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At 90, Alaska Native woman will be 1st counted in US Census

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Posted at 4:46 PM, Jan 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-21 16:47:47-05

A Yup’ik elder born to nomadic parents in western Alaska just after the start of the Great Depression is scheduled to be the first person counted in the 2020 Census.

Lizzie Chimiugak will be honored during a ceremony Tuesday at the school in Toksook Bay, just off Alaska’s western coast in the Bering Sea.

Completing the census form is not all the 90-year-old intends to do.

She is also taking the opportunity to perform with Alaska Native dancers during the ceremony and raise the alarm of climate change and what it’s doing to the fish and animals of western Alaska to other women at the ceremony.