Fund created in memory of Amy Fredeen
On Thursday, July 28, 2022, before we even knew we’d said our last “love you” or “goodbye,” Amy Nicole Fredeen (nee Schmidt) of Anchorage, Alaska, was welcomed by our ancestors into what lies beyond our current existence.
Amy entered this world on July 10, 1974, and immediately started making sure her voice was heard, so much so that the nurses asked her to stay in her mother’s room rather than remain in the nursery with the other newborn babies who would echo her cries. Throughout her life, she remained certain of her voice, focused on her vision, and dedicated to lending support where needed, whether it was being available for friends and family to lean on or providing insight and the day-to-day work for projects and causes.
She graduated in 1996 from Gonzaga University with a Bachelor of Business Administration in accounting, the profession for which she held various positions throughout her career: Summer Accounting Intern at CIRI, Audit Senior at Deloitte, Accounting Manager at CIRI, and Senior Controller at Cook Inlet Tribal Council (CITC). It was at CITC that she was able to combine her accounting and business skills with her passion of advocating for Indigenous communities and peoples. At her time of passing, Amy held numerous leadership roles, including CFO of CITC and COO of CITC Enterprises. She formerly served as CFO of video gaming company E-Line Media. Amy was greatly respected for her honesty, caring and mentoring skills by co-workers, as well as the numerous tribal organizations and nonprofits that she helped throughout her career. She lent her energy and vision while holding space for elders and youth on the various projects she led. Her instinct to elevate communities and people led her to serve on the boards of several nonprofits including 49th State Angel Fund, Make-A-Wish Foundation of Alaska and Washington, Alaska Center for Performing Arts, Cook Inlet Native Head Start, and International Funders for Indigenous Peoples.
One of her greatest joys was her work in developing the first Indigenous video game, Never Alone, Kisima Ingitchuna in Inupiaq, and being part of something that helped people see themselves and their culture on the screen. As a cultural ambassador, Amy’s passion helped forge this award-winning game and sparking the new genre of “world games” that brings traditional storytelling to a new generation.
Her work and advocacy was only a very small part of what made Amy the deeply adored and admired woman that she was. She was expansive in her joy and never missed a chance to light-heartedly tease those she loved, a trait she passed along to her sons. Her creativity and love for learning led her to many artistic endeavors from cooking to mixed media painting, weaving, and digital photo-painting and digital mixed media.
She was also fiercely devoted to her friends and family. She gathered close friends in grade school whom she remained close with throughout her life, and enfolded new friends everywhere she went into the circle. She met her future husband, Craig, in the first grade: they dated in high school, through college and married in 1996. Together they built a marvelous life for each other and their two extraordinary sons, Ki and Conner, cultivating love and building memories. She was the most amazingly generous person and was unstinting with her time, love and support for friends and family. If there was anything she could do for her loved ones, it was done, often before they thought to ask.
She was the bedrock around which her family orbited and she will be greatly missed.