Mrs. Laura Sanford was born in Mansfield, Alaska, a granddaughter of Chief Isaac, niece of Chief Walter Isaac, and a sister of the late Andrew Isaac, Traditional Chief of the Interior Athabascans. She is a member of the Naltsiin Clan, a fluent speaker of the Tanacross language, and is an active singer and participant in potlatches held throughout the Upper Tanana and Copper River basins. Mrs. Sanford has also been recognized by the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in First Nation in Dawson for her work in bringing back the old songs originally from Moosehide. She has been a featured entertainer at the Moosehide Gatherings.
For many years, Mrs. Sanford worked in the Tok school and community, teaching singing, dancing, and language to promote an awareness of traditional Athabascan culture and strengthen Native language use. Since 1993, Mrs. Sanford has attended Native Language training and literacy sessions hosted by the Yukon Native Language Centre in both Whitehorse and Dawson. At the University of Alaska Fairbanks she has served as a Tanacross Language Instructor at summer Athabascan Language Development Institutes. She has also worked as a Tanacross Language Mentor for the Alaskan Native Apprenticeship Program through the Interior Athabascan Tribal College.
Online Publications with YNLC
- Ts'egâag Ghah Nats'axaldek. Ts'egâag's Story. Tanacross Language. Sound recording 1999. Disc version 1999. Posted 2006. Online story book from the Camping series, with audio.