UAS News

Spotlight on Innovative Native Voices @ UAS

Juneau, Alaska
Date of Press Release: 10-30-2015

UAS Celebrates One Campus, One Book Events

UAS One Campus, One Book presents two events celebrating innovative, contemporary presentation of Native Voices: “Blonde Indian: An Alaska Native Memoir” and “Never Alone” (video game). These events will feature Ernestine Hayes, Ishmael Hope, Amy Fredeen and members of the E-Line Media creative team.

Ernestine Hayes, author of “Blonde Indian: An Alaska Native Memoir” is the featured speaker for this year’s University of Alaska Southeast’s One Campus, One Book program. On Wed 11/4 she’ll moderate a panel featuring contributors to the video game, “Never Alone” (Kisima Ingitchuna), the first game developed in collaboration with the Iñupiat, an Alaska Native people. At Friday’s Evening at Egan, she’ll discuss her book and present the talk, “An Animate World.”

This Fall Hayes has visited with UAS classes (Juneau and Sitka), participated in an Alaska Book Week Celebration where Alaska Writer Laureate, Frank Soos honored “Blonde Indian” as the first ever Alaska Reads selection. She will also offer a free community writing workshop emphasizing memoir in collaboration with the Juneau Public Libraries on Saturday 11/14.

The Making of “Never Alone”: Native Voices and New Media

November 4, UAS Recreation Center, 7 p.m.

“Never Alone” is the first game developed in collaboration with the Iñupiat, an Alaska Native people. A panel of contributors will showcase the game and discuss how new media platforms like video games can be used to tell traditional stories, celebrate indigenous language, contribute to decolonization efforts and share a vibrant, in-tact culture with younger generations. The event will feature multi-media content from the video game. Moderated by Ernestine Hayes and featuring Ishmael Hope, Amy Fredeen, Matt Swanson*, Ian Gil*, David Koenig* and Casey McDonnell*. *E-Line Media team participating via Skype. Checkout the game trailer available on YouTube.

Ernestine Hayes: An Animate World

November 6, UAS Egan Library, 7 p.m. [Evening at Egan]

Author of the 2015-16 One Campus One Book selection, “Blonde Indian: An Alaska Native Memoir”, Hayes will read from and discuss her book and explore the theme of a world where everything has life and everything is connected. In 2007, “Blonde Indian” received an American Book Award and Honoring Alaska Indigenous Literature award, was named October 2006 Native America Calling Book of the Month, and was a finalist for the 2007 Kiriyama Prize and the 2007 PEN Non-fiction Award. In October 2015, Alaska Writer Laureate, Frank Soos announced “Blonde Indian” as the first Alaska Reads statewide selection. Additional One Campus, One Book events and info can be found on the Egan Library One Campus, One Book website.

Press may contact: Jonas Lamb, 796-6440 for more info


Ernestine Hayes was born to the Wolf House, Tlingit Kaagwaantaan clan in Alaska at the end of World War II. In “Blonde Indian”, an Alaska Native Memoir, she weaves reminiscences of her life, stories from her grandmother, Tlingit history, nature writing, and fiction into a testament of the twentieth-century Alaska Native experience and a love song to the land.

In 2007, “Blonde Indian” received an American Book Award and Honoring Alaska Indigenous Literature award, was named October 2006 Native America Calling Book of the Month, and was a finalist for the 2007 Kiriyama Prize and the 2007 PEN Non-fiction Award. She received her MFA in creative writing and literary arts from the University of Alaska Anchorage and is currently Assistant Professor of English at the University of Alaska Southeast in Juneau.

Amy Fredeen, is Chief Financial Officer at E-Line Media, and serves as the Executive Vice President and CFO of Cook Inlet Tribal Council (CITC), an innovative nonprofit that provides educational and social services to Alaska Natives and American Indian people in the Cook Inlet Region of Alaska. Amy also serves as the President/Chair for the Board of International Funders for Indigenous Peoples, serves on the Board of Directors for Cook Inlet Native Head Start and the Alaska Center for the Performing Arts and is an active member of Rotary.

Ishmael Hope, born in Sitka, Alaska, and living in Juneau, is a storyteller and writer who shares stories from his Iñupiaq and Tlingit heritages. The son of two Alaskan poets, the late Elizabeth Freda Hope from the Goodwin family in Kotzebue, and the late Andy Hope III from Sitka, a Tlingit of the S’iknaxh.ádi clan, Ishmael’s Iñupiaq name is Angaluuk and his Tlingit name is Khaagwáask’, and he is of the Kiks.ádi clan, the X’aaká Hít, the Point House, of Sitka. Describing Courtesans of Flounder Hill, the late poet and scholar of Tlingit oral literature, Richard Dauenhauer, said Ishmael Hope “explores and reminds us how each of us is central in a multigenerational relationship involving ancestry, self, and descendants; heritage, contemporary culture, and legacy; an unbroken chain of storytellers, daily life, and dreams, always negotiating, in the words of T. S. Eliot, between tradition and the individual talent. He writes in one poem, that ‘myths are a place to rest / from so much catching up to ourselves, / a place to rest in all this confusion.’”

E-Line Media is an entertainment and educational publisher harnessing the power of games to help youth thrive in a globally connected and rapidly changing world.

Members of the creative team participating in the UAS event on 11/4 include: Matt Swanson — Producer, Ian Gil — Lead Designer, David Koenig — Technical Director and Casey McDonnell — Art Director.

E-Line’s consumer games are designed to fire the imagination, catalyze curiosity and create gateways to new ideas, themes and interests. Our game-infused blended learning and community platform enables pathways of learning from middle school through college and beyond.

E-Line combines "high-tech" products with "high-touch" services including blended learning programs, teacher professional development and youth competitions and showcases. The company’s game-based-learning offerings have been used in over 10,000 schools and after-school programs with hundreds of thousands of students, primarily through a ‘bottoms-up’ direct-to-teacher publishing methodology. The company's first consumer game, “Never Alone” (Kisima Ingitchuna) released in Fall 2014 has received extensive positive press and multiple accolades including best of E3 from Polygon and Top Ten Family Game from Yahoo Tech.

Additional UAS One Campus One Book 2015 Fall Events

The Art of Memoir: Community Writing Workshop with Ernestine Hayes

November 14, New Valley Library, 11 a.m.–2 p.m.

Author of the American Book Award winning memoir, “Blonde Indian”, and UAS Associate Professor of English, Ernestine Hayes will lead a FREE community writing workshop with an emphasis on the memoir. Space is limited, contact Beth Weigel at the Juneau Public Library to register:

UAS “Blonde Indian” Book Club

November 11, and December 2, Egan 115, 12–1 p.m.

Have you been reading this year’s One Campus One Book section, “Blonde Indian: An Alaska Native Memoir” by Ernestine Hayes? Students, staff and faculty are welcome to join a lively lunch hour conversation about the text (facilitated by UAS faculty). Bring your lunch and additional snacks will be provided. Need a copy of this year’s selection? Check at the Egan Library: free copies are available for students and additional copies are available for checkout. Meetings held across three Wednesdays 10/14, 11/11 and 12/2 in Egan 115, from 12–1 p.m.. Come for any or all of the hour!


Jonas Lamb

University of Alaska Southeast