Sean Asikłuk and Amelia “Amy” Ahnaughuq Topkok: Iñupiaq and Yup’ik Dance
June 25 @ 8:00 pm - 9:00 pm
“Uvaŋa atiġa Asikłuk. Ataataga Sanguk. Aanaga Aileen. My Iñupiaq name is Asikłuk, which means ‘bad boy.’ My white-fox name is Sean Topkok. I am Iñupiaq, Sámi, Kven, Irish, and Norwegian.” Dr. Topkok is an Associate Professor for the Indigenous Studies graduate programs at the University of Alaska Fairbanks in the Center for Cross-Cultural Studies. His family is from Teller, Alaska, and are Qawiaraġmiut (people of the Kawerak). Dr. Topkok’s research interests include multicultural and Indigenous education, decolonization and Indigenist methods and methodologies, working with communities to help them document their cultural heritages, and community well-being.
“Uvaŋa atiġa Ahnaughuq. My Iñupiaq name is Ahnaughuq, which means ‘Little Girl.’ I’m named after my paternal Ahna (grandmother) Katherine Koiyuk (Eningowuk) Barr of Shishmaref. My white-fox name is Amy Topkok.” Mrs. Topkok was born in Kotzebue, Alaska. Her parents are Delano Nanauq and Minnie Saumik Barr of Shishmaref and Noatak, Alaska. She is full-blooded Iñupiaq, and she speaks fluent Norwegian, little Iñupiaq, and grew up with English. Amy is currently in the Indigenous Studies Ph.D. program at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Her research interests are looking at Iñupiaq skin-sewing from a woman’s perspective through a family and regional approach related to cultural identity and values; and personal interests include skin-sewing, making atikłut (plural for atikłuk, Iñupiaq regalia), berry picking and making homemade berry jam, and drawing.
Asikłuk and Ahnaughuq are the leaders of the Pavva Iñupiaq Dancers in Fairbanks, Alaska, along with their three sons, Akukqasuq, Saaŋiaq Masuġnaat, and Aqituaq, and their tutik (grandson) Sanguk. Together they have presented Alaska Native dance, culture, and research locally in Fairbanks, statewide in Alaska, nationwide, and internationally.