OLAC Record

Title:Ben Neeley Interview
Access Rights:ahtna_only
Description:Full name is Benjamin Tom Neeley, birth certificate says that he is Tom Neeley Jr. BIA gave him the name Benjamin. 1914 February 28 was born after midnight- birth certificate says March 1, 1914 in Old Gulkana Village, lived there since 1914 Been in new Village since 1950. Taltsiine Clan. Fanny Ewan, Mother and Tom Neeley, Father, Father came from Matanuska area, Tyone Lake area, Mother from Old Gulkana Village area, Mother was Chief Ewan's daughter, Chief Ewan's second wife was his Grandma and Chief Ewan was his Grandpa, his Grandpa on his Dad's side was II'xene?', Both Grandpa's died same year in 1920. Chief Ewan's Indian name was Hwaa'hwleta' ? Winter time stayed at 15 mile. Above Sourdough up the river About five mile up the road. Tol' tsona is Indian name for creek. That is where the old village was. Oscar Ewan had trap line up that way. December 1923 moved to old village because his first Mother couldn't walk anymore. Dad continued to use the trapline up Tulsona. 1926 Dad decided to build cabin at the old village. Mom died that year. Taught to trap, hunt, fish, learned to survive on the land. Learned English by listening to people talk. first language is Ahtna Athabascan. Dad was different from area. Dad used to sell meat and other stuff at Valdez Creek mine. One of the Native boys and miners that worked there and taught Ben's Dad to read and write the English language. He taught some of it to his brother. Brother went to BIA school in Copper Center. First language is Ahtna Athabascan. Indian way: Fished for salmon way down Copper River. Fish camp down 7 or 8 mile down the river. Na'gha, tes'gha and tesin' gha? Families had own fish camp and trap line. Didn't want to cross each other. Spring time they used to fishing and muskrat hunting at Fish Lake. 15 mile up in the country in the summer. Dry the muskrat meat in the summer. Dogs pack food for them. Hunting was done Tolsona trails to Tangle Lakes. Hunting trails. August and September hunting. Half dry and smoke dry meat. Two times pack meat to home and then family move. Used to pack meat to river and then take skin boat back home. Ladies and family walk back on land. Benzi Bene'? : Dickie Lake Ta'ghes Bene'? : Paxson Lake Deliita? Tangle Lakes area Old trapper named Ben French had cabin up there on Tangle Lakes Lifestyle has changed so much since he was growing up. Grandchildren can't believe the lifestyle they had. Started changing in 1926. People started working for a living. Worked on the road commission, for the state, anywhere they could get a job they worked. Strict parenting. Parents now spoil their children. Need more strict parenting and correction. Dad told him to hold tongue regarding things he knew. Taught him to accept that there are others who knew more than he did. Don't show off what he know! Mostly sad about the changing lifestyle. He liked the life and miss it. Young people should learn the lifestyle and traditional ways. Indians gonna starve or freeze to death these days. Lost their culture and tradition. No language understanding or anything. Go to school and then quit. Lost everything. How can the traditional Indian way be stronger?? How can they learn? Glenda Ewan: Parents teach them from the start they could learn. Elder people can take the kids out camping or hunting. Why did the old village move? Problem with ice break in the spring time. Floods. People learn to live in country and forgot to repair cabins. They made homes on the trap lines. People started drinking and other things. They didn't repair their homes so then the families moved. Paul Snell, Fred Ewan and Ben had homes in the new village. No homes hardly in the village. 1950 when village started where the village is now. Village honored the chief. Chief was boss. What kinds of things made a chief a chief? Things were different back then. Rich man was the chief. They didn't call chiefs like they do now. Man that got lots of possessions was a chief. Rich man. Had to be smart man. Like lawyer. Chiefs told people what to do and made them work. He ordered to take care of people and had food for them. He taught his own tribe what he knew regarding traditional ways and culture. How was a chief chosen? Ben didn't understand how they did this. Who was the big man, rich man in the village. Chief Nicholai, Chief Tyone, Chief Ewan, Niilyaastaa? was taltsiine Kah'diiyaastaa" outspoken person, never shut up Little Kaa'diiyaastaa story - Didn't want to say too much because there are too many different stories by different people. Old places that people talked about or told stories about. Big village on both sides of the Copper River and mouth of Tazlina River. Nii' listiniiyaaden? Could hear each other singing. Tazlina Lake: Ben diilden? Men Diil bene' Mendeltna Batzulnetas - Mentasta Paxson John, Suslota Charley, When working on graves there needs to be potlatch for disturbing the grave. Indian used to own the ground and everything. Indian didn't know law. village to village didn't bother each other. Respect each other's lands. Artifacts should be given back to Indian organization. Leave it there, why take it away? People making big business and money off of the artifacts, people that are not related to us. Indian way to make burying someone right: Potlatch, it releases the grieving from the person, potlatch those that dig grave, those that helped, Poplar Grove creek should not be bothered by anyone. People had caches and temporary houses there. Camps. Sourdough is another temporary camping area. Ahtna Corporation say it all right to dig on sacred grounds then it is okay with the people. Not much else they can say. How far can a person get to a grave before it is wrong? No rule like that. Anybody can come look. No disturbing of grave, stay on road. Have to get together with Ahtna to answer the question of how close to grave can a dozer be before it is wrong. Grave site can be moved but has to be done Indian way, has to be paid for by whoever wants the land. Compensate the family of the grave the Air Force wants to move. Good Indian history about rock behind Post Office. Tulsona creek - Chief Ewan's family lived there at the mouth of Tulsona. Maybe used to be village there. . Language as given: aht
Format:Digitised: 0; Media: compact cassette; Media description: Maxwell UDS-II 90
Language (ISO639):aht
Subject:Ahtena language
English language
Subject (ISO639):aht


Archive:  C'ek'aedi Hwnax Ahtna Regional Linguistic and Ethnographic Archive
Description:  http://www.language-archives.org/archive/ahtnaheritagefoundation.com
GetRecord:  OAI-PMH request for OLAC format
GetRecord:  Pre-generated XML file

OAI Info

OaiIdentifier:  oai:ahtnaheritagefoundation.com:OTHB01-0002-01
DateStamp:  1987-12-09
GetRecord:  OAI-PMH request for simple DC format

Search Info

Citation: n.a. 1987-12-09. C'ek'aedi Hwnax Ahtna Regional Linguistic and Ethnographic Archive.
Terms: area_Americas area_Europe country_GB country_US iso639_aht iso639_eng

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Country: United KingdomUnited States
Area: AmericasEurope

Up-to-date as of: Mon Apr 28 0:10:41 EDT 2014