AFN 2019 Denali Award Winner Tim Troll

by AFN Staff

Every year AFN honors those who have made outstanding contributions to their families and the Native community.

The Denali Award recognizes the contributions of a non-Native person who has demonstrated strong commitment, dedication, and service to the Alaska Native community and to rural Alaska. The Award is bestowed annually on an individual selected by the AFN Board of Directors for exemplary work that has improved the lives of Alaska Native people.

The 2019 Denali Award Winner is Tim Troll, Executive Director, Bristol Bay Heritage Land Trust.


Tim Troll moved to Bethel in 1978 to work for Alaska Legal Services, and has been a passionate advocate for Alaska Natives, rural lifestyles, and natural resource conservation ever since. As City Manager for St. Mary’s (1982-1985), Tim organized the first Yup’ik Dance Festival. In private practice (1986-1992), Tim served municipalities, Alaska Native tribes and village corporations, helping form the Coastal Yukon Mayor’s Association. He was City Administrator/City Attorney for City of Sand Point from 1992-1996.

In 1996, Tim helped organize the nationally-acclaimed exhibit of Yup’ik masks, Agayuliyararput: Our Way of Making Prayer, which opened at the Toksook Bay Yup’ik Dance Festival (20 villages) and traveled to the Smithsonian.

Tim was CEO for Choggiung LTD, the village corporation for Dillingham, Ekuk, and Portage Creek (1996-2001). He has served as Southwest Program Director for The Nature Conservancy, and as Executive Director for the Nushagak-Mulchatna/Wood-Tikchik Land Trust. Tim has been Executive Director for the Bristol Bay Heritage Land Trust since 2012, which received the National Land Trust Excellence Award from the Land Trust Alliance for its conservation work in 2014.

Tim’s most exemplary leadership, dedication, and service to enriching Bristol Bay is the Bristol Bay River Academy that gives Native youth summer jobs and a possible career path close to their home villages. Tim produced a local history/culture radio program, and wrote “Sailing for Salmon,” which tells the story of the Bristol Bay fishing fleet. His artwork has been featured in the Alaska Juried Art Show.

The 2019 AFN Convention took place from Thursday, October 17th through Saturday, October 19th at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks, Alaska. More event details and a LIVE webcast of the event are available online by visiting