Evan Wonhola and Russell S. Nelson
BBNC Elder of the Year: Evan Wonhola
Evan Wonhola was born to the late Simeon and Barbara Wonhola, along with his five siblings Timothy, Nick, Sacally, Natalia, and Annie. He lives in New Stuyahok with his wife of over 50 years, Dorothy. They have two daughters, and many grandchildren and godchildren.
After training in Japan, Evan received an offer to work for the Alaska State Troopers, but chose to stay in his hometown of New Stuyahok as a Village Public Safety Officer. He was a part of the New Stuyahok Traditional Council for years, the mayor of New Stuyahok for one year, and is often still called “Chief” in his village.
Evan speaks fluent Yup’ik and goes commercial fishing every summer. He is also a hunter, gatherer, trapper, and enjoys building dog sleds for children. The wisdom he imparts to others is “You help people no matter what, even if they wouldn’t do the same for you.”
Russell S. Nelson and Tiffany Webb
BBNC Citizen of the Year: Tiffany Webb
Tiffany Webb was born and raised in Anchorage and is the daughter of Mark Webb and Inez Bielefeld and granddaughter of the late Ralph Sr. and Anna May Sorensen. She lives in Dillingham with her partner Thomas Hoseth and their five children.
Tiffany graduated from Alaska Pacific University with a Bachelor of Arts in Human Services and has worked in many social service positions throughout her career. She currently serves as the Opioid Overdose Prevention Coordinator for Bristol Bay Area Health Corporation’s (BBAHC) Behavioral Health department. Tiffany facilitates healing gatherings and leads conversations around historical trauma and addiction and how they impact our health and wellness.
She recently won the National Indian Health Board Heroes in Health Award in Alaska and the Seven Generations Indigenous Health Award for Families and Communities on behalf of BBAHC’s Overdose Prevention Team. Tiffany also serves on the Alaska Impact Alliance Board of Directors and is a member of the Aleutian Pribilof Islands Association’s Southwest Alaska Steering Committee for Health and Resilience, Bristol Bay Native Association’s Reentry Taskforce – Cultural and Community Connection Work Group, Curyung Tribal Council Wellness Committee, and Dillingham Prevention Coalition.
The work Tiffany has done over the years in different capacities has made significant contributions to the health and wellness of people in the Bristol Bay region. Tiffany is dedicated to making a difference in her community and preserving our heritage as Alaska Native people. A notable quote of hers is “Even if people hurt us with lateral oppression, they are still our people.”
Russell S. Nelson and Montana Murphy
Marie Paul Student of the Year: Montana Murphy
Montana Murphy was born and raised in Anchorage and is the daughter of Chester and Caroline Murphy. She is currently a senior at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire majoring in Environmental Studies and Native American and Indigenous Studies modified with Anthropology. Her academic achievements and engagement with diverse communities during her studies reflects her dedication to understanding the issues faced by Indigenous people and finding sustainable solutions.
Montana’s connection to her Yup’ik culture and her determination to preserve and promote it are evident in her active involvement in the Bristol Bay community including her participation as a counselor in BBNC’s first Culture Camp. She embraces her cultural identity and recognizes the importance of passing on the rich traditions and language of her ancestors to future generations. Montana’s goal is to attend law school, which stems from her desire to utilize the power of the law to effect positive change in Indigenous communities.
By dedicating her career to advocating for Indigenous rights, environmental stewardship, and the protection of natural resources, Montana aims to honor her family, preserve culture traditions, and secure a prosperous future for Bristol Bay and its people.
Analise Kosbruk and Russell S. Nelson
Marie Paul Student of the Year: Evan Analise Kosbruk
Analise Kosbruk, from Perryville, is the daughter of Gerald and Rene Kosbruk and has two siblings, Eric and Katlynn. Analise is a sophomore at Perryville High School and is involved in school activities including student government, Educators Rising (state and national), and Career and Technical Education for Culinary Arts and Medical.
Analise also enjoys sports, including basketball, volleyball, and cross country. She also likes to draw, bead, sew, cook, and dance. Her goal is to be the best she can be and her advice to people is to “go out of your comfort zone.”
Sherry Christensen and Russell S. Nelson
BBNC Small Business of the Year: Sherry’s Cuts & Curls, Sherry Christensen
Sherry’s Cuts & Curls is owned by Sherry Christensen, daughter of Nick and Amelia Christensen. Her grandparents are the late Nick and Matluna Christensen and the late Hjalmar and Amelia Mary B. Olson. Sherry was born and raised in Dillingham and after graduating from high school, she attended John Anthony’s Academy of Hair and returned home to work until she was able to establish her own business, Sherry’s Cuts & Curls.
Sherry provides a variety of services for men, women, and children including haircuts, color, perms, facial waxing, ear piercing, and hair and skin care products. She enjoys the flexibility of owning her own business which allows her to assist with community events and support school fundraisers. Sherry also enjoys berry picking, harvesting subsistence foods, traveling, and spending time with friends and family, including her adult son Jayden Kai Mayer and longtime partner Bobby Mayer.