salmon's family received around 200 phone calls expressing sympathy from throughout Alaska and the rest of the United States following his death.[1] He was buried near his home in Chalkyitsik on October 15, 2007, next to his wife, Sarah, in a hilltop cemetery under spruce trees.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "Athabascan leader David Salmon buried near his Chalkyitsik home". Associated Press. KTUU. 2007-10-16. Retrieved 2007-11-07. [dead link]
  2. ^ a b c d e "State flags to be lowered to honor Native leader". Associated Press. KTUU. 2007-10-12. Archived from the original on October 13, 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-07. 
  3. ^ "The Rev. Salmon: Athabascan traditional chief put his people first in life". Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. 2007-10-13. Retrieved 2007-11-07. [dead link]
  4. ^ "Athabascan traditional chief Salmon dies at 95". KTUU. Archived from the original on October 30, 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-11. 

External links[edit]