Someone once told me that Inuit are among the most studied Indigenous people on the planet. People from outside of our communities have written about our culture for many, many years. This project is an attempt to change that power dynamic around. I want the Qargi Zine to be a platform for those who are from rural Alaska and even those who have had experiences they want to share in our communities. Two years ago, this was all just an idea I had while emailing the creative director of a similar magazine located in Northwest Territories. It took a year of planning and brainstorming until I felt ready and had enough faith in this project to blossom. When I started, I told myself I would commit to the first four issues and this is the fourth issue. Now that I’m here, I’m seeing the growth not just in the Qargi Zine itself and my designing skills, but in the people who share their stories with us. And I want to continue on to the next four issues, too. Everyone has a story that deserves to be told and I want to provide the space for them to tell it. In this issue, you’ll find many stories. There’s probably more in this issue than in the last ones, too. There’s a story about owning chickens in the Arctic. There’s a story about Nalukataq in Barrow. There’s stories that have been passed down from generation to generation. In every story told, I hope you think about the person who wrote it and shared it with us. Think about their perspective as a Native or community member. Think about the life they lead, the knowledge they’ve acquired. And I want you to remember that, together, we are reclaiming the power of presenting ourselves to the world. M. Jacqui Lambert
Photo by Jacqui Lambert
Katie Mack Maija Lukin Myles Creed Cassandra Johnson August Nelson Jr. Stephen D. Bolen Holly Nordlum Ely Cyrus Melissa Ingersoll TiďŹ€any Creed Cordelia Kellie Saima Chase Laureli IvanoďŹ€ Sara Guinn Denali Whiting
Photo by Jacqui Lambert
On The Cover Artwork by Katie Mack The qargi (kah-dah-gee) was traditionally the community gathering house. The Qargi Zine is a gathering place for Rural Alaskan artwork, photography, and stories.
Mission: to instill the knowledge and pride of the Inuit culture in todayâ€™s generation. E-mail Subscription: firstname.lastname@example.org
06 Inupiaq: A Surviving Language
09 On Track Playlist
12 Kotzebue Through Instagram
15 Art by Cassandra Johnson
20 Hook and Line
23 Interview with Uncle Ben
25 Poem by Stephen D Bolen
28 The Legend of Sedna the Sea Goddess This project is made possible with the help of:
29 Owning chickens in the Arctic
31 The Creation of the First Festival
33 Revitalization of the Traditional Inuit Tattoo
34 Project Chariot
36 Making Nalukataq
42 Where I Belong
45 A Piece by Ely Cyrus
48 By Anonymous
50 Photo by Chloe Naylor
Bluberry Salmon City Girl Dried Fish
Surviving Langauge Iñupiat Ilitqusiat
Iḷisimałiq Uqapiałiġmik Iñupiaraaqtaliq Aatchuqtuutiłiq Avatmun Avvakuuġutiłiq Kamakkutiłiq Kamaksriuraałiq Atlanik Savaqatiġiuyułiq Kamaksriłḷiq Utuqqanaanik Kamaksriuraałiq Utuqqanaanik Piqpaksriłḷiq Iyaalugruaġnik Piqpaksriłḷiq Iḷiḷgaanik Savvaqtułiq Paaqsaaqatautaiłḷiq Paaqsaaŋŋatiniaŋłḷiq Iḷisimałiq Ilaġiiḷłiġnik Kaŋiqsimmaaġiḷłiq Iḷaqiiḷłiġnik Kaŋiqsimauraałiq Irrutchikun Kaŋiqsimauraałiq Irrusiḷḷuatank Quvianniułikun Tipsisaaġiłḷiq Quvinniułikun Tipsisaałiq Aŋayuqaaġiich Savaaksraŋich Aŋayuqaaġiich Irrusikraŋich
Knowledge of Language
Rsepect for Others
Respect for Elders
Love for Children Hard Work
Avoidence of Conflict
Knowledge of Family Tree
Kiŋuniġmi Suraġatlasriñiałiq Kiŋuniġmi Naamapkaiñiayułiq
Atchiksuałiq Atchiksuaġurraałiq Iñuuniaqatiunik Ikayuutiłiq Iñuuniaqatiunik Pitriñiałiq
Nikaitchuat Phrase Book
Responsibility to Tribe
“Kaŋiqsiñiaġataqługiḷi Iñupianiñ uvagut piugut. Imma naluaġmiut iñugiaksiplugu aglaanikkaluaġaat iŋmiŋli kaŋiqsimmatimiktigun. Uvagulliasiiñ uvva Iñupianiñ ḷi kaŋiqsiñiaġataqłḷugu sivulliipta qanuq iñuuniałhat iḷisimmataat uvva kipiġniuqtugut.” -Rachel Craig
Photo by Maija Katak Lukin
â€œWe do this because we are trying to understand fully what our own Eskimos have to tell us. The white people have written a lot all right, but in their own understanding. And we, on the other hand, are trying to fully understand from the Eskimos themselves how our ancestors lived, their wisdom, and we are focusing all our attention on our intent on acquiring this.â€? -Rachel Craig
Photo by Maija Katak Lukin
A Country Playlist
Who Are You When I’m Not Looking Blake Shelton
She’s Everything Brad Paisley
Take Your Time Sam Hunt
Whiskey Girl Toby Keith
Real Good Man Tim McGraw
Little Miss Sugarland
American Honey Lady Antebellum
Edited by Myles Creed Translations by Edna Ahgeak MacLean
#Kotzebue Through Instagram
Use this hashtag to see your photos featured in the next issue
By Laureli Ivanoff
UNALAKLEET—“We’re eating fish again?” Yanni exasperatingly asked my brother. It was my brother’s girlfriend’s first summer with our family. And every summer, we ate fresh salmon most days. Back then the king runs were strong and our summer started off with greasy, decedent meals of grilled king salmon steaks. Later when the humpies clogged the river, we ate uuraq. Mom and aunties made the soup over the fire with humpy steaks, onions, potatoes, salt and pepper. Us kids would try our best to get more than our fair share of eggs. After meals and meals of uuraq came baked or fried silver salmon. While upriver we’d roast a silver filet with salt, pepper, lemon and onions in tinfoil over the fire. In town Mom would slather on a ketchup and mayonnaise mixture to serve with rice and green beans. I make that meal every year on her birthday. I imagine we were in the middle of the silver salmon run when Yanni made her comment alluding to our lack of diversity in the supper menu. Twenty years later, at the tail end of our salmon season, I’ve realized Yanni has grown to somewhat of a salmon processing expert. Back in June, Yanni and my brother asked if I wanted to seine for humpies with them. We ended up catching 214 in a short seine and had a long night of cutting fish on the sandbar across from their campsite. While we were cutting I noticed Yanni’s fish were cut far better than mine. While I work for speed, Yanni works for precision. Her fish cut for drying are beautiful. And she knows it. She enjoys taking care with each slit. Making each cut straight and providing for a glorious bite of dried fish later in the winter. She stretches each turaqed filet, holding up the end product before moving on to the next humpy. My usual hurried pace and air of impatience relishes in her calm, gentle and solid presence. I love cutting fish with Yanni. Even when there’s still tubs full and we’re tired and ready for a supper break, I enjoy her company and the work we do together. We were cutting fish for so long that I joked with my brother and sister saying, “Next year when you ask if I want to go seining, I’m going to say no.” But I most definitely will not. For the next few days after our time at the sandbar, Yanni and I took care to clean the fish after the flies made their expected visits. Even scraping larva was fun. Her daughter - my niece named after my mother - helped us a few times. I realized for years I put away dried fish without sisterly companionship. Memories of Mom cutting fish always included a tribe of aunties. Laughing. Talking. And more laughing. They knew what they were doing. And today, Yanni knows what she’s doing and she’s teaching me a lot having lived her entire adult life in my hometown. Having lived more of her adult life alongside my mother. She may not have thoroughly enjoyed fish when she joined our family. “Now I love fish,” she says with a big smile and a laugh when we talk about her first summer with our family. I am now the lucky girl who is a part of her tribe.
