Update from Alakanuk, Pilot Point and Nunam Iqua!

by

Apr 25, 2009

***From Alakanuk***

The Alakanuk Food Drive is slowly getting going.  They have received a few boxes and some cash donations.  As I have mentioned Alakanuk is the village between Nunam Iqua and Emmonak.  Here is some information supplied to me by the Tribal Administrator:

 

Alakanuk Population Break down:

 

Population total:                        700+ residents

Number of households:             200 (approximately)

Children (under 16 years):         376

Elders (65 and older):               79

 

Thanks to the efforts of Rep. Ramras’ efforts and the Food Bank of Alaska every household received a box of food.  Additionally, thanks to the Food Drive 7 boxes of food were distributed to elders, widowed, widowed with children, households with no employment.  Two households were helped with stove oil.  Here is where the food donations were received from:

 

Chattanooga, TN

Black Diamond, WA

Richmond, VA

LaCrosse, WI

Sugarloaf, CA

Los Angeles, CA

Salem, OR

Loxahatchee, FL

NYC, NY

 

Stove oil donations were received from:

 

Seattle, WA

Wasilla, AK

Santa Clara, CA

 

Quyana Cakneq Mudpups and Anonymous Bloggers for your help!!!

I am concerned that school will be getting out soon (Mid May) and there will be a lot more mouths to feed at home with the kids not receiving school breakfasts and lunches.  The Yukon is still in the grips of winter and the river ice won’t break up until mid to Late May.  During break up the only means of travel will be by plane, assuming the flooding isn’t so bad that it closes the runways/airports down which has happened a lot in the past.  You can find information on how to help Alakanuk and the other villages on Anonymous Bloggers (https://anonymousbloggers.wordpress.com) under the how to help section on the side bar on the right hand side of the page.

 

***From Pilot Point***

The food has been getting out even when I have been slow to get this recap to you. It as been a crazy schedule lately with lots of twists and turns on things that MUST all come first!

It looks like spring is trying its darnest to arrive here on the Alaska Peninsula and with that brings the normal hopes of good salmon season. We are forecasted to have a less than average sized run, which does happen in the normal cycle of fishing, so most will be working hard to make the best of every single chance.

(As I was feeding the chickens this evening a group Sandhill cranes flew over – soooooo low and calling. Just a group of about 20 but all the signs of spring are creeping up on us!! Makes being here easy on days like this!)

We had a mail break for a bit due to the volcano but at this point it looks like things are moving again near normal.

IF I missed anyone’s box please email me and I will double check all the lists we have-

1 box from TF – Salem, OR

2 boxes from “Ford”- Kenai, AK

4 boxes from TT- Juneau, AK

2 boxes from kids – HI

1 box KL –Arcata, CA

3 boxes from M O’C– Pacifica, CA

1 box form LB – Anchorage, AK

1 box from VR – Sugarloaf, CA

4 boxes from JH — Medina, ND

2 boxes from Toon- Cape E, ME

4 boxes from K O’C— Buena Park, CA

How do I let you know that all the extra and special things you have included are great?

The extras for Easter were used as center pieces for an Easter potluck the entire village had recently. Anything that could be shared with more than one group has been in some way.

Art supplies that came in for our kids went immediately to the kids! Teachers were thrilled to get the fun things sent. Kids will be when they get done testing and get to have fun.

The special soaps, great dried goods, marinades, nuts, coffees, teas, hot chocolates, spices, special jams, toothpaste, rice mixes, sauces, Vit C packs, candies and crackers have all helped to give variety for everyone and comments of it was “like getting Christmas”. Making sure we had the basics to stay healthy of dried milk, dried fruits and veggies, although less glamorous but appreciated. Have those heavy items like flour, sugar, salt let our elders and those people with more time to bake. Yeast and vanilla flavoring are other goodies that are hard to get in some of our villages and in the future we will have to share with you as to why. Hold either Ann or I to it if we forget:-)

Our kids are out of school soon, May 10th I believe, and we will have all those kids at home for meals. We are getting those families set up with a little more for those extra mouths and meals.

WITH SPRING ALSO COMES THE START UP OF EMPLOYMENT IN PILOT POINT AND UGASHIK. To the best of my understanding there are a number of projects that will need people, along with our normal commercial fishing. Normally everyone who is able to work is working in our villages in one capacity or another.

We have not heard what fuel costs will be with the spring barge but the hope is they will stay low into the summer so we can take advantage of that lower price.

Our temperatures are starting to slowly warm up to above freezing most days, letting up on the demand for fuel some.

