Revered writer, UAA alum and UAS former faculty Ernestine Hayes honored with Rasmuson Foundation Artist of the Year recognition

The Rasmuson Foundation has named author, University of Alaska Anchorage alum and former University of Alaska Southeast faculty member Ernestine Saankaláxt’ Hayes of Juneau as its 2021 Distinguished Artist.

The recognition honors lifetime achievement in creative fields and contribution to the state’s arts and culture, and comes with an award of $40,000.

Hayes, who is Tlingit, is most widely known for “Blonde Indian, an Alaska Native Memoir,” published in 2006 and her 2017 book “The Tao of Raven, an Alaska Native Memoir.” 

Hayes earned a Master of Fine Art in creative writing from the University of Alaska Anchorage and taught at the University of Alaska Southeast.