His Tlingit name was X̱waayeenáḵ. He was adopted into the Brown Bear House of the Chookaneidí clan of Hoonah. His life’s work was advocating for the Tlingit language and oral literature preserving for the Tlingit people.
Born in 1942 and raised in Syracuse, NY.
• 1969-1975: He taught at Alaska Methodist University.
• 1983 to March 1997: He was Director of Language and Cultural Studies at SHI.
• 2002-2003, 2005-2011 He taught at University of Alaska campuses and trained many others to teach and translate Tlingit.
• 1997-2014: he became a freelance writer, researcher, and consultant until his death on August 19, 2014.