Top: Yannita Ivanoff counts the number of humpies cut for drying. Bottom: Yannita Ivanoff and her husband Fred Jay prepare the net for for a short seine
Art by Cassandra Johnson
Art by Cassandra Johnson
Art by Cassandra Johnson
Art by Cassandra Johnson
Written by August Nelson Jr.
there were many others fishing. Some walking up and down the shore, while other would camp out and sit in one spot. This place we fish is where my Aunt Mae lives, it's a very good place to be...grand central station at times. But the water front is the jewel; the channel from those great rivers (Noatak,Kobuk and Selawik) all pass through a Growing up I was always drawn to our narrow channel. It’s very defined shores; spring, summer, and fall you could always find some kid on the beach but it is at the will of the tides. fishing. That was me. I would make With the incoming tides, it myself go to sleep early so I could get up swallows up the clear water, but early and go to the beach and fish before more importantly it creates a the others came out. The anticipation of a swell of sea life, mixing ocean good catch, for lack of a better phrase, with fresh water. From the fish to had me hooked from a young age. That’s the mammals that live on the fish, all I wanted to do was fish. Not just fish, to the people that eat both the but catch trout, whitefish, tom-cods, fish and the mammals, it is a very smelt. When I was young, I wanted to vibrant and dynamic place to be, bring everything I caught back home to especially in the spring. aana Lucy and her Mom aana Elsie It often amazes me how we complicate things, how we keep on adding stuff to a simple task to make it seem like we are really doing something. When I was young we fished an awful lot. Well, I did but we had no chairs and fancy knives and bags for this and that or nice sunglasses. Not a lot of thought into stuff like that; just to be by the water with a hook, line and sinker was sufficient.
because I knew it was all good healthy food. Plus, I loved how their faces lit up when a good catch came through the door.
I finally was able to get up early enough to be there when that spring sun was bright orange over the Illavak hills east of Kotzebue, I remember waking up, and without any just touching the tops of the groggy thoughts, know that I wanted to go towers uptown. Noyuk was fish. I knew where my pole and lures already clubbing trout when I were, where my backpack was, my boots, walked up. He would dig out a and I knew where my Mom and Dad little ditch in the gravel and put his were. With their endorsement, I would fish in this one place, so I could skip out the door. see they were biting. Most of the time there would only be Noyuk (Richard Reuben). The way he fished when I first met him,was a line,a swivel and a hook. His line would be twice as long as his fishing area, it would be tied off usually to a loop in his jeans. But it would snake around the shoreline in an intricate web and was heavy, 25 lbs test or better, so he would never lose a fish, even a big shee-fish or trout. When I first started fishing there, I fished in the daytime with my cousins John and Uukpik Howarth, Poopah and Noyuk, but
Snipes and plovers running the gravel beach, combing the beach right up to us and then flying out over the water and back in on the other side of us to continue combing the beach. The smell of dead and decaying fish and salt water heavy on your nose, while the sun teases you with its warmth and shines down into the
“Birds, fish, people, water...I wanted to see everything and learn about it. Eyes and throttle wide open all day. But most of all, I wanted to catch fish.”
water. It shows you what lurks down in its depths and it shines on those that dare the shallow water. The whitefish, trout, flounders, bullheads, tomcods, smelts and shee-fish. And the ever present sound of birds, seagulls, ravens, shore birds. We see large flocks of geese and cranes, brants and white geese all heading north. Like would-be miners recklessly pushing north to the gold fields, they fly at all hours and with great effort, calling and making themselves known as they pass. And the stir of the occasional taxi on the gravel road, you can hear them when they are in the area when the town is quiet, but not void kids in the early morning, hondas and motor bikes and the drone of the first planes leaving for some village or camp. I loved how the dogs would alert you of people walking. When a person is going down the street, the dogs would usually acknowledge them with a bark or growl and sometimes a full out running around it's stick wanting a piece of you so bad. This would continue around the blocks as the person walked, pretty much everyone had dogs in some part of their yard. So, if someone was coming from uptown, say tent city, Stalker’s dogs would bark first, and as the person walked further, Amos Greene's dogs would sound off and then Anungahtuguks, then Carlos and Sarah and so on. Full awareness and appreciation for such a stimulating and dynamic environment,I was like a nervous cat with my head on a swivel. Birds, fish, people, water...I wanted to see everything and learn about it. Eyes and throttle wide open all day. But most of all, I wanted to catch fish. The crunch of the gravel beneath our feet, even the way you shift your weight from one side to the other could be heard on the gravel. The waves licking the shore just barely as the wind is lazy to non existent. Mosquitoes buzz around your head from time to time and big blue flies are also plentiful. We fish about 15-20 feet apart,I don't wanna get to far from Noyuk cause he throws these old fish and guts in a pile some 15 feet out where the water is about 4 feet deep. We can see the old fish down there, guts turning white and being jerked around by white fish and tomcods. Every now and
then you will see the small fish scatter and the shape of a big trout will glide over the scrap pile sending Noyuk into a fast retrieval and a light toss just beyond the bait and pull his lure through. Sometimes you get em,sometimes you don’t. But I fished on one side of the bait pile and most of the times our fish would bite well beyond our bait. We watched intently into the clear water and this kept us encouraged as we saw fish after fish pass over the white backdrop of the old dead fish. Sometimes in the morning as the sun is warming and the stir about the houses is getting louder, we would hear a loud "good morning fishermen"! Startled, we would look back and see uncle Enoch smiling big to sit on the beach top grass, drink coffee and smoke a pall mall while he watched us fish. Giving us pointers every now and then like a good seasoned fishermen should. We enjoyed when the old men came down, even if they sneered or laughed at us when we tangled up or lost a fish. We would be there till it warmed up and the town was wide awake and fish quit biting. Most times right around 10am. Coil up the lines, wash out your catch in the water and bag them up, stuff them in the sack and try and leave. Noyuk will sound off and get excited as I’m leaving, sometimes fighting a nice trout. He’d tell me I'm leaving too soon, the old men laughing as I take my backpack off and throw out my line… maybe just a few more minutes. It's that time of year again. I see all the pictures of fishing, picking eggs and hunting. Be safe out there folks and I wish you the best of luck as you hunt, fish and gather. Love the pictures and the stories and I credit you for the inspiration behind this short story. Hope you like it.
YOUR AD HERE Advertise in the next Qargi Zine issue! contact Jacqui at mjacquilambert @gmail.com
Good day to you.
“Noyuk will sound off and get excited as I’m leaving, sometimes fighting a nice trout. He’d tell me I'm leaving too soon, the old men laughing as I take my backpack off and throw out my line… maybe just a few more minutes.”
