Tribal affiliation: Iñupiaq
Amelia (Amy) Ahnaughuq Katherine Topkok is an enrolled member of the Iñupiaq group Kikiktagrumiut of Kotzebue. Her parents are from Shishmaref and Noatak, Alaska. Topkok has lived in Fairbanks for over 30 years, and achieved her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Art from UAF focused in Drawing and Native Art in 1997, and recently graduated in May 2018 with her Master of Arts in Cross-Cultural Studies from UAF, with her Master’s project entitled, “Alaska Iñupiaq Skin-sewing Designs: A Portal into Cultural Identity.” Topkok has worked at the University of Alaska Campus since 1994 in various administrative positions, and is currently the Biomedical Learning and Student Training program (BLaST) Reporting and Outreach Coordinator. Recently, Topkok is teaching two courses at UAF: Alaska Native Studies Alaska Native Dance; and Aesthetic Appreciation of Alaska Native Performance. Topkok’s research focused on identifying Native values and the importance of cultural identity within her family of skin-sewers, most of whom reached several generations.
Amelia has also performed Alaska Native Iñupiaq dance since the early 1990s, and has been an integral member of the non-profit group Pavva Iñupiaq Dancers of Fairbanks with her husband, Dr. Sean Topkok, and their three sons since its creation in 1999. Other volunteer work included being a member of Alaska Native Education program at the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District for over ten years, the Board Diversity Committee for one year under the FNSBSD, and also more recently volunteering through teaching Alaska Native dance at the Residential Treatment Center of Fairbanks. Topkok has been awarded the 2014 Parent of the Year by the National Indian Education Association (NIEA), for her volunteer efforts through the ANE program and the Native dance group. She is fluent in Norwegian, and limited in Iñupiaq language. Topkok believes in supporting all who have an interest in their own culture, understanding their role and responsibilities in their own circles of life.