An Alutiiq legend has joined the ancestors. The board and staff of the Alutiiq Heritage Foundation & Alutiiq Museum are deeply saddened to announce the passing of Margaret Agnguarta Roberts (1948– 2022), the chair of the Alutiiq Heritage Foundation Board of Directors and a life-long advocate for the Alutiiq people. Born and raised in Kodiak, Margaret was the daughter of Ronald Fadaoff of Woody Island and Martha Patarochin of Kodiak. She graduated from Kodiak High School in 1967 and married Gary Roberts in 1973. They have four children and numerous grandchildren.
Margaret was well known for her leadership in the Alutiiq community. Through her service to many tribal councils, ANCSA corporations, and non-profit organizations, she promoted cultural preservation, wellness, and tribal sovereignty. She led the Sun’aq Tribe of Kodiak to federal recognition as the council chair and was a co-founder of the Alaska Inter-Tribal Council. Margaret was also part of the Kodiak Area Native Association (KANA) culture committee that first envisioned the Alutiiq Museum, and she helped to shape the organization as it developed. She joined the Alutiiq Heritage Foundation Board, the museum’s governing organization, in 2004 and served as its chairperson for nine years. She also served on the Board of Directors for KANA, Natives of Kodiak, and RurAL Cap, and was a member of the Tangirnaq Native Village Tribal Council. In 2018, the Alaska Federation of Natives honored Margaret with its Woman of Courage award.
Margaret’s passion for Alutiiq culture permeated her life. She was especially proud of the Kodiak Alutiiq Dancers, a group that she helped to establish and with whom she performed for over 30 years. Her Alutiiq name, Agnguarta, means One Who Dances. Margaret was also a strong advocate of repatriation and worked with the Tangirnaq Native Village Tribal Council and the Alutiiq Museum to return ancestral remains to Kodiak for reburial. Her gentle voice, brilliant smile, and tremendous commitment to cultural education will be greatly missed.
The Alutiiq Museum is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and sharing the history and culture of the Alutiiq, an Alaska Native tribal people. Representatives of Kodiak Alutiiq organizations govern the museum with funding from charitable contributions, memberships, grants, contracts, and sales.