Radio is a powerful spiritual tool. The work of the Holy Spirit in the world is often invisible: slowly moving people’s hearts toward Christ. Listening to the Spirit creates a patient endeavor for justice, compassion, and peace. In a similar way, it is impossible to see the radio waves that transmit across Western Alaska. When…

Read More

After ten years of Yup’ik spelling bee competitions, the Inupiaq language was included for the first time this year. The organizers say that’s largely thanks to efforts in Brevig Mission, a 350-person community northwest of Nome. Announcer: Kopeck, it’s your turn to give it a try, the word is ‘tiŋŋun’ – ‘tiŋŋun’.Kopeck: Tiŋŋun. T-I-Ŋ-Ŋ-U-N.Announcer: I…

Read More

The community of Stebbins recently received long-awaited good news: a $7.5 million grant for running water and sewer for households. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Stebbins’ high case numbers highlighted the need for access to running water and sewer. Stebbins and other ‘unserviced’ communities underwent several strict lockdowns and mass testing events to curb the virus.…

Read More

As regular readers of this newsletter may know, KNOM is celebrating its 50th anniversary by giving away radios to listeners across Western Alaska. Boxes of radios have now arrived to the office, ready for shipping. The radio giveaway will happen in conjunction with a mailed survey, addressed to every household KNOM’s signal reaches. In exchange…

Read More
A photo of a snow bank with green liquid on it seeping into the street below in Nome, Alaska.

In many places, budding green leaves are a sure sign of spring. In Nome, locals have for decades looked for a bubbling, slimy, green liquid seeping down Front Street. During World War 2, airplanes would be loaded with canisters of green marker dye. In case a plane crashed, the fluorescent green dye would assist in…

Read More

Vi Waghiyi, an environmental justice advocate, mother, and grandmother who grew up in Savoonga, has been appointed to a federal advisory council on environmental justice. “It is an honor, not only as a Sivuqaq Yupik grandmother and Native Village of Savoonga tribal citizen, but as an Arctic Indigenous person who has been working on environmental…

Read More
Woman wearing a bright reflective jacket and face covering standing outside COVID tent

After a year of severe travel restrictions that required mandatory testing and quarantines, the new ordinances are a relief to many in the region, particularly those in the villages. Due to the increased risk of catching COVID-19 in places without sanitation or running water, communities in the region were among the first in the nation…

Read More

The 2021 Iditarod was a great race for Nome musher Aaron Burmeister, setting a personal record in his 27th race. Burmeister finished second, just three hours behind winner Dallas Seavey. This year, he said, the race was very different. “You know it’s a different event when you’re not going to Nome… It was certainly a…

Read More