Two of our volunteers took an exceptional trip to a rural Alaska community this summer.
In a small plane, Dayneé Rosales and Eva DeLappe journeyed to Gambell, Alaska, a community with many stories to tell. They spent time with elder Nancy Walunga (wuh-LUN-guh), whose life story graced a recent episode of our show Elder Voices. Nancy and her husband Willis also helped us with a radio spot series on Siberian Yup’ik (YOO-pick), one of the Alaska Native languages common to our region.
In her capacity as a “newsie,” Eva captured a more serious story, as well: this year’s devastatingly low harvest of walrus, an animal crucial to the subsistence lifestyle of many of our listeners. The low walrus count constituted an economic disaster for Gambell, and Eva’s story was soon picked up by other radio stations throughout Alaska.
Dayneé and Eva were very fortunate to arrive in Gambell at all; thick fog had prevented planes from landing for weeks. (Thanks to a sponsorship with a regional airline, their airfare was free.)
You can hear Eva’s stories from Gambell on our news page: her story on the community’s walrus harvest is the lead of our Update News broadcast from Friday, July 26, 2013; you’ll also find Eva’s two-part, Elder Voices interview with Nancy Walunga.
This article is part of the September 2013 edition of our newsletter, The Nome Static.