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Athabascan elder Katie John

Katie John near her fishwheel on the Copper River in Alaska in a 1994 file photo.
ERIK HILL
Athabascan leader Katie John listens at the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention to a Dialogue: Strengthening Our Relationship with the State of Alaska during the annual convention at the Dena'na Center in downtown Anchorage, AK on Friday, October 21, 2011. 111021.
Bob Hallinen
Mentasta Lake village elder, Katie John, says she never experienced an eatrhquake like the one on Sunday in all her 87-years on earth. She wasn't afraid, however, "because God is always with me".
Jim Lavrakas
Katie John and her daughter Nora David at the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention at the Dena'na Center in downtown Anchorage, AK on Friday, October 21, 2011.
Bob Hallinen
Mentasta elder Katie John participated in the 4th Annual 'We the People' march in support of subsistence rights.
Bill Roth
Katie John chats with Gov. Tony Knowles at her fish camp near the head waters of the Copper River at Tanada Creek. photos by Johnny Ceffalio / Office of the Governor
Johnny Ceffalio
Mentasta elder Katie John participated in the 4th Annual 'We the People' march in support of subsistence rights.
Bill Roth
Native elders Paul John, left, of Toksook Bay, Alaska, and Katie John, of Mentasta, Alaska, raise their hands together after Katie John was honored with gifts from several Alaskan tribes at the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention Friday, Oct. 26, 2001 in Anchorage, Alaska. John an Athabascan elder, successfully sued the state after being denied a fish camp on the Copper River. It extended federal oversight of subsistence to most of Alaska's water and followed a federal takeover of subsistence hunting on its own land in 1990. Alaska Gov. Tony Knowles recently decided against appealing the lawsuit to the U.S. Supreme Court. (AP Photo/Michael Dinneen)
MICHAEL DINNEEN
Photo by Native American Rights Fund Ahtna elder, Katie John.
Native American Rights Fund
Photo by Native American Rights Fund Ahtna elder Katie John.
Native American Rights Fund
Photo by Native American Rights Fund Ahtna elder Katie John.
Native American Rights Fund
Athabascan elder Katie John enjoys the lawn of Jim Kari Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2001, while visiting his home in Fairbanks, Alaska. John has become a heroine for many Alaska Natives for filing a lawsuit in 1985 to reopen her tribe's historical fishing place on Tanda Creek, one of the headwaters of the Copper River. She is in Fairbanks to be the keynote speaker for a University of Alaska Fairbanks graduate seminar Thursday the Fairbanks Princess Hotel. (AP Photo/Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Sam Harrel)
SAM HARREL
Photo by Native American Rights Fund Katie John at Batzulnetas.
Native American Rights Fund
Photo by Native American Rights Fund Katie John and her grandchildren at Batzulnetas in the late 1980s.
Native American Rights Fund
Photo by Native American Rights Fund Governor Tony Knowles and Katie John in Mentasta.
Native American Rights Fund
Photo by Native American Rights Fund Katie John near her salmon rack at Batzulnetas after the Copper River sockeye salmon opening.
Native American Rights Fund
Photo by Native American Rights Fund Katie John and her family and NARF staff attorney Robert Anderson at Batzulnetas.
Native American Rights Fund
Photo from John v. Alaska case file Construction of Katie John's fishwheel at Batzulnetas.
Photo from John v. Alaska case file
Katie John, of Mentasta, Alaska, is shown in this file photo from Feb. 15, 2000, in Anchorage, Alaska. John's life revolves around a fishing wheel that sits along the Copper River. The 85-year-old Native woman depends on that wheel to help feed her 16 biological and adopted children and contribute to the subsistence life of the more than 100 at the village of Mentasta. She spent several hours with Gov. Tony Knowles at her village on Sunday, July 15, 2001, talking about her way of life and hearing his plans for her court case. (AP Photo/Al Grillo, File)
AL GRILLO
Photo by Native American Rights Fund Gene Henry at Batzulnetas fish racks.
Native American Rights Fund
Photo by Native American Rights Fund Katie John's grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Native American Rights Fund
Photo by Native American Rights Fund Katie John and NARF staff attorney Robert Anderson.
Native American Rights Fund
Photo from John v. Alaska case file Aerial view of Katie John's allotment at Batzulnetas at the confluence of Tanada Creek and the Copper River.
Photo from John v. Alaska case file
[NATIVE CONFERENCE]Eighty-two year-old Katie John, from Mentasta, Alaska, watches over her 14-month old great, great, grandson Clifton Tibbits Tuesday Oct. 21, 1997, as the two day Elders and Youth Conference in Anchorage, Alaska, comes to a close. The conference gave young Alaska Natives an opportunity to learn about their culture from the elders who lived it. The conference is part of the week-long Alaska Federation of Natives Convention which brings together Alaska Natives from around the state. (AP Photo/Al Grillo)
AL GRILLO
Katie John near her fishwheel on the Copper River in Alaska in a 1994 file photo.
