Ann and Victoria: Breaking news that 50% of Emmonak residents have met their subsistence needs for winter!


Jun 27, 2009

Ann and I were so excited, and surprised, to hear from our Governor via Twitter that her Rural Advisor, John Moller, had such a great visit to Emmonak.  She tweeted that 50% of the villagers had their subsistence needs already met – wow!

Ann and hubby Gundo came over to Victoria and Rollie’s house in order to phone home and get all the good news!

Ann and I are sitting impatiently waiting while Segundo calls his parents!

Thinking this will be so great if all the worry and stress is turning out to not be needed.

That people will have enough to eat of the basics this winter.

Maybe even the commercial fishermen will get a little bit of a season.

Gundo is quietly listening, nodding his head.

We hear the words:  ”So many…”

WOW, we think!!

The minute he gets off the phone we pounce on him with questions.

‘”So many” – seals, not fish!

No one in Ann’s village is even close to having enough food for winter.

Disappointment sets in. How to find out more info?  Form a game plan! We have to know more.  Is this an isolated situation in Nunam?

Dennis Zaki is due back on Monday after visiting the bush, we hope he can help fill in the blanks.

Emails went out.

We will fill you in as soon as we hear but so far it is not all good news on the lower Yukon, contrary to statements made by the Governor and her Advisor.

STAY TUNED for regular updates!


13 Responses to “Ann and Victoria: Breaking news that 50% of Emmonak residents have met their subsistence needs for winter!”

  1. Martha Unalaska Yard Sign Says:

    Maybe there is a parallel Yukon River universe and that’s the one our Governor is currently occupying? With her Rural Adviser, John Moller? I think the ADF&G Commissioner Lloyd Denby might be hanging out with them also? Denby said a lot about being humbled by the Lower Yukon residents in his end of May visit’s opinion piece, released all over Alaska media last week, but didn’t say anything about real progress or what might be in the works.

    From the Bristol Bay Times

    “A local woman stated it right. She implied to the visiting ADF&G Biologists and fishery managers, “We only have a certain time to harvest and dry our king salmon before the rains come.” …

    Many families, including the elderly, still have empty smokehouses and it is already mid-June. “

    I’m so confused – I WANT it to be great news! But wanting, and reality…well, please keep us up on these ambiguous developments!

  2. alaskapi Says:

    I’m so sorry to hear this Ann. It would have been nice if F&G had been terribly wrong about their estimates for Chinook run.Doesn’t sound, so far, that they were…

    While we wait to hear from Mr Zaki and other reporters about the Federal Subsistence Board meeting and from more of your family, I’d recommend a trip over to

    The picture is not pretty… sometimes I have to read this blog with my hands over my eyes…

  3. Kath the Scrappy Says:

    I really didn’t believe any of the twit’s tweets, gotta consider the source. Decided to hear what Dennis Z. shows (although, leaders may be too intimidated to tell the truth for fear of a backlash from AK govt in other directions).

    So I was relieved to hear via the Strongheart relatives/friends what’s really going down. Disheartening so far. Will keep watching for your updates. Thx!

    Look @ Eagle. Sounds like any money coming to help may not be in time before the cold starts hitting. Lots of govt hand wringing and endless excuses.

  4. UgaVic Says:

    AK Pi-
    I have been reading the ‘no trawl zone’ and I have to agree!!

    The trawling industry definately has some clean up to do. Most of us are so painfully unaware of what happens in the production of our food and the harvesting of our seas!

  5. alaskapi Says:

    Had a moment of surreal hope when word of the tweet starting getting out…
    There was no salmon closure on the Yukon- neighbors would be able to add this terribly important and healthy food to their larder…

    Reality is of course different. Folks are gathering other sources of food and hoping they can make it all add up to “enough” by autumn.And that’s only the subsistence part…

    It IS important to follow what happened at the Federal Subsisitence Board meeting-

    Bethel paper and Tundra Drums will be weighing in as well as Mr Zaki.
    letter at
    Willie Kasayulie
    Akiachak, AK is an important read!!

