Sarah Silas

Sarah was born December 28, 1924 at Old Minto delivered by a midwife. She has grown up and lived in Minto for most of her life, when she ws five years old her parents moved to the Yukon River, they lived in Rampart and Stevens Village for about six years. During that time there were no schools, one was then built in Stevens Village and she began her education there. In 1936 they started a school at camp, fish camp, and winter camp. Sarah is active in all community events and served as the health aide for sixteen years.


Sarah married Berkman Silas in 1944, together they had 12 children, six girls, and 6 boys. Eight are living today. They have fourteen grandchildren and one great~grandchild.


Sarah remembers the Old Minto village as working together a lot, everything was volunteer work, nobody was paid for wages. 'Most of teh time they celebrated Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the dog races in March. March 17th was a big holiday, that's when the dog race would happen. That was our entertainment growing up."


Everybody in Sarah's family had to work when she was growing up. Everybody had a different chore to do, they had to work together to get things done. Sarah doesn't see that happening in Minto today, especially after the student began leaving the village for high school. Sarah believes strongl in education, especially with the corporations and technology.


"As an elder, we had a different lifestyle growing up, compared to our grandchildren today. They are losing most of their culture because of school, they don't speak the language, they don't stay in fish camp, they don't trap like we did in the past. Today the young people are in school or else looking for a job. We've lost a lot of our culture already."


"Education is very important of you make up your mind to do it, you need to commit yourself to finishing. If you don't do well in school, there's always another way to do something."



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