I am Austin Swan Sr. Born and raised here in the native community of Kivalina, Alaska. I have enjoyed listening and learning to sing southern gospel since I was a young preschooler. I and my wife, our friends, relatives, siblings were fortunate to have learned instructors who were local to work with us at a very early age. If I may be so allowed, I would like to mention The Rev. Milton Swan, who was one of the initial locals to start the relationship with southern gospel. I would also like to mention Mildred Sage, (My father)Rev. Clinton Swan, Austin Thomas, organist and instrument player and Cecil Hawley, who at a very early age, persisted upon learning from those who knew how to play the organ.
(moved from front page) We here at Kivalina, AK thank God for those people. I am from a small northwestern Alaska inupiaq community. My father was a organist and a priest and taught many of our people to sing and learn notes from songs. We normally sing Southern gospel stemming from the song books acquired from the music company Stamps Baxter. My uncles wife, Mildred Sage was another infuential person in our community with gospel music. She helped Cecil Hawley to become a very good organist and instructor in reading and learning gospel music. We cannot forget Tony Joule, BIA teacher and Rev Milton Swan, first inupiaq priest in northwest alaska for the Episcopal diocese who was a spirit filled person. They were the ones who started our fathers and mothers on their way to a unified community by way of gospel based discipleship. You see, all things are possible with GOD.