Father Michael Oleksa, Th.D., was born in Allentown, Pennsylvania. He came to Alaska in 1970 from St. Vladimir’s Seminary in New York at the invitation of the Alutiiq
Father Michael Oleksa, Th.D., was born in Allentown, Pennsylvania. He came to Alaska in 1970 from St. Vladimir’s Seminary in New York at the invitation of the Alutiiq village of Old Harbor on Kodiak Island. Over the next three decades he served as a Russian Orthodox priest in over a dozen Alaska Native villages. In 1988 he completed his doctoral degree at the Orthodox Theological Faculty in Presov, Slovakia, with an emphasis in Native Alaskan History during the Alaska Russian period (1741-1867).
Recognized as an “Elder” by the Alaska Federation of Natives, a Distinguished Public Servant by the Board of Regents of the University of Alaska, and honored by the Alaska State Legislature and the National Governors Association, Dr. Oleksa is a storyteller who seeks to foster greater understanding across boundaries of race and culture. Father Oleksa is a leader in the development of cross-cultural education in Alaska, an educator of Alaskan teachers, and a student of Alaska Native languages and cultures. His most recent book, Everyday Wonders, was published by Ancient Faith Press.
Father Oleksa is now a retired priest, continuing to teach Alaska studies at Alaska Pacific University and resides in Anchorage with his Yup’ik wife and son Michael, enjoying retirement with his six grandchildren.
(Tuesday) 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm