AFN NAMES WORL CITIZEN OF THE YEAR
October 27, 2011
At an Anchorage ceremony last Friday during the federation’s annual convention, AFN President Julie Kitka gave Worl its Citizen of the Year award, saying Worl had dedicated her life to helping Native people from one corner of the state to the other.
“I venture to say there’s probably nobody’s life that has not been touched by the efforts that she has put into her work helping the Native community over her lifetime,” Kitka said.
AFN Co-Chair Albert Kookesh said he went to college with Worl, noting she went to two schools to earn her bachelor’s degree quicker, before earning her Ph.D. at Harvard.
“Rosita is one of the most educated people that we have in our midst,” Kookesh said.
Worl thanked her family, friends, and colleagues, and all of the subsistence users in the audience, telling them that no one person succeeds on their own.
“You are my source of inspiration. You are the ones who give me strength. You are the ones who make me believe that our way of life is worthy of protection. It is from you--my family, my friends, my colleagues--that I receive the strength that I have,” Worl said.
Worl also recognized her late mother Bessie Quinto, who she remembers as an unsung Tlingit hero who fought to organize unions in Southeast Alaska salmon canneries. She also thanked her mentors, the late William Paul, Sr., and Dr. Walter Soboleff.
Worl, whose Tlingit names are Yeidiklats'okw and Kaa.haní, is Tlingit, Ch'áak' (Eagle) moiety of the Shangukeidí (Thunderbird) Clan from the Kawdliyaayi Hít (House Lowered From the Sun) in Klukwan. Worl has a Ph.D. and a M.S. in Anthropology from Harvard University, and a B.A. from Alaska Methodist University. She is an anthropologist and for many years served as Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Alaska Southeast. She has served on numerous boards, including the boards of Sealaska Corporation and the AFN.
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