    Ok- more waiting til we get news…

  6. alaskapi Says:

    Repost of my comment from another thread…
    I am beginning to be VERY concerned , UgaVic-
    It isn’t only Salmon that is scooped up and discarded dead…
    We have concentrated here on Salmon because that is the fishery which affects our friends and neighbors’ lives most directly.
    The very nature of factory trawling is that ANY so-called non-target species is scooped up… and discarded as bycatch.
    The compartmentalized way the NPFMC is set up to deal with things allows us all to ignore the broader issues of full ecosysytem impact by this method of fishing.

  7. JuneauJoe Δ Says:

    Hi Folks,

    I just drove through Montana and saw lots of casinos everywhere. In Alaska, Natives cannot have Casinos. As I understand it, when Natives got Corporations, the wording of the agreement said they cannot have Casinos. I believe the agreement also gave Native Alaskans fishing and hunting rights not available to non-natives.

    Since Natives in Villages no longer can get the salmon they need and the bi-catch was increased, I was thinking that the original agreement has in reality been altered in favor of the Non-Native population.

    Maybe it is time for Native Peoples to be allowed Casinos to help fund the subsistence which is being denied by the high cost of living and lack of fish and decline of Moose too.

    Maybe it is time for Natives to look at the original agreements and allow Corporations into the Casino business. (I will also add that I am not a gambler and feel it can be harmful and addicting.)

    I lived by and with the Puyallup, WA Tribe and they now have significant income from Gambling. They were the first tribe to fight the feds and state in getting gambling but salmon was taken from them and they needed another source of income.

    Just felt this idea needed to be put out for consideration. Montana tribes are doing it as are Washington tribes.

  8. UgaVic Says:

    AK Pi/J Joe-

    We do, as Alaskans, have to look at the original agreements/laws set up to manage our fisheries resource and the ability of Natives to support themselves.

    Personally I keep going back to the statement, in the AK Constitution I believe, that says we are to manage the resource for the maximum ‘good of the people’. (hope that is an accurate quote).

    We are missing the boat big time in allowing the trawler industry, and generally out of state processors, to be calling the shots for our resources and people.

    All agreements are in need of review IF we are going to continue to let the outside sources call the shots.

    Just my opinion.

  9. alaskapi Says:

    You are pretty darn close UgaVic-! I can’t keep stuff like that in my head!

    What is so tough , right now, is that it is likely it is behavior in federal waters which has the largest impact on state fisheries.
    Since it is likely that the warming water trend affects the salmon fishery it seems some folks are willing to shrug and settle for the idea that it’s some kind of natural downturn.
    As we can do doodly-squat about cyclic trends in natural phenomena, it seems to me that it increases the pressure to adjust the thing we can adjust- human activity.
    Folks fooled around down south ignoring the damage certain logging practises had on spawning streams (silting in) and lost many more spawning waters to poorly envisioned hydro projects. A whole buncha dollars and a lot of work later some of those damages have been turned around… though best as I can tell currently OR and CA have declared salmon fishery disasters related to yet other factors.

    We ,none of us, like to admit some grand scheme has gone awry or is working out in opposition to our original intent but the whole waste fish issue inherent in factory trawling is not working for Alaska , no matter how much we ignore it …

  10. Jim Says:

    A stupid question:

    Why aren’t the trawlers forced to keep their bycatch and turn it over to rural Alaskans?

  11. Jim Says:

    As far as the State’s description of the subsistence status in Emmonak, it kind of reminds me of another proclamation I heard from a government official a few years ago– “Mission Accomplished.”

    We’ll see.

  12. alaskapi Says:

    Jim- The standard and true response about salmon bycatch is that the trawlers lack the ability to freeze those big fish properly.

    and , yup, we’ll see on the subsistence meet.
    I’m not very good at this waiting to hear thingy…

  13. alaskapi Says:

    We’re starting to hear some news…

    Something’s changing…

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