ERIK HILL
Athabascan leader Katie John listens at the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention to a Dialogue: Strengthening Our Relationship with the State of Alaska during the annual convention at the Dena'na Center in downtown Anchorage, AK on Friday, October 21, 2011. 111021.
Bob Hallinen
Mentasta Lake village elder, Katie John, says she never experienced an eatrhquake like the one on Sunday in all her 87-years on earth. She wasn't afraid, however, "because God is always with me".
Jim Lavrakas
Katie John and her daughter Nora David at the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention at the Dena'na Center in downtown Anchorage, AK on Friday, October 21, 2011.
Bob Hallinen
Mentasta elder Katie John participated in the 4th Annual 'We the People' march in support of subsistence rights.
Bill Roth
Katie John chats with Gov. Tony Knowles at her fish camp near the head waters of the Copper River at Tanada Creek. photos by Johnny Ceffalio / Office of the Governor
Johnny Ceffalio
Mentasta elder Katie John participated in the 4th Annual 'We the People' march in support of subsistence rights.
Bill Roth
Native elders Paul John, left, of Toksook Bay, Alaska, and Katie John, of Mentasta, Alaska, raise their hands together after Katie John was honored with gifts from several Alaskan tribes at the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention Friday, Oct. 26, 2001 in Anchorage, Alaska. John an Athabascan elder, successfully sued the state after being denied a fish camp on the Copper River. It extended federal oversight of subsistence to most of Alaska's water and followed a federal takeover of subsistence hunting on its own land in 1990. Alaska Gov. Tony Knowles recently decided against appealing the lawsuit to the U.S. Supreme Court. (AP Photo/Michael Dinneen)
MICHAEL DINNEEN
Photo by Native American Rights Fund Ahtna elder, Katie John.
Native American Rights Fund
Photo by Native American Rights Fund Ahtna elder Katie John.
Native American Rights Fund
Photo by Native American Rights Fund Ahtna elder Katie John.
Native American Rights Fund
Athabascan elder Katie John enjoys the lawn of Jim Kari Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2001, while visiting his home in Fairbanks, Alaska. John has become a heroine for many Alaska Natives for filing a lawsuit in 1985 to reopen her tribe's historical fishing place on Tanda Creek, one of the headwaters of the Copper River. She is in Fairbanks to be the keynote speaker for a University of Alaska Fairbanks graduate seminar Thursday the Fairbanks Princess Hotel. (AP Photo/Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Sam Harrel)
SAM HARREL
Photo by Native American Rights Fund Katie John at Batzulnetas.
Native American Rights Fund
Photo by Native American Rights Fund Katie John and her grandchildren at Batzulnetas in the late 1980s.
Native American Rights Fund
Photo by Native American Rights Fund Governor Tony Knowles and Katie John in Mentasta.
Native American Rights Fund
Photo by Native American Rights Fund Katie John near her salmon rack at Batzulnetas after the Copper River sockeye salmon opening.
Native American Rights Fund
Photo by Native American Rights Fund Katie John and her family and NARF staff attorney Robert Anderson at Batzulnetas.
Native American Rights Fund
Photo from John v. Alaska case file Construction of Katie John's fishwheel at Batzulnetas.
Photo from John v. Alaska case file
Katie John, of Mentasta, Alaska, is shown in this file photo from Feb. 15, 2000, in Anchorage, Alaska. John's life revolves around a fishing wheel that sits along the Copper River. The 85-year-old Native woman depends on that wheel to help feed her 16 biological and adopted children and contribute to the subsistence life of the more than 100 at the village of Mentasta. She spent several hours with Gov. Tony Knowles at her village on Sunday, July 15, 2001, talking about her way of life and hearing his plans for her court case. (AP Photo/Al Grillo, File)
AL GRILLO
Photo by Native American Rights Fund Gene Henry at Batzulnetas fish racks.
Native American Rights Fund
Photo by Native American Rights Fund Katie John's grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Native American Rights Fund
Photo by Native American Rights Fund Katie John and NARF staff attorney Robert Anderson.
Native American Rights Fund
Photo from John v. Alaska case file Aerial view of Katie John's allotment at Batzulnetas at the confluence of Tanada Creek and the Copper River.
Photo from John v. Alaska case file
[NATIVE CONFERENCE]Eighty-two year-old Katie John, from Mentasta, Alaska, watches over her 14-month old great, great, grandson Clifton Tibbits Tuesday Oct. 21, 1997, as the two day Elders and Youth Conference in Anchorage, Alaska, comes to a close. The conference gave young Alaska Natives an opportunity to learn about their culture from the elders who lived it. The conference is part of the week-long Alaska Federation of Natives Convention which brings together Alaska Natives from around the state. (AP Photo/Al Grillo)
AL GRILLO
Alaska Dispatch