780 AM | 96.1 FM | “Yours for Western Alaska”

Posts by KJ McElwee

Elder Keeps Art Tradition Alive in New Curriculum

A new curriculum, created on St. Lawrence Island, reintroduces traditional Siberian Yupik skin sewing to Alaska schools. Lydia Apatiki was born and raised on the island. She grew up watching her mother and aunt scrub walrus skins for umiaks (traditional boats) and labor over intricate bird skin parkas. Bird skin parkas, or atkuks, were traditionally…

Read More

Celebrations On The Air

High school graduates in Nome had a very different graduation ceremony this year. Students paraded through town wearing caps and gowns, in creatively decorated vehicles of various types. On the car radio, KNOM’s live coverage of the parade provided both a musical soundtrack and a live call-in show sharing congratulatory messages from teachers, family, and…

Read More

Messages of Faith

Bishop Chad Zielinski recently shared a message and prayer for peace and justice with parishes across the Diocese of Fairbanks. The message and prayer were read on the air to coincide with memorials around the country. Listeners are invited daily to pause for reflection and prayer four times a day: starting at midnight with an…

Read More

Hospital Screens 10% for COVID-19

With a large number of rapid tests available and a small population, the hospital corporation has a unique opportunity to map how the the coronavirus is transferred in a geographically isolated system. This data collection will impact later research. Norton Sound Health Corporation is now doing drive-through testing at the hospital in Nome. Thanks to…

Read More

Foster Families Get Free Internet At Home

Kawerak, the tribal nonprofit that serves the Norton Sound region, has paid for foster parents’ internet access for the months of April and May. An employee noticed foster families were financially stressed with schools being closed. Traci McGarry, Child and Family Services Program Director, says access to internet, an expensive utility, can really benefit foster…

Read More

Local Teachers Print Medical Equipment

Teachers in the Bering Strait School District (BSSD) are using school technology to create face shields and masks for local medical personnel, garnering praise from state officials. Printers used to teach high school students are now producing 1,000 face shields for employees at Norton Sound Health Corporation. Reid Tulloch, a Career and Technical Education instructor…

Read More

‘Unserviced’: No Water, No Sewer

How can people wash their hands regularly to prevent the spread of germs without running water? In a recent two-part radio feature (part 1 / part 2), listeners heard from leaders in five ‘unserviced’ Bering Strait communities that do not have residential water or sewer access. In the villages of Wales, Stebbins, Teller, Shishmaref, and…

Read More

Poetry on the Airwaves

A recent installment of the ‘Read-Along’ featured Joy Harjo, who is the United States Poet Laureate and a well-known indigenous poet. Harjo shared some of her work, including a poem about Nome, or, as Harjo describes it: a place “near the opening in the Earth’s head”. The poem was inspired by a trip to Nome…

Read More