Interview With Uncle Ben by Denali Whiting
Ben was born in the log cabin that used to be in front of my current house in Kotzebue. He said that the cabin was up so long that it started to get old and the wood was getting weak, so my grandpa had to build a new house and that became a part of the house that I live in now. I have only seen the original log cabin in pictures so I asked Ben about it. He told me that Kotzebue had a hospital and Nome did not, so when people from Nome came in for medical care my grandparents would house them in our cabin. When my grandparents needed money, they would offer to rent it out to people who came in from Noatak, a village upriver from Kotzebue. Ben said once the new house was built it seemed huge compared to the cabin and it was cool to have linoleum floor rather than just wood. Before TV (and way before computers and video games, of course) Ben and his friends would read comic books and magazines. Once you read all of your comic books, you would go around the neighborhood looking for someone to trade with for something you haven’t read. Ben described the National Geographic magazine as a door to the outside world. “I learned more from National Geographic than I ever did in elementary school.” Ben said. He told me in school they would talk about things like Christopher Columbus “discovering” America and other events that were either untrue or irrelevant to life in rural
Alaska, but National Geographic was real. The pictures and stories in there were real places, real people, real stories, and real events. “Plus, the winters were long.” Ben added. I asked Ben where he was raised as a child. He told me that he grew up in Kotzebue but went to Sisualik every summer, which is one of my family’s traditional camps that is located about 13 miles across the Kotzebue Sound from Kotzebue. He would always look forward to going to Sisualik and enjoyed it a lot more than being in town. He reminded me that our camps Sisualik and Katyurak are a privilege to have because not everyone in Kotzebue has a camp; and that I have my grand parents to thank for that. At Sisualik, Ben was always in charge of taking care of the water well that was dug into the tundra behind our camp. “That was my baby,” he explained. He had to always make sure it was clean and check on it often to make sure it didn’t need to be cleared out or rebuilt. The well provided our water, which was a necessity for cooking, cleaning, tending to the dogs for the dog team that needed water, and the family needed drinking water as well. He would clean it out each spring and make sure it was always in top-notch condition. It gave him something to care for and his maintenance of the well made his parents proud. Another one of his projects was keeping the sigluak, or ice cellar, clean.
Each spring, he would have to clean it up by removing any old food and bringing it onto the sea ice to be taken away when the ice broke up. The sigluak always had to be clean because it was their way of storing food - their refrigerator. He felt it was a really important task because that was where the food was stored and it took so much effort to gather, hunt, and butcher the food. If the sigluak was not properly cared for, all the food and hard work put into it would be lost. The sigluak is built underground with a wood frame holding it up and sod placed on top of the structure for insulation. Ben told me that the wood has to be replaced every so often because it gets old and weak, which could cause the sigluak to collapse. One of the stories Ben told me that he would never forget was when he was about 12 years old. He was at our camp Sisualik in the spring with his dad and uncles and they were planning to go back to Kotzebue before the ice broke up. He told his dad he was going to stay, and after talking amongst his brothers in Inupiaq (which Ben could not understand), his dad agreed. Ben would stay in Sisualik by himself until all the ice from the Kotzebue Sound had cleared out. His nearest neighbors were Kutvak and Bob and Carrie Uhl, which were at their camps miles away. “I felt like I was the only one on the planet because there was just no one there.” He explained. He used a net for catching fish and made dry fish. That whole time he lived off of fish, ducks, and pancakes, he said. He didn’t know if he could make it the whole time by himself but once his dad and uncles were gone, he had no choice. He did not have a radio with him so really the only sound he heard was the tundra bustling in the wind. It was
“We needed Katyurak,” Ben said. “We don’t have to go far for food – seal, ducks, caribou. They would always come to you.”
quiet. At only 12 years old he had to hunt for his food and chop wood for himself and haul water from the well. He was there from May until the end of June, when the ice finally went away and his parents came with a boat. By the time his parents arrived, he had no more ammunition left for his gun. Once he saw his parents again he felt like a man; he had endured spring break up all by his lonesome. “It was one of the coolest experiences I had, I proved to my dad that he could count on me.” His dad would always take him out hunting. They would travel from Sisualik to Katyurak (which is along the coast about 8 miles northwest of Sisualik) in the spring and set up a tent in the same area that our cabins are at now. Of course, this was before they were built – it was just the wide-open tundra and ocean with no permanent structures. “Spring wasn’t a time to play because it was time to gather before the migration passed.” Ben said. They would pack up everything they needed – sleeping gear, grub, a stove – and set up a tent on the beach. From there they would go out on the ice and hunt ugruk, which is bearded seal. Katyurak was his always his dad’s favorite place. “We needed Katyurak,” Ben said. “We don’t have to go far for food – seal, ducks, caribou. They would always come to you.” It was a prime spot near all the animals’ migration paths. “You could survive if all you had was a tent.” He said. We are fortunate to have Katyurak as a permanent family campsite today. In the spring it was hard to pick and choose what to hunt because all the animals were passing through. It is the migration season so it is very busy. After the seals pass, the belugas come through. All the while numerous types of birds are flying by. Ben recalled hunting beluga with his dad. They would get in the boat, positioned with his dad at the front and Ben in back as the driver. His dad would use hand signals to indicate whether to slow down or speed up, or turn right or left. Ben never looked at the beluga, his eyes stayed only on his dad. “If I took my eyes away, we could lose the hunt.” It would feel so great to bring home beluga and Ben was proud to be a part of the hunt and success that brought the whole family joy and
food for the winter. As time went by and more and more modern technologies were introduced to them, Ben told me that his dad traded the dog team for a snow machine (snow mobile). When the snow machine broke down it was sad because he had no dogs to use and no way of fixing it, so he saw the whole trade as a bad deal. “It was a lot of work to make dog food to feed the dogs. You have to gather it all summer long to feed the dogs in the winter.” Ben said. They would usually feed them salmon and sii fish. Speaking of sii fish reminded Ben of the nets they used to put out under the ice. “You have to have slack, if it’s too tight the net will stick to the ice and freeze and you will lose your net along with the entire catch.” Ben recalled a time when he was in charge of checking the net and he lost it all because he didn’t give it slack. He said it felt “like I lost a snow machine or something,” it was so devastating. But he said it was a learning experience. Once Ben got a little older, maybe about 16 years old, he bought a one-way ticket to Washington. He was inspired by National Geographic to explore the world and what was out there. “It was exactly like it was in the magazine,” he recalled. He wanted the adventure, but he always thought his dad must have been disappointed in him. “He took me out hunting all the time and put all that effort into teaching me. And I’m not using the skills he taught me.” But he said each time he did come back home he would go straight to Sisualik. He loved being in the wide-open tundra. We talked about games he used to play growing up. They would play a game similar to baseball on the ice called “Norwegian”, kick the can, and foot races were also popular. He told me of a specific footrace that they did in Sisualik in the fall where the loser would have to walk back to the lagoon in the pitch-black night to get an object like a ball to prove that he made it. He explained that he always took his shoes off to get the most traction so he would not lose because it would be a scary walk, and if you chickened out your friends wouldn’t ever let you forget. Another thing we talked about was squirrel hunting. Squirrels used to be harvested and eaten; Ben described the meat to be tender. His favorite way to prepare it was with gravy with rice. It made me want to try it out because I didn’t know they used to eat squirrels until he told me during our interview. He said he would
trade squirrels for money to by ammunition or trade for ammunition itself to hunt more animals. The older women would use the squirrel pelts to make parkies. We talked more about our camps and I asked Ben about hunting because that is something I am interested in learning more about and become better at personally. He gave me several pointers including to site my gun at target practice before going out hunting, because if I missed that first shot it would scare the animal away and I might not get another chance. I asked what is important to teach younger generations so that our traditional knowledge is not lost, to which Ben answered “You have to participate. Participate in the values, in cutting the fish, gathering and storing the foods. Learn the seasons when the game is available. Most people know the berry seasons but it helps to know the migration times of year.” He mentioned, “Treat the place (land, campsites) well and they will treat you well. “If you participate, you will feel like you belong.” He said. These days we are fortunate enough to still have our campsites of Sisualik and Katyurak. Ben mentioned how when we go to camp today, we take every thing we need, even things like chicken or bacon, when it isn’t really necessary. The land can provide all the food we need to survive. If we didn’t take the food we would be forced to participate in our traditional ways of hunting and gathering, and everyone would have to participate. We do not appreciate our campsites as much as they should be acknowledged and utilized. “We should pass it on to the next generations to use as a place to hunt and gather and also as a place to go to correct yourself.” Ben said. He explained that if you’re stressed out and need a place to get away, Sisualik or Katyurak is the best place to go. They make you feel good just by being there. “It’s like a person – you miss it. It’s good to be together again, and you’re happy to see it every time.”
