Ernestine Hayes

Alaska, United States

Ernestine Hayes is a member of the Kaagwaantaan clan of the Tlingit. Her book, Blonde Indian, an Alaska Native Memoir, won an American Book Award and was finalist for a PEN Nonfiction Award and the Kiriyami Prize. Her works of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction have appeared in Studies in American Indian Literature, Alaska Quarterly Review, Tipton Poetry Review, Cirque Journal, and others. She is the author of Aanka Xootzi ka Aasgutu Xootzi Shkalneegi, the first children’s book to be published as an original story in the Tlingit language, with its companion English version Town Bear Forest Bear. She is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Alaska Southeast in Juneau.


  • Blonde Indian, an Alaska Native Memoir , University of Arizona Press (September 2006)
  • Aanka Xootzi ka Aasgutu Xootzi Shkalneegi (Tlingit Language Children’s Book) , Hazy Island Books (May 2011)
  • Town Bear Forest Bear (English Language Version) , Hazy Island Books (May 2011)


  • American Book Award(2007)
  • HAIL Honoring Alaska Indigenous Literature(2008)


  • Assistant Professor of Engliah at University of Alaska Southeast (September 2003 - )

Genres of Interest

Fiction, Creative nonfiction, Playwriting, Children's literature , Poetry