We will need to CLOSE PILOT POINT’S FOOD DRIVE BY MAY 25th. As much as the residents appreciate the assistance we know that trying to manage this when all the visitors and fishermen are in town would be disastrous! We have been letting everyone in the village know that so it does not catch anyone off guard.

Our plans are being finalized for the community garden.

Our hope is to do two things.

We will be planting some common area for people who want to come, donate some time, and they will be able to take food home with them.

Also we will prep an area and give assistance and seeds to those who would like it to plant some for themselves.

Our hope is to get as many people who want to learn or be involved as possible. Tools and some seeds for people will be provided.

IF you want to help with this effort when mailing the food packages slip in a pack or two of seeds so we can share with more villagers.

We are still low on;

cabbage

beans- bush

peas – bush or short trellis

onions

radishes

spinach

Watch for our updates and we will do our best to show you ALL that we do in the spring and summer. I can tell you we are gaining about 5 minutes a day right now in light and I know most of us wish we gained that much extra energy too:-))!!

– Victoria B

 

***From Nunam Iqua***


Our food drive really slowed down.  I think part of the reason might be because of the mail issues we had when Mt. Redoubt was acting up.  Signs of spring are slowly starting to start here on the Yukon.  Our temperatures are staying above freezing some and all this snow is starting to melt.  The Yukon River is still frozen, making it possible for us to travel to favorite ice fishing areas and fish for Pike and Tom cods.

 

I just found out that Nunam Iqua has run out of  stove oil.  The Tribal Fuel Sales has run out.  The City of Nunam Iqua is crunching the numbers to see how much excess they can spare without affecting the power plant or the water plant.  The plan is that the City will release 1,000 to 3,000 gallons of stove oil for the Elders and villagers that do not have the ability to travel upriver and buy stove oil.  Those of us that can make the trip to Alakanuk and Emmonak will purchase our stove oil from there to last through break up.

 

The reason why Nunam Iqua ran out of stove oil is due to the early freeze up last fall.  Our last fuel barge that was supposed to leave up from upriver couldn’t because the river froze up.  Usually Nunam Iqua always runs out of gas but this is the first time we have run out of stove oil.  Not  having our tanks topped off last fall to make it through the winter is the cause.  Now keep in mind that this is a common occurrence in bush Alaska.  As evident by the Emmonak Crisis.  But an early freeze up definitely caused a whole lot of problems this winter.  Bush villages frequently have to come up with creative solutions working together to avert things like this from affecting the residents too much.  But we always seem to manage one way or another.  This winter it was with the help from wonderful bloggers help!

 

So with that issue looming over Nunam right now I am concerned with families having enough food to make it through break up.  Because not only will they be having to spend extra money on gas to go get stove oil but also school is getting out here in a couple of weeks and there will be more mouths at home to feed.  No school = no school breakfasts and lunches that families will have more food needs.

 

If you have already adopted a family here in Nunam Iqua Quyana Cakneq!  If you’d like to adopt a family and send boxes directly to them send me an email and I’ll hook ya up with a needy family and their address/family size/needs.

Now onto the update on boxes.  Since April 13 I have received over 301 lbs of food for the food drive:

One box from Honolulu, HI

One box from Auburn, WA

One box from Grand Ledge, MI

Three boxes from Everett, WA (Quyana my best friend of 25 yrs Lisa!!)

Two boxes from Ketchikan, AK

One box from Eden Prairie, MN

Three boxes from Euless, TX

One box from Rochester, NH

Two boxes from Kent, WA

One box from Portland, OR

One box from Salem, OR

Three boxes from Oakland, CA

And one box of Yarn from Juneau, AK (Quyana Martha UYS!)

And two boxes from Cape Elizabeth, ME (Quyana Lil Ms. Sophie!)

 

Also I received cash donations from:

 

McLean, VA and W. Bridgewater, MA

 

Quyana for your continued help and support of Nunam Iqua, Alakanuk and Pilot Point!

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2 Responses to “Update from Alakanuk, Pilot Point and Nunam Iqua!”

  1. alaskantiger Says:

    Victoria- just wanted to shoot you a quick note that there should have been 2 boxes from me (LB in Anchorage). Not much we can do if you didn’t get it since I skipped the insurance and all, but I just wanted to mention it in case there’s anything the post office there can do to look for it. Maybe it’s just caught somewhere along the way. Sent it out April 4th if that helps any.

  2. UgaVic Says:

    AK Tiger-
    I believe another box JUST came in via my “angels” feed back. We got another big hit of boxes in the last few days so maybe we are not done with all the ‘catch up’ mail from the volcano.
    Thanks for letting me know,
    Victoria

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