Ben was born and raised in the Native Village of Savoonga on March 4th, 1958. 6 of these years, he spent at Northeast Cape. Ben started BIA School in Savoonga in August of 1964 up to the 8th grade and attended a Boarding Home Program in the fall of 1974 in Fairbanks, Alaska.
Ben was raised by his grandparents, the late Donald and Laura Pungowiyi. Like most of the community’s trade for income, he learned to carve walrus ivory at the age of 12, as he was apprenticed by extended relatives. Eventually this led to his master recognition by many costumers and folks of interest.
Ben taught in an Alternative High School in Bethel, Alaska for a period of 3 years. He also taught at the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Kuskokwim Campus in Bethel and the Northwest Campus in Savoonga with various students in credit programs.
Ben now acts as the Tribal Government President with the Native Village of Savoonga, AK and he serves on several Committees in the region of Norton Sound.