Chickaloon Wild: End Of An Athabascan Family’s Way Of Life

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Contributed by Ingrid D. Shaginoff

Chickaloon Wild - Book Signing by Author Ingrid D. Shaginoff
10/20/2017 - 12:30PM
Ingrid D Shaginoff
Wasilla Area Seniors Center
1301 S Century Cir. Wasilla
FREE Event

Imagine living deep in the Alaska wilderness where survival depends on your ability to hunt, fish and gather. A place where as far as you can see is dense forest, rivers and sparkling lakes, set against a backdrop of majestic, snow-covered mountains where the only sounds are those of nature - the caw of a raven, the lonesome howl of a wolf or the sharp cry of the loon.

In this place, education means pulling the brush up around your snare to prevent the rabbit from going around it, or knowing to remove the scent glands from the beaver before you roast it. It means recognizing and following a track through thick brush. This is the ways of their Athabascan ancestors and the only way the Shaginoff family knew.

With the Colonists moving into the Matanuska Valley as part of the New Deal, their world is about to change forever.

About the Author:
Ingrid D. Shaginoff is a life-long Alaskan, born in the Territory of Alaska before statehood. Ingrid grew up in and continued with, a subsistence lifestyle which includes hunting, fishing, gathering and trapping. She shot her first moose at the age of 11 under the watchful eye of her dad and older brother. Previous hunts had been limited to rabbits, ptarmigan and spruce hens.

A stint in college earned her a number of degrees including a master’s in nutrition and health administration, which opened the avenue to becoming a registered dietitian and licensed nutritionist. Ingrid felt that this career path suited her well, and combined nutrition with her knowledge of herbs and alternative healing to offer her clients and patients the advantage of both worlds.

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After many satisfying years working in a clinical setting, Ingrid has returned to her first love - writing. As a kid, she always had a story or poem under construction and at the ready to entertain her six siblings. Back then, it was horses or ghosts Ingrid recalls with a smile.

Ingrid’s hobbies are fly fishing, kayaking, food preservation and sitting by a fire beside the river on her 30 acres, watching moose, fox, bears, wolves or coyotes crossing through or stopping at the pond to drink. Most of all, she treasures spending time with her 22 grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren.

Write what you know is standard advice given to aspiring authors, advice Ingrid has taken to heart in all her writing. The subsistence lifestyle the characters in her stories live reflect her own experiences. You can follow these ongoing experiences on Ingrid D Shaginoff’s website, by selecting the “Today in Alaska” tab where you can see what project Ingrid is presently tackling. It may be making jelly or syrup, skinning a beaver tail for beaver tail and beans, canning moose or salmon, or making dog food for her fur babies.

Ingrid’s book “Chickaloon Wild” can be purchased on her website,, and at Whimsy Gift Shoppe, located in the Koslosky Building downtown Palmer.