In Memory of Benjamin Chuck Iñuuraq Wilson. September 27, 1958 - August 28, 2016
Photo by Jacqui Lambert
Have you ever thought about how fresh your eggs are from AC? A Series About Owning Chickens in the Arctic by Saima Chase
Put them in some water to boil and you'll see how fresh they are. Fresh eggs are dense and sink right to the bottom of the pot, old eggs have an air bubble in them and float... Yeah, you're eating old eggs! It was in 2008 when my daughter was only 7 years old. She loved egg sandwiches before school and I worked an evening job so I was able to make her those egg sandwiches. I never thought twice about the quality of the eggs I was feeding her, I just thought that feeding her a good meal before school would benefit her tremendously. I took a business trip to Seattle and had a couple days between meetings so I went to visit my brother-in-law's sister, yeah, not my sisterin-law but in Eskimo way, she was. She lived in Roy, Washington at the time. I hung out with her and her girls at the farm, fed horses, mini-horses, a donkey, and chickens. One evening as we were sitting around chit chatting about life in Alaska she asked me "do you want to go to Wilcox Farms tomorrow and see where all the eggs come from?" I said sure, thinking it was a little farm like her house, boy was I wrong. We drove up to Wilcox Farms and before I could see the place, I could smell it! Ammonia. It was strong. We didn't get a full tour because the tour guide was sick so we got a "she's an Eskimo from Alaska and wants to see where eggs come from" tour. Yes, we sugared them up with that. The guy brought us quickly through the egg production rooms. They were very large warehouses, with chickens everywhere! They used a "deep litter" program and I could see on some of the walls of the chicken warehouses just how deep that litter was. It was stinky and loud. Then we went to the preparation room where the eggs were prepared to be put in cartons and crated and sent out. The eggs were sized, the smaller ones and imperfect ones were tossed. The large grade A eggs were washed and packaged into cartons. Then
â€œThink about how long it takes for your son's basketball shoes to get to where you live.... That's how long it takes eggs to get to where you live.â€? those cartons were refrigerated and ready to ship out. Think about how long it takes for your son's basketball shoes to get to where you live.... That's how long it takes eggs to get to where you live. Say a chicken lays an egg on Monday. Monday it is collected. Tuesday it is washed and placed in a carton. Wednesday it is shipped, from Roy on a truck to the port of Seattle. From the port of Seattle it then either gets put on the barge or placed in a freight plane. By then its about Friday... Then it makes it to Anchorage. You know how long things sit in Anchorage!? days. Legally bypass mail can sit at a carrier for 7 days before it has to be moved, either flown out or moved to another carrier to get on the plane. Yes. OLD EGGS. So I got home and started thinking about chickens. I didn't push the idea on my then boyfriend, who is now my husband, too much. I just kind of threw it out there that maybe we should get a couple chickens. He wasn't excited at all, to be honest. I understood where he was coming from. I've never once in my life had chickens, why would I think I could do it now? Ideas were tossed around back and forth for months with no action. I wanted to make 110% sure that I was ready to do have chickens. This is where the trusty "google" game in. I googled everything! from hatching my own eggs to ordering chicks, to buying already established hens, I mean everything. I found a place in Wasilla that sold day old chicks. I was so excited, a place in Alaska that sells eggs! I got so into the chicken forums online that I almost scared myself into not getting them, but I did. I got chickens.... Continued in the next issue.
Tales of Ticasuk: Eskimo legends & stories
The Creation of the First Festival Collected and written by Emily Ivanoﬀ Brown Published by University of Alaska Press The creation of the festivals has a mythical origin which began back in the days of the eagle-man as told in the first legend. According to the story, a mother eagle wanted to originate a festival which would bring pleasurable music to the inhabitants of the dark, primeval world. She and her son were the last mythical eaglepeople who lived on the pinnacle of a high mountain. Although they were like eagles, they had power to transform themselves into human beings. One day an eagle-woman sent her son out on a flying trip to search for a human being who would be willing to learn to sing songs to accompany dancing and folktales. If he found a man, he was to capture him and bring him to their home. If the man were not willing to come, the son was ordered to kill him. Soon a man was found. The eagle-man landed nearby, uncovered his head and smiled at his prey. “Don’t be afraid of me. See, I am a man like you. Let’s sit down so we can talk.” He presented his mother’s plan to him. “We will teach you festival songs, dancing, and how to build a qargi (council house) and how to make a drum.”
“That drumming sound is my mother eagle’s heartbeat. We will dance according to its rhythmic thump-thump beating.”
Trembling, the captive pleaded, “I will go with you… but… please don’t kill me. I am the only living son of my elderly parents whom I am supporting.” “You will not be harmed, I promise. If we are successful with our work, you will be the human originator of festival music.” The captive smiled and nodded his head. After the active had been securely fastened onto the eagle-man’s back, the two departed to the eagle-man’s pinnacle home. As they were circling over his home, the eagle man said, “Listen!” “What is that sound?” The captive asked “That drumming sound is my mother eagle’s heartbeat. We will dance according to its rhythmic thump-thump beating.” At this moment, as they landed on the ridge near their home on the rocky pinnacle, all the captive’s feelings of anxiety disappeared. His captor led him into a rock-hewn cave. There the wise mother eagle, sitting on a straw-covered ledge, welcomed them and immediately presented them with the choicest food he had ever tasted. The training of the human began. “Tomorrow, I want you, son, and your guest to make the drum. But first, while I am tanning the covering of the baleen whale’s liver, bring three saplings. The length will be two wing’s stretches long and the thickness will be three fingers’ span. You will whittle the top ridge about one middle finger width. This groove will hold the babiche twine when you tie the skin onto the wood framing of the drum. Now leave and do, and bring the material.” The wooden frame is made of driftwood which was originally a larch tree. The craftsman usually whittles it down to a desired length and width. He then carves a rove within one-half inch to one inch directly beneath the top rim of the frame.
Babiche twine will hold the edges of liver skin in this indention. Wet twine is wrapped around the circular frame over and over again until the twine is very taut. The drum is then placed in a cool room to dry. The drum beater is also made from larch tree driftwood. It is about six inches longer than it is wide. It is tapered, with a handle that is thick enough to be easy to hold on to. This flat drum is beaten on the back side rather than on its face. This was the beginning of the training of the human. For many days, the eaglemother and her son taught him how to compose songs and dances, how to beat the drum, and how to organize a festival program. After the musical repertoire had been received and tested, the pattern for making the council house (qargi) was drafted on a bleached sealskin. Then the preparations for the reunion with his people was excitedly reviewed for the human, since his experience was an extraordinary event. The greatest event for his people would take place shortly after his arrival. His agenda was prepared something like this: a reunion feast in the qargi; the news about his encounter with the mother eagle and her son; the art of making a drum; the compositions, dances of two types, social and interpretive; how to organize the first sauyak (festival); and how a festival should be introduced to the neighboring communities. After he returned to his village, the first teacher of the festive celebration announced to his people: “This spring we will invite our neighbors to attend the first celebration of the year. The women will make new parkas and boots, the men will hunt for ugruk and other land animals. And we will enlarge our old qargi.” Thus was instituted a new musical program for his people. And ever since that historical beginning, the eagles were considered by the Inupiat, the real people, as the wise originators of the festivals of the Eskimo people of the northern lands.
