A Twentieth-century, Alaskan-born author, she is best known for her American Book Award-winning work, Russians in Tlingit America. Her other works include The Droning Shaman: Poems by Nora Marks Dauenhauer and Haa Shuka, Our Ancestors: Tlingit Oral Narratives.
She received a degree in anthropology. She published her first literary work, Egg Boat, in 1983.
Her literary work focuses on the language and traditions of the aboriginal Tlingit people of Alaska.
She was one of sixteen children born to Emma and Willie Marks. She grew up in Yakutat, Alaska as a member of the Tlingit nation.
She wrote about the Tlingit people; civil rights leader Elizabeth Peratrovich advocated for members of the Alaskan aboriginal group.