Pioneers Stampede to Valdez Will Honor Eyak Native Village & Nancy Lethcoe

Pioneers from sixteen Alaskan communities will hit the trail to Valdez for the 103rd Grand Igloo Convention to be held September 26 -28, 2019.  The convention will be held in the Valdez Civic Center.

This year the Pioneers of Alaska will be honoring the Eyak Native Village for their work to preserve their rich Alaska Native history, and Nancy Lethcoe for her work to preserve the history of Valdez and Prince William Sound.  They will be presented with ornate framed awards that feature artwork by early day pioneer member Max Kollm, who was an Alaskan gold rush era artist.   The awards will be presented during the Grand Banquet on the last night of the convention.

The Pioneers feel the Eyak Native Village deserves this recognition and respect for their diligent efforts to collect, document, and maintain their Native history in Prince William Sound.  This great work will be of benefit to many future generations of Alaskans.   The Pioneers of Alaska admire the enthusiasm, pluck, and dedication of the Eyaks in these important historical endeavors.

Nancy Lethcoe has authored several books about Valdez and Prince William Sound.  Over the years, she has labored to share the history of this magnificent costal area with others.   The Pioneers of Alaska feel Nancy’s work is an essential resource to those interested in the history of the Prince William Sound area.

The Pioneers of Alaska was formed in Nome, Alaska in 1907.   Currently there are 32 active Igloos located in 16 Alaskan communities, with a total membership of more than 4,000.

The Pioneers of Alaska is a private non-profit organization who have been continually active for the past one hundred twelve years with the same unwavering mission: “To collect and preserve the incidents of Alaska history and to promote the best interests of Alaska.“

The Pioneers of Alaska support historical works across the State by doing historical preservation and display works in their respective communities, operating and supporting museums, hosting entertaining events, and granting scholarships.   Many Alaskan communities have benefited from signage, monuments, parks, museums, and historical sites that were created by the Pioneers of Alaska.  Most notably, the Pioneers of Alaska started the Pioneer Home system in Alaska, and many Igloos currently  provide significant ongoing support to the homes in their communities.

The Pioneers of Alaska are a diverse group of long-time Alaska residents, comprised of members from all walks of life regardless of race, religion or cultural background.  The main membership requirement  is for prospective applicants to prove they have resided in Alaska for at least twenty years.   The Pioneers of Alaska can be summed up with the following phrase “Alaskans Keeping History Alive.”