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Today, research is usually done through the internet. It’s easy to find certain resources about business, education, health, human behavior, and so on and so on. But when you want to learn about traditional Inuit tattoos, maybe because you’re interested in getting one yourself, the resources are hard to find aren’t they? I can count on my two hands the amount of articles I can find about our tattooing culture. Although the information is hard to find, there are women today who are waking up this sleeping tradition. Alethea Arnaquq-Baril, a filmmaker based in Iqaluit of Canada, created a documentary called Tunniit which is about her journey to learn about traditional Inuit women’s face tattoos. Angela Hovak Johnston of Yellowknife wrote grant proposals to get the funding to hold a five day revitalization event with a contemporary tattoo artist and a traditional tattoo artist. That traditional tattoo artist is Marjorie Tahbone of Nome, Alaska. Holly Nordlum of Kotzebue was the organizer for a week long event called Tupik-Mi, which means tattoo people. According to Lars Krutak, this
tradition dates back 3,500 years. There was archeological evidence of a carved human figurine. These tattoos “recorded the biographies of personhood, reflecting individual and social experience through an array of significant relationships that oscillated between the poles of masculine and feminine, human and animal, sickness and health, the living and the dead.” The tradition, based on evidence from mummies, spanned from the Bering Strait to Greenland. It is said that it was tradition for women to ink their skin to symbolize an important change in their lives. It is also said that it was done at puberty and happened to only appointed women who learned the skills it took to be a woman. These skills included, but are not limited to: how to chop ice and melt it for water, how to make sealskin boots, and render the seal fat to light the seal oil lamp. There was also the belief that a sea goddess didn’t allow access to afterlife if a woman was not tattooed on her fingers. Some tattooing practices served as acupuncture or pain relief. Alaskan archaeologist Otto W. Geist said that the artist used sinew with
a steel or bone needle. The thread was soaked in a liquid of lampblack, urine, and graphite. The needle was pulled through the epidermis. Lampback was believed to fight against evil spirits; shamans used it to draw magic circles that fought off the spirits. Graphite was also considered to keep evil sickness away along with the urine, which was believed to freeze the spirit when poured over their head. Unfortunately, there was a time period when the tattoo went from representing Inuit pride to the taboo of shamanism in a Christianized community. Traditional tattooing was stopped along with dancing and throat singing. Luckily, that is changing today. “It’s been asleep for so long, a hundred years, and so having it re-awoken and coming back into our lives is so important and vital.” Tahbone says. Nordlum states that “the idea is for Inupiaq, Inuit, Yupik women to feel proud of who they are. To feel strong. To create sisterhood. To belong to something bigger than yourself, so that you’re safe and you’re supported by all these other women.”
Written by Jacqui Lambert
Project Chariot was a 1958 plan by the US Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) to create an artificial harbor at Cape Thompson by burying and exploding thermonuclear bombs. It is said that the explosion was expected to be 100 times more powerful than the one at Hiroshima and was expected to launch in 1962. Just three short years after Alaska became a state. Cape Thompson, where they were planning to set off the nuclear bombs, is approximately 30 miles southeast of Point Hope. Though the bombs were never set off due to public resistance and disagreement, many questions are left unanswered for the people of Point Hope. Planning started in 1957 when the AEC developed the Plowshare Program that investigated peaceful uses for nuclear explosives. They selected the site in 1958 at the mouth of Ogotoruk Creek. Finally, in 1960, officials flew to the village of Point
Hope to explain details of the proposed blast. Alaskan’s political leaders, newspaper editors, the state university’s president, and even church groups supported this plan. In 1962, AEC was discouraged from exploding the bombs. However, they still decided to bring fresh radioactive fallout from an earlier explosion at the Nevada test site. There was about 26 milliCuries of isotopes and mixed fission products brought to the planned site. This remained in the location for over thirty years until a University of Alaska researcher found irradiated soil. State officials found there to be low levels of radioactivity at the depth of two feet. The contamination could affect the health and safety of local people as the fall out was moving up the food chain from lichen to caribou. The state cleaned up this area upon Point Hope residents’ request. Point Hope suffers from a high rate of cancer, which is the leading cause
“Though the bombs were never set off due to public resistance and disagreement, many questions are left unanswered for the people of Point Hope.” of death among residents. It is likely that this is the result of this experiment, but questions about what exactly was done in this area remain unanswered by the federal government. For more information, you can watch a film created by Rachel Naninaaq Edwardson of Barrow. She created a documentary as a part of the “History of the Inupiat” educational series with the hopes of bringing more Inupiat history into the western school system.
Making Nalukataq in Barrow: A Process of Tradition written by cordelia kellie
Photos provided by Cordelia Kellie
“To those who have had a hand in making Nalukataq, watching the blanket toss is almost an expression of “tavra,” the end of something, of another successful Nalukataq that has come to pass.” I kick off my shoes, walk inside, and find a place for my sweater atop the mound of other coats and sweaters on the couch nearest to the door. I’m enveloped with the warmth and humidity of bread baking in the oven, the busy stovetop, and of 16 working bodies, with all hands stirring, cutting, or moving something. It’s Nalukataq time. Images soon spread statewide of community members jettisoned skyward on the iconic blanket toss. To those who have had a hand in making Nalukataq, watching the blanket toss is almost an expression of “tavra,” the end of something, of another successful Nalukataq that has come to pass. The work that happens to get to that point is mirrored by the work in several other homes, all undergoing similar preparations, in the whaling communities who were successful this spring across the North Slope, after everyone has come in from the ice and have butchered the whale, after it’s been dispatched to the siġļuaq (ice cellar), where the men will pull it back up again, to be prepared by the women in the warmth of the home. “Grab an ulu,” I’m told. I’m back again. My friend Tennessee has invited me to help with her family’s crew. My first visit, boxes and boxes of whale meat and muktuk filled the living room. Our job that day was to go through every box and cut the meat into thin strips to make mikigaq, a fermented whale dish to be served during the crew’s Nalukataq. The older women in the room showed us how to cut the whale, watching over our work, edifying us if the meat was cut too thickly. “It needs to be thin so it can ferment in time, or else it’s not going to be done when we serve it!” we’re told, and so, we cut and cut and drop our completed strips into the 55 gallon bucket we’re filling, layering with cut muktuk, and covered with large slabs of muktuk to help seal in the mikigaq and help with the fermentation. Today, we’re cutting and cooking the tuttu (caribou) to make akutuq (Iñupiat “ice
cream”). There are more boxes out, almost as many as when we made mikigaq, and it’s all frozen as well. I’m in charge of defrosting the tuttu so we can work with it. “Zap it for 8 minutes in the microwave,” the whaling captain’s wife tells me, precisely. She doesn’t tell me 7 minutes; she doesn’t tell me 9; I recognize that someone has done this before, has been doing this for years before me, and has learned that 8 minutes is the exact amount of time for the perfect level of thawing to slice tuttu for akutuq. I couldn’t help but think, this is how traditional knowledge is made and passed down. When it comes time to make akutuq again for Nalukataq, and the tuttu needs to be defrosted, “8 minutes in the microwave,” I’ll make sure to tell the younger girls. The home is so warm, and spirits are high. To be around so many delicious things! And it’s so difficult not to just taste everything you cut! As someone learning Iñupiaq, there are so many words that just cannot be replaced by English, and your vocabulary increases talking about the specific parts of the whale. The more senior members of the crew speak to each other fluently, with Iñupiaq being their first language, and I don’t feel poorly about eavesdropping, if it means picking up a few new words or testing myself to see how much I can or can’t understand. It’s an alternation of thawing tuttu and cutting the newly thawed pieces that will go into two pots: one pot for soup for the household to enjoy that evening, and another pot for the akutuq, which will be ground up when it’s done. There’s a table with the more senior women of the crew peeling and slicing qaunnaq (solid fat that can been peeled from an animal, like the fat on a tuttu) for the akutuq, and with the qaunnaq and tuttu in ground up and sliced pieces, it’s time to bring all the ingredients together. “Akut” actually means “to mix.” There’s two large bowls going, with those mixing the ingredients together in shifts. After about an hour of working the akutuq, one person’s shift ends and my shift has begun. With washed hands, my apron on and sleeves rolled up, I begin working the qaunnaq and I
