Did you know that YKHC’s Information Technology department employs an Alaska Native Visionary?
Meet Michael McIntyre, age 28, the recipient of a 2012 Alaska Native Visionary award. The Alaska Native Heritage Month board presents these Alaska awards each year to recognize and honor Alaska Natives who are “perpetuating and preserving culture through artistic visionary ventures such as film, photography, music, visual and literary art, performance art and more.”
A reception held recently in Anchorage on November 16th honored and recognized Michael McIntyre’s work and contributions as a Yup’ik artist and musician. His performances and music score, under the moniker of his band, Frozen Whitefish, (inspired by a Bobby Gregory song) has been featured on the popular Discovery Channel reality television show “Flying Wild Alaska.” In addition to infrequent royalty checks he’s received from the show, his album, “Wiinga Ellpet’llu,” is also for sale on iTunes.
Regarding the pay from his music endeavors, Mike says “it’s not much, but over time the checks may add up. I try to keep my feet on the ground, just like any normal person.” Mike hopes to eventually buy a house for his growing family with wife Krystal, originally from Akiachak, and their two sons, Mikah, 6, and Dylan, 3. A baby girl is expected to arrive this coming April.
Mike is an advocate in support of the arts and music, surrounded by numerous relatives who are also artists, tradition bearers, musicians and carvers. Mike’s work is largely inspired by his childhood upbringing in Eek. A major influence in his carving style and technique has been his father, John McIntyre (also of Eek) a renowned tradition bearer and mask carver, and his uncle Chuna McIntyre, widely known in Alaska and the Smithsonian artist circles. Mike would like to thank his family and give major credit to his wife, Krystal, for her support (and mileage ticket) to continue his pursuit of all music and art endeavors.
McIntyre’s most recent mask carving, “Yuram Yua –Dance Spirit,” was donated to the premier fundraising effort organized by the First Alaskan’s Institute—the First Annual Howard Rock and Ted Stevens Smokehouse Gala, held on Friday November 30 in Anchorage. The purpose of the black tie and traditional regalia event is “to honor Alaska Native peoples and friends who have advanced our common cause, recognizing the people who have made important contributions to the advancement of Alaska Native people, culture and communities in a way that reflects who we are, and where we are going.”
In a silent auction, his mask raised $1,700 for the First Alaskans Institute event, one of the biggest dollar amounts raised by an individual piece that night.
YKHC is proud to employ Mike McIntyre, artist, musician and Alaska Native Visionary, who shares the strength of his upbringing and family traditions to elevate the health status of all those who know him. This story would be incomplete if this feature didn’t mention that Mike, a former smoker, has been tobacco-free for over a year and a half. Keep up the great work Mike, and rock on!Mike McIntyre wears the Yuram Yua-Dance Spirit Mask which fetched the First Alaskans Institute $1,700 in a silent fundraising auction at the premier Howard Rock and Ted Stevens Smokehouse gala event held on Nov. 30th in Anchorage.