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Ecola Collier

Ecola Collier is an Alaska Native artist who grew up living in Oregon during the winter and Naknek, Alaska, during the summer. She currently spends summers commercial fishing in Bristol Bay, Alaska, with her parents, brother, sister, sister-in-law, husband, and three kids. Naknek is located in the heart of Bristol Bay on the Naknek River and is accessible only by boat or plane. Her federally recognized tribe represents Yupik, Aleut, Inuit, and Athabascans in the area. Naknek has rolling hills of tundra, wide open skies, lakes, mosquitos, brown bears, and a large population influx in the summer. Her great-grandfather was born there in 1901, and her great-grandmother was born around Kodiak Island in 1907. Bristol Bay is considered the “salmon capital of world,” with the largest wild sockeye salmon run on Earth.

Ecola is a member of the Naknek Native Village but now spends winters with her husband and children in his hometown, Seldovia, Alaska. Most of her winter art classes are with the Seldovia Village Tribe, her husband’s tribe. Seldovia is also a small coastal community that is only accessible by boat or plane. It sits across Kachemak Bay from Homer, Alaska, considered the “halibut capital of the world.” Seldovia has a rich history in commercial fishing as well but no longer has any canneries or processors. Seldovia’s heritage is a blend of Aleut, Yupik, Alutiiq, and Athabascan peoples. Seldovia is a beautiful town surrounded by mountains and water. Her husband’s family originates from there.

Ten Things I Can’t Do Without

  1. Husband, who I wouldn’t want to do this without.
  2. Freezers full of wild game and berries.
  3. Children—my world: Maven, Cannon, and Mac.
  4. Walls to make a house, a home, a room with a view.
  5. Species of Alaska’s wild salmon; and all of Alaska’s sustainable resources.
  6. Seconds. To be curious, courageous, compassionate.
  7. Days a week to create, explore, and expand.
  8. F8th. Faith, because God is good.
  9. Months of boat rides; fresh air and clean water.
  10. Friends and family who join us for birthday dinners.