learn how important it is to keep working it, always mixing, because it’s the warmth of your hand an the friction of the mixing that melts the solid slivers of qaunnaq into the whipped and fluffy consistency that we enjoy. “Make sure to mix it good, there should be no clumps!” we’re told, and my aana (great aunt in the North Slope style of speech) helps me by pouring in warm broth from boiling the tuttu for extra flavor, and one batch is done with berries for a sweeter treat. This broth can only be worked into the qaunnaq by consistent, ceaseless stirring and mixing, and after about an hour of working the akutuq, I’m asked if I’m ready for someone to take over. My arm tells me to say, “Yes, please!” The next visit is last big day of preparation, before the day of the crew’s Nalukataq and all the women slowly trickle in after church. We erect tables outside as the weather is nice and today we’re cutting the uuruq, cooked whale meat, to be distriubuted, as well as the whale heart, kidneys, tongue, and intestines. My friend’s young niece asks how she can help, and we work through the organs together at the direction of the whaling captain’s wife, talking, and laughing our way through the afternoon. I had never cut the organ’s before but as I tell the captain’s wife, my hands seem to know what to do. About 30 minutes later, after she’s been observing my work, she tells me, “Maybe it’s because of who you were named after!” I laugh at this and tell her that one of my names is after my aaka (grandmother), “She, too, was a whaling captain’s wife! It’s her ivory ulu necklace I’m wearing now!”
The day of our Nalukataq, we are joined by a couple other crews, and there is so much to do! The crew’s flag gets raised at 6:00 am and the windbreaker and tables have already been set up by the men. Trucks are hauling boxes from houses to Simmonds Hill where the Nalukataq is about to take place, and I help make the coffee and tea that the young members of the crew will serve to the community all day, pausing as we come together to open the day in prayer. The sun is bright and the crews join hands, encircling the food and the whales that have given themselves to us, in thankfulness for this day, for the richness of our communities and the love we have for our families and one another, and crews share everything that we all have worked so hard to prepare on this day of unabashed celebrating being Iñupiat. People come early to make sure they get good seats, and turn out with Ziploc bags, coolers, Tupperware containers, bowls, spoons, napkins, and sunglasses, enjoying the soup that’s passed out with bread, the uuruq (whale meat) that is shared with all, the mikigaq that gets passed out with the fruit, the akutuq that is given to elders, and the apples and oranges that are given to the children (different crews have their own variations of distribution). The whitefish is given to elders, quaq (raw, frozen meat and muktuk) is given to all, before closing with cake. If there ever was a time to visit, Nalukataq is one of the most joyous times. We break for dinner, don our parkas and mukluks and come together for the blanket toss. I pull the mapkuq for a while (the name for the blanket, bearded seal skins that had been on the umiaq, but resewed for the toss) before joining the rest of the women who are watching and resting together, after working non-stop for at least a month. All the food had been distributed, coolers had been filled and taken home, and now we get to watch who can go the highest before dispatching for the final event of the evening, a community dance. So much “tavra” is exhaled as the whaling captain’s wife tells me, “All done for another year!” Special thanks to Tennessee Judkins and Little Kupaaq Crew for having me join them at this year's Nalukataq -Cordelia Kellie
“As someone learning Iñupiaq, there are so many words that just cannot be replaced by English, and your vocabulary increases talking about the specific parts of the whale. The more senior members of the crew speak to each other fluently, with Iñupiaq being their first language, and I don’t feel poorly about eavesdropping, if it means picking up a few new words or testing myself to see how much I can or can’t understand.”
â€œWe visited other camps, and walked to Nuvugurak to see how everyone's ugruk and salmon was drying, running away from the waves. We cut beluga and seals on the beach, and swam with the salmon net.â€?
When I was a child, I ran around with no socks and shoes on. I ran through fireweed, away from bumblebees, and picked wild onions. We stayed up late at night, bright in the midnight sun, running around the tundra playing Norwegian, kick the can, and more. We hunted mice with swords made of driftwood, in their underground plywood castles. My tatta built Goober, Josie and I a swingset 35 years ago with driftwood, rope and old 2"x10" boards. It still stands, parts re-built for the other 70 grandchildren, and 50+ great-grandchildren. But I still retain ownership of the swings, and even in the stormiest weather, it stood, as a beacon calling us home. Right next to the Inisaq's and the old siglauq. We fed 40 hungry dogs, and ran around with the puppies. We got in trouble together, we slept on the floor over caribou “mattresses,” and we fought like enemies. Each one of use was spoiled in our own way. I never did the dishes. I never had to wash the oblong rectangular avocado colored plastic bowls that we ate our daily caribou soup in. I got to stay up late and listen to my grandparents play pinochle and Inupairaaq with their friends. I asked them, "Do you want tea?" "Do you want coffee?" in Inupiaq. “Saiyuktukpaa?” We gathered and stored broken seashells like they were diamonds and gold. We put tiny white clamshells on our fingernails and called them "Devil's Nails." My grandfather and his brother built a church at camp. A simple structure, four walls, no insulation, simple benches, and a wooden pulpit. He donned his best button up shirt and tall mukluks and preached to us. Kids sat on the floor, and giggled, "Quyaanan Agaiuun, Qaitchuna Ilipnun Agaayun," we learned to say. Hotcakes were fried in cast iron skillets with bacon grease or Crisco every. single. morning. We never got tired of them. Spam, bacon, sausage, corned beef hash or fried caribou accompanied them, with leftover qayusaaq to dip in. In the springtime, seagull eggs were boiled for us to eat with breakfast. The boys got to go out and hunt for birds on the spit, they walked with a shotgun, a couple shells, held across their backs with rope, and came back with ducks and geese in the fall time. Duck soup was a favorite. We fought over who ate the brains. Sometimes I even won. We said, "Jesus Qaqiaq, Amen"
before every meal, and sat outside, on the ground to eat. Summer birthdays were a treat, because all the kids from all the camps came over and we had DOUBLE decker birthday cake, with frosting from a can. We stole gas from people and went joyriding back and forth along the beach, happily oblivious to the wrath we would face when we went home. And we always went home. Because even though my grandparents were mad, they still showed they loved us the best. They made us apologize and work off that gas, sometimes that meant shoveling dog poop for hours. Sometimes it just meant chopping wood for them. They took care of us, together. Quietly allowing us to make mistakes, showing us how to be servants of humanity. We visited other camps, and walked to Nuvugurak to see how everyone's ugruk and salmon was drying, running away from the waves. We cut beluga and seals on the beach, and swam with the salmon net. Sometimes, we checked net, by swimming in the ocean to the buoy and bringing it back to the boat. Sometimes, we used a qayaq. My grandfather used a qayaq to check his seal and beluga nets miles offshore. It was a celebration when he brought one home. We cut more fish on the beach than I can count. Hurriedly so we could run around and play afterward. Us kids fought over who got to stand at the bow of the boat when we went back and forth, or went hunting. Perfect for the salty spray to barely kiss our faces. Or who got to sit on the side that got the wettest from the rough waves, and we were never scared with our Tatta. We had new mukluks from Aana every year instead of shoe-packs. We had new parkys instead of north face coats. We had new fur Everyone who grew up at Sisualik got cinnamon rolls from aana Katak, they said Good Morning and Good Night on the CB to Aana Carrie. They got scolded by Aana Dora, and got smiled at by Aana Irene. We were all scared of Mendenhall's house. Even though it probably wasn't haunted. We all walked miles and miles to play with the Noatak kids who came for the summer at Nuvuguraq, we walked to aana Carrie's and gave her our first duck. We went to Greene's and Wilson's cause they had landing strips to see who came in. As adults we bring our newborn babies to camp to show them where they are from. The breaths of our ancestors whisper in their
ears thousands of memories within. I know they can hear it, all our babies are calm and content at camp listening to Amau tell stories to them, smiling into the air. The tundra speaks to them of the family that once sailed across in the summer in skin boats, and used a dog team in the winter to get around. Beach grass dances for the babies as the ocean sings its sweet song lulling them to sleep. We bury our family there. To bring them back to the place where they belong. So their worldly bodies may rest and their souls can breathe in the happiness there. A world untouched by technology, minus the ubiquitous telephone solar panel on the elder's homes. A world were fish are still hung, ugruk is still cut, berries are still picked, shells are still gathered, and porcupine are still curious. I, too, will be buried there, because that is where I belong.
