Sealaska Shareholder and Native Youth Olympics

Sealaska shareholder Tatiana Ticknor participated in the 2014 Native Youth Olympics (NYO). NYO brings Alaska students, in grades 7-12, together to participate in games that reflect culture and instill leadership.


For example one of the games at NYO is the Indian Stick Pull. This game is a test of grip. The equipment for this game is a stick tapered at both ends. The stick is about a foot long and one and one-half inches in diameter in the middle. Grease is applied to the stick and the competitors then grab the stick and attempt to pull it away from each other. They must pull straight back without jerking or twisting. Best two out of three is the winner of the match, each round using a different hand. This primarily an Indian game used to strengthen the hands for grabbing fish out of the fish wheel.

This was Tatiana Ticknor’s first appearance at NYO. She is a freshman attending Polaris K-12 school in Anchorage, AK. She earned a spot at the statewide NYO after placing first in the Indian Stick Pull for the Anchorage area competition. At the statewide NYO games she placed third in the Indian Stick Pull and brought home a bronze medal.

“Tatiana represents her people well, maintains good grades, carries herself well in the community,” said her mom Jean Sam-Kiunya. “She also keeps herself busy with traditional dancing, competitive fast pitch softball (now playing for East High T-Birds), attending culture camps, and enjoys a healthy lifestyle. Her family is proud of her accomplishments.”

Tatiana is Tlingit (Eagle / Killerwhale) and Dena'ina Athabascan and a Sealaska shareholder descendent. Her family is from Sitka, AK and Nondalton, AK. She is the daughter of Jean Sam-Kiunya, granddaughter of David Sam originally from Sitka & Marilyn Balluta originally of Nondalton.

Tatiana was a member of the Anchorage A team that placed 3rd overall at the State NYO games. Congratulations to all the NYO athletes for their success this year.

2014 NYO Results & Awards

News Type: