96.1 FM | 780 AM | Yours for Western Alaska

Elder Voices: James Okpealuk

Teller, Alaska

The end of the 71 mile road from Nome to Teller, Alaska. Photo: Emily Russell, KNOM.


In this week’s rebroadcast of Elder Voices, we hear wisdom that James Okpealuk shared in Teller in 2012. James grew up on Little Diomede, where he learned to hunt and helped his family.

Some of James’ fondest memories are from the Christmas season, when his community would play games every day until New Year’s Eve. On that day, there would be Eskimo dancing, an activity James began participating in as a teenager. It’s a tradition that particularly brought his father joy. “When I hear Eskimo drums, my heart lifts up,”¬†James’ father would say.

Listen to James’ story in full on KNOM this Wednesday, April 19th, at 11am and 6pm. Elder Voices: a window to the past, a door to the future.

Leave a Reply