Your Ad Here contact Jacqui Lambert mjacquilambert @gmail.com
Where can I begin? My name is Utuktauruq, Ely Cyrus from Kiana, I was born 25 years ago, an Atoruk by birth my family is from Kotzebue and Noorvik, adopted by my parents at birth. I have always had an interest in history, whether it was studying the history of our Inupiaq heritage, or the history of the outside world. From the first student council meeting I went to in Elementary, to the first political science class I attended in college, I knew I was hooked on the possibilities to positively change the world around us, and the empowerment it gave to those who had the courage to speak out. I believe that the most effective change comes from those who represent us with dignity and respect in pursuit of positive change. Starting from the age of 18, I have had the privilege of serving on our city council, tribal council, and eventually on the committees of our regional non-profit health care organization, and our for-profit regional native corporation. I am not writing this as a representative from any of these, but as an an individual to offer encouragement to others. Growing up in our small community it was hard not to see the challenges that our families, loved ones, and neighbors face. We have the highest energy costs in the nation. In our region substance abuse, suicide and the language associated with these events can be found in the vocabulary of our toddlers. To say we are disadvantaged economically is an understatement. We have no major local source of economic growth and jobs, apart from the Red Dog mine which contains one of the largest zinc deposits in the world, which will be exhausted within our lifetimes. State and Federally funded jobs in the education, health care, and transportation fields comprise the majority of employment for our regions families. In a State that is facing an economic crisis, it is hard not to think of many possible negative outcomes ahead based on our minority status. When families relocate outside the region in pursuit
of economic opportunities it is hard to continue to practice cultural activities, which can strain cultural ties. As bleak as our situation sounds, this is not where the story ends. It is a factual assessment of where we are meaning as you are reading this, it is history. We as tribal members, residents, and constituents have the power to choose our paths forward to change our course. Too often I see the focus being on reacting to symptoms, we have to understand that many problems we face daily are not correctable directly. How is this so? Our culture has underwent many changes, for some, it was one generation ago that our families had no contact with the outside world, who migrated and subsisted to survive. This lifestyle was harsh, but our ancestors were strong. We as Inupiaq went from hunting with spears and living in sod huts, to the digital age with a mere snap of the fingers. Other cultures had the benefit of gradual evolution of these concepts. Our ancestors were required to settle down and become “Civilized” to facilitate the education of their children. Many outside persons not familiar with this back-story deride us, not knowing that many aspects of our subsistence culture was lost when this happened. We were forced down the path we find ourselves today, having lost much of the knowledge that our ancestors learned to survive without using modern technology, historical trauma from this era is ever present in our communities. We went from being a culture that bartered and traded, who laid no claim to imaginary lines, to living in two worlds, oft quoted. Today we blend ownership, an economic system this is based on paper currency with our subsistence lifestyle. This puts households in potentially financial unstable positions. We spend our money on our communities through hunting and gathering, always sharing. Visitors not accustomed to this often comment on how generous and hospitable we are, this trait can be traced back to our roots. To live in an economically depressed region means many do not have adequate resources at the
the household level. Studies are available from the World Health Organization that link poverty to an increased risk of suicide, substance abuse, and other negative factors. Are these the symptoms that our leaders struggle to prevent? As a regional leader, it is easy to simply say we are working on this, without expanding. In casual conversations with friends, I confidently say we are working to better our future, and that is usually a broad enough statement to satisfy most inquiries. What is it exactly we are working on though? Our region's entities both large and small have been facing struggles that affect each in a manner that is specific to them. From federal funding cuts, to reductions in shared oil production profits, and depressed commodity prices, the economic climate has changed dramatically. I believe this has created a situation that focuses the attention of leadership in each organization to ensure these challenges will be overcome. This has the potential to shift attention away from our future. It is important to take a proactive approach to make sure we maximize the benefits to those we represent. In the short term, a decade forward I can see our people to continue to see benefits by continued improvements in health care, through technology. "Homegrown" professionals from our region's communities, educated in the medical fields are returning home to practice, a trend which I hope to see continue. I see this in part as a result of the focus on past leaders had on educating our youth. Their professional paths began in the household, and can be attributed in part to the tireless work of our educators in the region that helped to teach and encourage them. Economically, I foresee a continued growth in businesses owned and shared by the
“The area we need to focus on strengthening begins right at home.”
