ALUTIIQ MUSEUM  215 Mission Road, Kodiak, Alaska 99615   |  844-425-8844  |  view calendar > | search >

JoAnn Holmes

Medium: Medicinal Botanicals, Jewelry, Bentwood Visors

Raised in Kodiak, JoAnn Holm comes from a Shumigan Island Unangam family.  As an artist she gathers local plants to make healing salves and tinctures.  In addition, she creates bentwood visors and makes jewelry using antique Russian trade beads.

I was raised in Kodiak, Alaska. My family was originally from the Shumagin Islands, specifically Unga and Korovin Island. My Great, Great, Grandfather, Mikhail Chebetnoi, worked for Shelikof in 1797 prior to the organization of the Russian American Company by Lord Baranof. He was appointed as the Manager of the company covering everything from Unalaska to the Alaska Peninsula. He married my Unangam Aleut Great Great Grandmother around 1830. Upon his retirement they were "given" Korovin Island to build a church, homes and gardens along with his son and two other families. Because they were first generation Aleut/Russian, they were given no status within the Aleut community or the Russian American community. However, these communities were thought to be the future of the development of an integrated Russian/Aleut society.

My mother was removed from Unalaska during WWII during the bombing by the Japanese; and, though she was never "interned" by the U.S. Government, she and her husband lost their home there and he was taken into military service. I was born in Seattle and our whole family returned to Alaska in 1964 two months after the earthquake. I have always considered Kodiak to be my home.

Prior to becoming an artist, I worked for over thirty-five years for a variety of Alaskan Native non-profit and other non-profit organizations advocating on behalf of the organizations, and issues affecting Alaskans statewide, as well as the people of individual villages from Prince William Sound to the Shumagins. I returned to Kodiak in 1997.

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