Side-by-side pictures of an NYO competitor preparing for, then executing, a one-foot high kick inside the St. Michael school gym.

If you ask a Western Alaska school-aged child to name their favorite sport, the most common response will likely be “Native Youth Olympics,” or NYO. The games aren’t just a way for students to compete and develop athletic skills; they’re also a means for youth to connect to subsistence culture and learn to support each other.

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Alaska Native dancing inside the Wales gymnasium

Alaska Native music and dance festivals are powerfully moving events, KNOM volunteer reporter Gabe Colombo discovered in the community of Wales this year. “It was amazing to see,” he says.

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An Alaska Native dance ensemble performs inside a school gymnasium.

The Native dance tradition has been revived in Wales and other communities over the past 20 years, after decades of cultural suppression by colonial forces. Today, as one elder put it, “coming here makes us feel whole.”

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Woman holding a freshly-caught salmon outside on a sunny evening

In Western Alaska, preparations for winter begin in summer, with all the different forms of local subsistence hunting, fishing, and food gathering. At fish camps and remote communities, KNOM plays a special role in this sub-Arctic harvest — through your support.

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Children hold a large cloth near a reindeer herd on a sunny day on the tundra.

The challenges of continuing Alaska Native subsistence traditions in the modern era have been highlighted in recent KNOM News stories — such as reports on ivory artworks and reindeer herding.

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A dance performance at Kingikmiut

Volunteer producers Maddie and Mitch recently traveled to the community of Wales for one of our region’s most notable annual events: the Kingikmiut Dance Festival, which brings together practitioners of traditional Alaska Native music and storytelling from throughout KNOM country.

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AFN 2013 dance performance

In late October, KNOM was proud to present live, “gavel-to-gavel” coverage of one of the most important annual gatherings in the state of Alaska: the Alaska Federation of Natives convention (AFN), which is held each autumn in either Fairbanks or Anchorage. For the many different Native communities of our state, AFN is an opportunity to…

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