â€œWhen was the last time you sat down, and contemplated where you will be a decade from now? Ten caribou seasons from now, what will your home be like?â€? region's Inupiaq residents to continue to contribute through increased profits and job opportunities. The economic benefits from the profits of these companies have the potential to completely replace, and eclipse what is currently generated by the Red Dog mine in the future. Businesses are continually searching for opportunities to bring jobs to the region. Businesses doing work for the oil industry have faced a tough year, with the price of a barrel of oil currently in record lows, but is expected to recover. How can these businesses help our people? Many of the companies owned by residents in the region, or shareholders, are performing work through the government on contracted jobs, meaning the companies are paid to complete work where the government has paid them to work. Unfortunately this means many of the jobs are located out of region, on site. Through the internet, employees may not be required to relocate to complete the work, security services are shifting to remote monitoring, this presents residents with job opportunities made possible by improvements to our community infrastructures. The Technical center in Kotzebue has been presented with opportunities to provide training courses in engineering and drafting, and is working to allow students to work on projects to gain skills while getting paid in the process. The area we need to focus on strengthening begins right at home. The majority of our communities have both tribal and municipal leadership, both serving nearly the same group of people, but with different responsibilities. In my experience based on our IRA and City governments, financial constraints meant we focused the majority our time on the short
term. We concentrated on improving day to day operations, keeping our doors open and lights on. This still provides the benefits and meets the expectations of those we serve, but it is not enough. We as community leaders have the responsibility to not only ensure a high level of service, but we also need take a step back and ensure we have a forward thinking attitude, and ask whether we are approaching current challenges while also ensuring we can meet future needs. Through our Tribal Council's, we must continue to fight for land and rights for our people, the ANCSA legislation was a step forward for our people, but it is not where it ends. The legislation was pushed through to benefit the oil companies and to push aside our past leaders loud calls for a land base. To secure the future for our subsistence based culture, we need to ensure future generations have the ability to practice our hunting rights without restrictions, and the land to do so in order to ensure our families will always have food on the table. On our City Council's, we must ensure we can provide the basic services and utilities to residents. Some residents in the region still do not have water and sewer access that most take for granted. The area of focus we need to concentrate on in this area is to continue to pursue funding to improve upon the infrastructure in our communities to help address the high cost of living. We can do this by lobbying to support energy programs such and other programs through the state that all residents benefit from, and by exploring opportunities in renewable resources. Nationally, green energy is a buzzword for politicians, but for us it can mean the difference between deciding to have the lights on or new school
clothes for our kids. Our greatest resource is not mineral based. It is us individually. Opportunities in education and employment are out there, whether it is in our region or beyond, the question is whether or not to leave our region, our home to pursue them. We can help our communities by supporting those who pursue education or experiences to further their careers through positive words. It is never too late for anyone to learn new skills. When was the last time you sat down, and contemplated where you will be a decade from now? Ten caribou seasons from now, what will your home be like? Will your children have graduated school, and out pursuing their careers? It is hard to think that far ahead, but it is a challenge that our leaders continually face, both reacting to situations in the present while being mindful to keep a foot forward and the vision facing ahead. It is easy for politicians or individuals to step up and take credit when challenges have been overcome, but our leaders also have to weather and overcome negative situations. When challenges arise, leaders must continue to lead, and not back down. I have always believed a leader is not one who directs, but someone who encourages productive and positive discussions to lead collectively. I do not profess to be an expert in any one subject, but I know people who excel in their fields. I have no qualms about calling upon their knowledge to help to find the best path forward. I apply that thought process to the roles I currently fulfill. My advice is to continue to support youth and young adults in their pursuit to change the world around us, as well as to support your local leaders in the often thankless roles they do to keep our communities running. To those youth leaders who have the courage to stand up and speak, do not get discouraged. Continue to work and stand up for what you believe in. Meanwhile, remember that our biggest strength comes in the form of values learned from our past. We are Inupiaq, and we will not fade into the pages of history.
Sunday Morning by Sara Guinn She builds her home in the cramped back room with whiskey and back pain, and disdain for her mother. When she gets too loud her son is big enough now to carry her out, hands wringing torso. She whimpers, arms around head, like a mangled coat hanger. She hates herself to sleep. She wakes up once facedown in dirt. Once more, and cooks us eggs.
â€œI know there has already been a lot said about domestic violence in our region and Alaska in general, and we all read about it in the papers and see it on television, and I've always just went on with my life without a second thought because I never thought it would happen to me or to someone I loved. That was before I saw it with my own eyes.â€œ I'm not much for voicing my opinions on any serious or controversial matters. I like to keep my writing light and humorous most of the time and many people have mentioned how much they enjoy the little laugh I give them to brighten their day and it gives me joy to hear it. I hardly ever bring up hard issues, but I wanted to bring up something that has been plaguing me since I moved back to Northwest Alaska in 2014. I know there has already been a lot said about domestic violence in our region and Alaska in general, and we all read about it in the papers and see it on television, and I've always just went on with my life without a second thought because I never thought it would happen to me or to someone I loved. That was before I saw it with my own eyes. That was before I saw a grown man pinning down a helpless woman and slamming her
head to the floor while their baby slept in the next room. That was before I saw the eyes filled with hate and violent anger as he came at me like a mauling bear when I attempted to stop it. That was before I was grabbed and shaken with such force that my brain hurt for days afterwards. That was before I knew what true fear felt like. I've heard about it before. I heard first hand when people would say it was the woman's fault, she provoked him, she always made him angry and that was why he did these things. I've heard that we need to watch our mouths and not make them do those things to us. I heard people using alcohol or drugs as an excuse to justify a grown man physically hurting or attempting to hurt a woman. When, may I ask, is it okay to hurt someone smaller and weaker than yourself? When was this behavior learned? Why is it not stopped sooner before people are seriously hurt or even killed? I know that physical and psychological abuse can go both ways as it pertains to gender, and it usually involves a person who has a lot of psychological, emotional and/or substance abuse problems. So I ask, when does someone seek help? After the first time? The second? After the first DV charge? The first ambulance? Funeral? And I ask, whose fault is it then?
We teach girls to shrink themselves To make themselves smaller We say to girls, "You can have ambition But not too much You should aim to be successful But not too successful Otherwise you will threaten the man." Because I am female I am expected to aspire to marriage I am expected to make my life choices Always keeping in mind that Marriage is the most important Now marriage can be a source of Joy and love and mutual support But why do we teach girls to aspire to marriage And we don't teach boys the same? We raise girls to see each other as competitors Not for jobs or for accomplishments Which I think can be a good thing But for the attention of men We teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings In the way that boys are Feminist: the person who believes in the social Political, and economic equality of the sexes -Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Blueberry Salmon City City Girl Girl Dried Dried Fish Fish
Blueberry Salmon by Meliissa Ingersoll Ingredients 2 garlic cloves 1 cup blueberries 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes 1 tbs Raw organic honey 2 tbs brown sugar 1/8 tsp Himalayan pink salt 2 tbs braggs aminos or soy sauce 1/2 tsp onion powder 1tbs avacado or extra virgin olive oil 1 filet of salmon, pin bones removed In a ziplock bag combine all ingredients except for the salmon, massage hard enough to pop blueberries and mix ingredients evenly Take your salmon file, rinse with cold water, pat dry with a paper towel. To remove pin bones, glide your finger along the filet and feel for the bones. Remove using a part of clean kitchen pliers. Cut salmon into desired sections. Place in zip lock and marinate for up to an hour Grill for 20 minutes or bake uncovered at 425 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until the flesh starts to turn opaque in the center Serve with your favorite slides. Sides in photo are white Jasmine Rice and steamed broccolini. Enjoy!
City Girl Dried Fish by Meliissa Ingersoll Dried salmon/dried fish is a main staple in many Alaskan communities. I’ve lived in Anchorage for 5 years and have begged my husband to build me a fish rack but city living has some disadvantages; road dust, black/brown bears, neighbor complaints, etc. This year, I was tired of asking people for dried fish, with little success or worse, buying it. So last weekend I begged my husband to let me try it and I was successful! I started with a 55 gallon garbage can, 3 metal rods, and a large fan. I cut up red salmon with the traditional slits in the flesh leaving the filets attached at the tail, put them in a simple brine for an hour, then hung them to dry inside the can, turned the fan on the highest setting and let the magic begin. The garbage can was genius. It caught the drippings in the beginnin gand also provided an enclosed space where the fan would recirculate the air, helping the meat dry insanely face in just 6 days! As a kid I recall spending every day with my grandparents and my mother tending to fish for at least 2-3 weeks. Longer if it was raining. If we missed a day or two you would be sacrificing some of your hard work to the flies or to mold. Occassionally in the winter, you’d find a burrowed maggot. Go through that experience once or twice and the effort you put into taking care of your fish would be dramatically improved the next year and years after. Anyway, drying salmon inside is the best invention ever! No flies, no maggots, no dust, no mold! I am thankful to grow up in a traditional Alaska native household and I am happy to share my modern day “city girl” ideas. Good luck and enjoy!
The Qargizine aims to instill the knowledge and pride of the rural and Alaska Native cultures in today's generation.