Ron Berry is Tlingit from the Raven moiety. Following his matrilineal line, he is of his great grandmother’s clan, the T’akdeintaan, from the Kaa Shaayi Hít House in Hoonah, Alaska. Born and raised in California, he was given his Tlingit name by his great grandmother. Ron was given the name Awn-EE, his great uncles name.
He has always been drawn to the rich culture of his ancestors when he was young, going to Totem Park in Sitka and also seeing the bracelets of his aunties when growing up. He also loved watching the metalworker artists making silver jewelry at Sheldon Jackson Museum and Louis Minard at the Sitka National Park Visitor Center. He loved his first jewelry making class in high school. His first formline class was with Marvin Oliver, and then took a carving class with Duane Pasco.
He was sidelined from this passion while obtaining a technical degree and raising a family. He now has more time to follow his passion. He has been taking classes at Sealaska Heritage Arts program in Juneau, Alaska and is very thankful for the opportunity to connect with his roots and explore his Tlingit heritage.