Ticasuk Brown

Last updated
Ticasuk Brown
Emily Ticasuk Ivanoff

Unalakleet, Alaska, United States
Fairbanks, Alaska, United States

Ticasuk Brown (19041982) was an Iñupiaq educator, poet and writer. She was the recipient of a Presidential Commission and was the first Native American to have a school named after her in Fairbanks, Alaska. In 2009, she was placed in the Alaska Women's Hall of Fame.


Early life and work

Emily Ticasuk Ivanoff Brown was born in 1904 in Unalakleet, Alaska. Her name, Ticasuk, means "where the four winds gather their treasures from all parts of the world...the greatest which is knowledge." [1] Her grandfather was Russian, named Sergei Ivanoff, and her grandmother was Yupik, named Chikuk. Brown's parents were Stephen Ivanoff and Malquay. She attended elementary school in Shaktoolik, Alaska, which was a village co-founded by her father. [2] After high school, she became a certified teacher in Oregon. [1] [2] She started teaching in Kotzebue, Alaska. She moved to Washington to study nursing and got married. [1]

The couple moved back to Alaska where Brown started teaching, but her husband died two years into their marriage. [1] She went back to college in 1959, [2] obtaining two Bachelor of Arts at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks. She earned her masters in 1974 with a thesis titled Grandfather of Unalakleet. Her thesis was republished as The Roots of Ticasuk: An Eskimo Woman's Family Story, in 1981. [2] [3] Brown created a curriculum around the Inupiaq language. [1]

Later life and legacy

Ticasuk Brown Elementary School in Fairbanks, Alaska Ticasuk Brown Elementary School Alaska.jpg
Ticasuk Brown Elementary School in Fairbanks, Alaska

She was given a Presidential Commission by Richard Nixon. [2] She worked at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, where she worked on an Iñupiaq language encyclopedia until she died in 1982 in Fairbanks, Alaska. [1] Just before her death, she was set to receive an honorary doctorate from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. [2]

The learning center at the Northwest Community College in Nome, Alaska is dedicated to her. There is an Emily Ivanoff Ticasuk Brown Award for Human Rights award named after her and which is awarded by the National Education Association of Alaska. [4] Ticasuk Brown Elementary School was the first school in Fairbanks, Alaska to be named after a Native American person. The school opened in September 1987. The name was chosen out of 43 submissions in a quest to name the school. [1] She was placed in the Alaska Women's Hall of Fame in 2009. [5]

Related Research Articles

Nome Census Area, Alaska Census area in the United States

Nome Census Area is a census area located in the U.S. state of Alaska, mostly overlapping with the Seward Peninsula. As of the 2010 census, the population was 9,492. It is part of the unorganized borough and therefore has no borough seat. Its largest community by far is the city of Nome.

Nome, Alaska City in Alaska, United States

Nome is a city in the Nome Census Area in the Unorganized Borough of Alaska, United States. The city is located on the southern Seward Peninsula coast on Norton Sound of the Bering Sea. In 2018 the population was estimated at 3,866, a rise from the 3,598 recorded in the 2010 Census, up from 3,505 in 2000. Nome was incorporated on April 9, 1901, and was once the most-populous city in Alaska. Nome lies within the region of the Bering Straits Native Corporation, which is headquartered in Nome.

Shaktoolik, Alaska City in Alaska, United States

Shaktoolik is a city in Nome Census Area, Alaska, United States. At the 2010 census the population was 251, up from 230 in 2000. Shaktoolik is one of a number of Alaskan communities threatened by erosion and related global warming effects. The community has been relocated twice.

Unalakleet, Alaska City in Alaska, United States

Unalakleet is a city in Nome Census Area, Alaska, United States, in the western part of the state. At the 2010 census the population was 688, down from 747 in 2000. Unalakleet is known in the region and around Alaska for its salmon and king crab harvests; the residents rely heavily on caribou, ptarmigan, oogruk, and various salmon species. Unalakleet is also known for its aesthetic value, as it resides right next to the Bering Sea, immediately next to a large, clean river and has trees, tundra, and hills behind it.

Iñupiat ethnic group

The Iñupiat are a group of Alaska Natives, whose traditional territory roughly spans northeast from Norton Sound on the Bering Sea to the northernmost part of the Canada–United States border. Their current communities include 34 villages across Iñupiat Nunaŋat including seven Alaskan villages in the North Slope Borough, affiliated with the Arctic Slope Regional Corporation; eleven villages in Northwest Arctic Borough; and sixteen villages affiliated with the Bering Straits Regional Corporation.

Inupiaq language Group of dialects of the Inuit language, spoken in northern and northwestern Alaska

Inupiaq, Inupiat, Inupiatun or Alaskan Inuit, is a group of dialects of the Inuit languages, spoken by the Iñupiat people in northern and northwestern Alaska, and part of the Northwest Territories. The Inupiat language is a member of the Inuit-Yupik-Unangan language family, and is closely related to Inuit languages of Canada and Greenland. There are roughly 2,000 speakers. It is considered a threatened language with most speakers at or above the age of 40. Iñupiaq is an official language of the State of Alaska.

Unalakleet River river in the United States of America

The Unalakleet River in the U.S. state of Alaska flows southwest 90 miles (145 km) from the Kaltag Mountains to near the town of Unalakleet, on Norton Sound of the Bering Sea.

