Tribal Enrollment Number: 14750
My name is Fred Fulmer and I was born in 1958. My Father is German and My Mother is Tlingit from a village in Alaska called Hoonah. My Tlingit name is Saal’ Kaa which means a “named great man”. I’m from the Chookaneidee Clan and from the Ice House or Glacier House. My mom’s people originated from Glacier Bay. So I’m Eagle/ Brown Bear.
My dad was in the navy during my growing up years so we moved all around the states. I moved up to Ketchikan and lived there from 1981 to 1987, during this time I got influenced by all the Totems and Native culture all around us. While attending college there I watched Nathan Jackson carve a couple of Totems for Sealaska at a facility there on campus. This is where my interest in carving began. I learned my Moms Grandfather Frank St. Clair carved a couple of Totem poles in the Juneau area. One for the Auke Bay people back in the CCC days called the Yak’te pole which stands in front of the old Auke Bay village site.
I moved back to the Seattle area in 1987 and put my interest in carving on hold until I came across a Chookaneidee Clan Uncle, Ray Nielsen Sr. who started me on the path of carving. I got to spend a year learning from Uncle before he passed onto the other side.
I then became a student of Haida carver Ralph Bennet for a few years before going on my own path. My Family and I have belonged and performed with four different Tlingit dance groups over the last 18 years, so this has presented an opportunity to carve items for our regalia.
On my journey of becoming a better artist I wanted to focus more on the Tlingit style. I took some workshops with Israel Shotridge and Scott Jensen. I am currently hooking up with Scott from time to time. I’ve enjoyed carving, sharing Tlingit culture through songs and dance and storytelling over the years and plan on continuing being a part of this rich heritage. One thing I realize as each year passes, is my generation is now becoming the new elders.