Ernestine Hayes belongs to the Kaagwaantaan clan of the Tlingit. Current Alaska Writer Laureate, she is best known for Blonde Indian, an Alaska Native Memoir. Published in 2006, Blonde Indian received an American Book Award and an Honoring Alaska Indigenous Literature (HAIL) Award, was named Native America Calling Book of the Month, and was finalist for the Kiriyama Prize and PEN Nonfiction Award. Blonde Indian was the inaugural selection for Alaska Reads, a program launched by her predecessor, Writer Laureate Frank Soos. Her works have appeared in Studies in American Indian LiteratureYellow Medicine ReviewCambridge History of Western American Literature, and other forums. Her poem “The Spoken Forest” is installed at Totem Bight State Park, and her comments on Indigenous identity are installed in the Alaska State Museum. Her latest book, The Tao of Raven, weaves narratives and reflection in the context of “Raven and the Box of Daylight.

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