Yupik Eskimo people of Alaska

The Yup'ik or Yupiaq and Yupiit or Yupiat (pl), also Central Alaskan Yup'ik, Central Yup'ik, Alaskan Yup'ik, are an Eskimo people of western and southwestern Alaska ranging from southern Norton Sound southwards along the coast of the Bering Sea on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta and along the northern coast of Bristol Bay as far east as Nushagak Bay and the northern Alaska Peninsula at Naknek River and Egegik Bay. They are also known as Cup'ik by the Chevak Cup'ik dialect-speaking Eskimos of Chevak and Cup'ig for the Nunivak Cup'ig dialect-speaking Eskimo of Nunivak Island.

Jimmy B. Bedford was the former head of the University of Alaska Fairbanks journalism department. He is also the author of Around the World on a Nickel (1967). There is a Jimmy B. Bedford Memorial Scholarship set up in his honor. He was presented with the Howard Rock Award in 1977. He also contributed to the Concise English Afghan Dari Dictionary, revised and enlarged, with Sardar M. Ah. Sakaria of Kabul University, published in January 1973.

Sinrock Mary Reindeer herder

Changunak Antisarlook Andrewuk was a Russian and Inupiat businesswoman who became one of the richest women in Alaska due to her work in the reindeer industry.

Edith Rose Bullock was an American businesswoman and politician active in Alaska during its territorial and early statehood eras. She was named "Alaskan of the Year" in 1979, making her the first woman to be given the title. Bullock was also the first woman to be named to the Alaska Chamber of Commerce. In 2009, she was named to the inaugural induction class of the Alaska Women's Hall of Fame.

Orah Dee Clark American educator

Orah Dee Clark (1875–1965) was an American educator. She was the first superintendent for the first school in Anchorage, Alaska. In 2009, she was named into the Alaska Women's Hall of Fame.

Nora Guinn was an American judge. In 2009, she was inducted into the Alaska Women's Hall of Fame. She was the first woman and first Alaska Native to be a District Court Judge in Alaska.

Susie Paallengetaq Silook is a carver, sculptor and writer, of Siberian Yupik, Inupiaq and Irish descent. She was born in Gambell, Alaska.

Edna Ahgeak MacLean or Paniattaaq is an Iñupiaq academic administrator, linguist, anthropologist and educator from Alaska, who has specialized in the preservation and revitalization of the Iñupiaq language.

Mary Jane Fate was a Koyukon Athabascan activist. She was a founding member of the Fairbanks Native Association and the Institute of Alaska Native Arts and worked as a lobbyist for the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act. She co-founded the Tundra Times newspaper and served as a director of the corporate board for Alaska Airlines for over two decades. She served as co-chair of the Alaska Federation of Natives between 1988 and 1989, the first woman to serve in the capacity, and was the third president and a founding member of the North American Indian Women's Association. Fate has served on various commissions and national studies of issues which affect indigenous people. She was the project manager of a study of women and disability, served as the only indigenous member of the U.S. Arctic Research Commission and was a member of U.S. Census Advisory Committee on indigenous populations. She has received numerous honors and awards for her activism on behalf of Native Americans and was inducted into the Alaska Women's Hall of Fame in 2014.

Arne Beltz was an American nurse best known for her work in public health. The Arne Beltz Building, which houses the Anchorage, Alaska Department of Health and Human Services, was named in her honor in 1990. In 2013, Beltz was inducted into the Alaska Women's Hall of Fame.

Della Keats Inupiaq Eskimo healer and midwife

Della Keats (Puyuq) was an Inupiaq Eskimo healer and midwife who grew up and came of age in the Kotzebue region of Alaska during the first half of the 20th century. The Kotzebue region is located in northwest Alaska along the coast, situated between Cape Thompson to the north and Cape Espenberg to the south. Further inland from the coast, the region she inhabited is in the drainage areas of the Noatak, Kobuk, and Selawik Rivers. Her life in this region coincided with rapid changes as other peoples voyaged and then settled in alongside indigenous societies. The region is named for Otto von Kotzebue, who explored the area in 1816. The Plover, of the Franklin Expedition, overwintered in Kotzebue Sound in 1849-50. Over the latter half of the 19th century, increased contact helped to spread disease; local people acquired firearms and alcohol; and some inhabitants abandoned their traditional territories by the turn of the century. Missions and schools were established in 1905-1915. During this time, families alternated between school and subsistence seasons. It was not until after the 1930s that Inupiat peoples settled more permanently into villages. This was a time of rapid shifts, and Della Keats and her family lived a traditional subsistence lifestyle while gradually incorporating new materials and entering into trade with a cash economy. She was a member of one of the ten communities in the Kotzebue region, Nuataagmiut.

Sadie Neakok was the first female magistrate in Alaska. She served in Alaska's Second Judicial District in Barrow, Alaska.

Irene Reed, was an American anthropologist, linguist and educator, central in preserving and promoting the Yup'ik language in Alaska.


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Carson, Johanna and Bill. "Ticasuk Brown 1st Fairbanks school named for Alaska Native". Youth. Daily News-Miner. Retrieved 28 October 2013.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Gretchen M. Bataille; Laurie Lisa (12 June 2001). Native American Women: A Biographical Dictionary. Taylor & Francis. pp. 57–58. ISBN   978-0-203-80104-8.
  3. "Emily Ivanoff Brown". Nome. University of Alaska. Retrieved 28 October 2013.
  4. "Human Relations and Civil Rights Awards" (PDF). Awards. National Education Association of Alaska. Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 October 2013. Retrieved 28 October 2013.
  5. Pamela. "Tikasuk "Emily" Brown (Ivanoff)". Hall of Fame. Alaska Women's Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on 29 October 2013. Retrieved 28 October 2013.

Further reading