“To take into care what is precious and sacred to indigenous people and facilitate the passing of

indigenous knowledge and cultural values from one generation to another”.

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Advisory Council Member. . . Ossie Kairaiuak

Ossie Kairaiuak is a Yup`ik-Eskimo born in Bethel and raised in a subsistance village in Chefornak, Alaska - a Yup`ik coastal village bordering the Bering Sea. The son of Maria and the late Hilary Kairaiuak,  Ossie is the youngest of  ten children. Ossie is a fluent Yup'ik speaker and graduated from the University of Alaska, Fairbanks where he earned a degree in Art-Sculpture.

Ossie’s love for  his Native Culture is apparent in his work. He is an art educator teaching Yup`ik dance and fine arts to youth.  Ossie is also a  member of Pamyua a Nordic indigenous band  whose music is inspired by gospel, R&B, jazz, funk and fused the arctic traditions with world sounds and rhythms. Pamyua incorporates Yup`ik Eskimo songs and dances from Southwestern Alaska and Greenland as part of their performance.

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Ossie’s parents, Maria & the late Hilary Kairaiuak

and  their grandchildren.

In March of 2003, Ossie and the other band members - Stephen Blanchett, Phillip Blanchett and Karina Moeller, were invited to represent Native American music at the 45th Annual Grammy Awards. Their performance was just prior to the release of their anticipated third album, Caught in the Act, which won Record of the Year at the 2003 Native American Music Awards. In November 2007, Pamyua won the 2007 Aboriginal People's Choice Award in the Best Inuit Traditional Album Category in Toronto, Ontario. With these two awards the group achieved a tremendous amount of respect throughout the Native American music industry. In addition to Pamyua, Ossie has his own traditional dance group and composes his own traditional songs and dances.

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