Nora Marks Dauenhauer

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Nora Dauenhauer in 2011.

Nora Marks Dauenhauer (born May 8, 1927) is an American poet and short-story writer and a scholar of the language and traditions of the Tlingit aboriginal nation in Alaska, of which she is a member. She won an American Book Award for Russians in Tlingit America: The Battles of Sitka, 1802 And 1804.

Life[edit]

Nora Marks was born May 8, 1927, the first of sixteen children of Emma Marks (1913–2006) of Yakutat, Alaska, and Willie Marks (1902–1981), a Tlingit from Hoonah, Alaska. Nora's Tlingit name at birth was Keix̱wnéi. Following her mother in the Tlingit matrilineal system, she is a member of the Raven moiety of the Tlingit nation, of the Lukaax̱.ádi clan, and of the Shaka Hít or Canoe Prow House, from Alsek River. Emma's maternal grandfather had been Frank Italio (1870–1956), an informant to the anthropologist Frederica de Laguna whose knowledge was incorporated into De Laguna's 1972 ethnography of the northern Tlingit, Under Mount St. Elias.

She got married at eighteen to Richard Dauenhauer and had four children. After the last child went to High School, she earned her GED. (3) She then earned a Bachelor's Degree in Anthropology from Alaska Pacific University in Anchorage, Alaska. She worked as Tlingit language researcher for Alaska Native Language Center at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks from 1972 to 1973.As a Tlingit Language Researcher, she has translated and transcribed works of Tlingit culture into books. Her books include “Beginning Tlingit,” published in 1976.[1]

When she got a NEH translation grant from the government, she and her family moved to Juneau, Alaska in 1983. There she became a principal researcher in language and cultural studies at the Sealaska Heritage Foundation from 1983-1997. From October 10, 2012 to October 2014 she resided as Alaska States Poet Laureate.[2]

She still lives in Juneau where she continues to write, research and do volunteer work at local schools. She has four children, thirteen grandchildren, and fifteen great children.[3]

Awards[edit]

  • 1980- Humanist of the Year by Alaska Humanities Forum
  • 1989- Alaska's Governor Award for the Arts
  • 1991 and 2008- Before Columbus Foundation American Book Award
  • May 2001- Received Honorary Doctor of Humanities degree from University of Alaska Southeast.
  • December 2004- Received 2005 Community Spirit Award from the First Peoples Fund of Rapid City, South Dakota.
  • 2007- Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian tribes of Alaska recognized her with a lifetime achievement award.
  • March 2010- Inducted into Alaska women's hall of fame.
  • November 2011- Selected as Indigenous Leadership award honoree by Ecotrust, Salman Nation, Portland, Oregon.[4]

Works[edit]

  • (1983) "Egg Boat." In: Earth Power Coming: Short Fiction in Native American Literature, ed. by Simon J. Ortiz, pp. 155–161. Tsaile: Navajo Community College Press.
  • (1986) "Context and Display in Northwest Coast Art." New Scholar, vol. 10, pp. 419–432.
  • (1988) The Droning Shaman: Poems by Nora Marks Dauenhauer, Haines: The Black Current Press
  • (1990) "The Battles of Sitka, 1802 and 1804, from the Tlingit, Russian, and Other Points of View." In: Russia in North America, ed. by Richard Pierce, pp. 6–24. Kingston, Ontario: Limestone Press.
  • (with Richard Dauenhauer) (eds.) (1981) "Because We Cherish You ...": Sealaska Elders Speak to the Future. Juneau: Sealaska Heritage Foundation.
  • (with Richard Dauenhauer) (eds.) (1987) Haa Shuká, Our Ancestors: Tlingit Oral Narratives. (Classics of Tlingit Oral Literature, vol. 1.) Seattle: University of Washington Press.
  • (with Richard Dauenhauer) (eds.) (1990) Haa Tuwanáagu Yís, for Healing Our Spirit: Tlingit Oratory. (Classics of Tlingit Oral Literature, vol. 2.) Seattle: University of Washington Press.
  • (with Richard Dauenhauer) (eds.) (1994) Haa Kusteeyí, Our Culture: Tlingit Life Stories. (Classics of Tlingit Oral Literature, vol. 3.) Seattle: University of Washington Press.
  • Nora Dauenhauer, Richard Dauenhauer, Lydia Black, eds. (2008). Russians in Tlingit America. University of Washington Press. ISBN 978-0-295-98601-2. 

See also[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

  • De Laguna, Frederica (1972) Under Mount St. Elias. 3 vols. Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Nora Marks Dauenhauer". Poetry Foundation. Poetry Foundation. Retrieved 29 May 2016. 
  2. ^ "Alaska". Main Reading Room. Library of Congress. Retrieved 29 May 2016. 
  3. ^ "Nora Marks Dauenhauer, Alaska State Writer Laureate". Alaska State Writer Laureate. Alaska State Council on the Arts. Retrieved 29 May 2016. 
  4. ^ "Nora Marks Dauenhauer, Alaska State Writer Laureate". Alaska State Writer Laureate. Alaska State Council on the Arts. Retrieved 29 May 2016.