Marie Arnaq Meade

Term Instructor
Alaska Native Studies
SSB 378



In 1970 Marie was chosen by her community to teach the first bi-lingual program in her village under the BIA. In preparation to teach first graders in their language, she learned how to read and write Yup'ik. After a year of teaching Marie went back to the University of Alaska Fairbanks and continued to study the grammar and structure of her language while employed by the Yup'ik Language Workshop creating teaching materials in Yup'ik. 


Marie is Yup'ik Eskimo from Southwest Alaska. She was born and raised in Nunapiciaq, a small village of about 300 located on the tundra between the Kuskokwim River and the Bering Sea. 

Marie states, "I am a modern Yup'ik woman living a contemporary life in Anchorage, the biggest city in Alaska, while remaining connected to a long lifeline of Yup'ik women who were strong and determined in their ways.

Teaching Responsibilities

Marie teaches Elementary Central Yup'ik Language I & II, Yup'ik Orthography, & Alaska Native Dance. 

Professional & Department Service

- In 2002, she received the Governor's Award for Distinguished Humanities Educator.

- Presently she works with and travels with The 13 Indigenous Grandmothers. 

Research Interests

For more than 15 years Marie has been involved in extensive research and documentation of the cultural knowledge of Yup'ik Elders. 


- She helped to put together the traveling mask exhibit Agayuliyaraput; Our Way of Making Prayer, that opened in Toksook Bay in 1997 and traveled to Anchorage, New York City, Washington D.C., and Seattle.

They Tell was published under her name by the University of Washington Press.

- She traveled to Berlin, Germany, in 1997, with a team of Yup'ik Elders to look at 2,000 objects in a museum that were collected in 1882-1883. The cultural information, stories and songs provided by this team of Elders resulted in Marie's book, Ciuliamta Akluit/ Things of our Ancestors, published by the University of Washington Press. 

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