Nov 26, 2009
I spent last night preparing food for Thanksgiving dinner and calling every household in Nunam Iqua. Unfortunately I did not receive good news. I was able to reach 23 out of the 36 household and out of those 23 families that I did talk to 22 were already struggling and requested help again with food to make it through the winter.
This is due to the fall flood in Nunam Iqua on November 11. You can see from the pictures that this flooding wreaked havoc on the Yukon River ice. The flooding brought in massive amounts of sea ice from the Bering Sea that unfortunately is still clogging the Yukon. Several people lost their fishing nets they had set under the ice and a couple of families even lost their boats during the flood.
All of this sea ice still in the Yukon River at Nunam Iqua caused a hardship on the residents. Normally during the winter families will go out onto the river and place fishing nets under the ice to catch fresh fish. But due to the mess of sea ice currently in the Yukon this has become very difficult if not impossible to do now. Fresh fish caught under the ice with nets is a large staple for families during the winter.
Not only did the ADF&G restrict commercial salmon fishing on the Lower Yukon, but also subsistence fishing was restricted to less than half of what is normally allowed. These restrictions led to very poor subsistence fishing and lead to families not being able to put away the much needed dried and smoked salmon families depend on to make it through the winter. Additionally due to the poor commercial fishing season a lot of families lost the majority if not all of their income that would normally be generated from commercial fishing.
Lack of dried and smoked salmon were put away during the summer due to the restrictions, plus families are not getting the fresh fish they rely on due to the flooding. This is already causing a hardship on families in Nunam Iqua this winter.
I need help with getting food to the needy families in Nunam Iqua. Last winter I organized an adopt a family for the winter food drive. I complied a list of every needy family in Nunam Iqua and their addresses, family size and needed items. Then wonderful people from all over not only Alaska but the entire United States and Canada and around the world adopted these families and sent them flat rate boxes of much needed food and supplies directly to their post office boxes.
I have complied a list of the needy families in Nunam Iqua. I am wintering in Ugashik this year, so I will not be able to accept and distribute food like I was able to last winter. I will only be doing the adopt a family for the winter food drive this winter.