Alaska Native Birthworkers Co-Founders

Abra Nungasuk Patkotak, Iñupiaq
Dr. Charlene Aqpik Apok, Iñupiaq, She/They
Helena Jacobs, Koyukon Athabascan
Margaret Olin Hoffman David, Koyukon Athabascan
Stacey Lucason, Yup'ik and Scandinavian
Stefanie Cromarty, Siberian Yupik

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Meet our co-founders
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Abra Nungasuk Patkotak, Iñupiaq

Abra Nungasuk Patkotak is Iñupiaq from Utqiagvik, Alaska. Abra is the granddaughter of Wesley & Ardis Pishl and Simeon Nasuk & Susan Nungasuk Patkotak and the daughter of Glen & Teresa Stolte and Simeon Qaġmak Patkotak, Jr. She has held many roles, including managing the Pre-maternal home for Utqiagvik and the surrounding North Slope communities. She has also worked as a 911 dispatcher in the Arctic. Abra currently resides in Dgheyey Kaq’, also known as Anchorage, on Dena’ina land. She is a Birthworker, Doula and co-founder of the Alaska Native Birthworkers Community, a role through which she advances reproductive justice while serving Indigenous birthing people. Abra serves as a Core Committee Member with the State of Alaska Maternal Child Death Review. In this role, she brings knowledge of Alaska Native culture as well as lived experience with rural healthcare and rural emergency response systems.

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Dr. Charlene Aqpik Apok, Iñupiaq, She/They

Aqpik is Iñupiaq, her family is from White Mountain and Golovin, AK. She is mother to Evan Lukluan. Aqpik has served in many spaces as an advocate for Indigenous womxn, sovereignty, gender justice and rights to health and wellbeing. She is a lifelong learner in both her cultural traditions and decolonizing academia. She earned her B.A in American Ethnic Studies with a minor in Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies, an M.A in Alaska Native Studies and Rural Development, and received her PhD in Indigenous Studies. Charlene gratefully resides in Anchorage on the territories of the Dena'ina peoples. Here she has taught the Iñupiaq language and is part of Kingikmuit dance group with her son son. She is a co-founder of the Alaska Native Birthworkers Community.

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Helena Jacobs, Koyukon Athabascan

Helena Benozaadleyo Jacobs (Koyukon Athabascan) is the daughter of Dee Olin and David Hoffman, and the granddaughter of the late Lillian and Fred Olin, the late Lorraine and John Honea, and the late Helen and George Hoffman. Born in Fairbanks with ancestral ties to Ruby and Kokrines, and raised throughout 7 different communities in Alaska, she now lives and works in Anchorage on Dena'ina land where she and her husband are raising five children. She works full time as a mom and runs a small consulting firm with a mission to support collective impact approaches leading to positive social and systemic change and wellness for Alaska Native peoples. She has had the honor of supporting birthing families for over 15 years and is a cofounder of the Alaska Native Birthworkers Community.

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Margaret Olin Hoffman David, Koyukon Athabascan

Margaret Olin Hoffman David was born and raised in rural Alaska. She grew up spending summers at her grandparent’s fish camp on the Yukon River and is rooted by her Koyukon Athabascan culture. Through 15 years of working in tribal and rural community health promotion and program management, birthing her family, volunteering as a doula, and healing through Native ways of knowing, she realized her call to midwifery. The potential to heal ourselves, and our ancestors, during the transformation of childbirth is why she has chosen to dedicate her life’s work to midwifery. Through her work as a Certified Nurse Midwife she hopes to expand perinatal community health programs and birthing options for rural Alaska Native women by remembering traditional practices and supporting more pathways for Indigenous birth workers. She is a founding member of the National Indigenous Midwifery Alliance and the Alaska Native Birthworkers Community. She lives on Dena'ina land in Anchorage, AK with her partner and 4 children, and is a midwife at the Alaska Native Medical Center.

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Stacey Lucason, Yup'ik and Scandinavian

Stacey Lucason is the daughter of Richard Lucason and Sandra Rogers (Wing), mother of Olga Lucason, and partner to James Manners. She is Yup'ik and Scandinavian, with family ties to Western Alaska in both Dillingham and Hooper Bay. She was born in Fairbanks, and currently makes her home on Dena'ina Elnena in Anchorage. She is a caregiver, learner, and cofounder of the Alaska Native Birthworkers Community.

Stefanie Cromarty, Siberian Yupik

Stefanie Naaftaq Inglughmii Cromarty is St. Lawrence Island Yupik and she is the daughter of Warren and Linda Cromarty, the mother of Charles, Gabriel and Joelle and the partner of Sam Towarak Jr. Additionally she is an artist, a traditional tatooist, a chef, and has a long history of supporting birthing families and overall wellness among rural and Alaska Native communities as a certified childbirth educator, lactation educator, prenatal yoga instructor and health educator, and as an active volunteer in trauma recovery and motherhood groups. She is passionate about traditional ways of knowing and healing, offering support around motherhood, mental/emotional health, newborn care, coming of age ceremony, female empowerment and women’s health during the child bearing years.

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