Bering Straits Native Corporation (BSNC) is pleased to announce the awardees of its 2021 Young Providers Award as Pete Katongan of White Mountain honoring the late Peter Nanouk Jr. and Taylor Harvey of Unalakleet honoring the late Middy Johnson. The Young Providers Award honors young people from the BSNC region who contribute on a daily basis to the health and well-being of their families, communities and culture. Katongan and Harvey will be recognized during the 2021 Annual Meeting of Shareholders which will be held on Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021.
BSNC shareholder Pete Katongan is an active hunter and fisher who provides subsistence food for both his small family, extended family and community members. Katongan provides game meat for many people in the community who do not have the resources to subsist. He also helps his family by chopping wood and commercial fishing.
Originally from Unalakleet, Katongan earned the respect of the residents of White Mountain who value him as a community member. Katongan works at the White Mountain School as an aid and volunteers as a volleyball and basketball coach. During the school year, he spends the evening opening the gym for children of all ages. He works well with the youth and maintains a great relationship with all community members and Elders. He sets a good example of hard work, determination, responsibility and integrity.
Katongan will be recognized in honor of the late Peter Nanouk Jr. Nanouk worked as a Fisheries Technician with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) from 2002-2017. In his career, he traveled across Norton Sound and was well-liked and respected everywhere he went. In 2019, ADF&G named a new vessel the Peter-Joel in honor of Nanouk and Joel Saccheus of Elim who were both an integral part of the operations in Norton Sound. Nanouk enjoyed boating, bird hunting, trapping, hanging nets and setting subsistence nets for trout, salmon and beluga. He shared everything he caught with others, and even traveled to other villages to share his catches. Nanouk also excelled in mathematics and prepared many friends and family member’s taxes each year. He received plaques for the National Dean’s List while studying Accounting at Seattle Pacific University. Nanouk passed away in 2017.
BSNC descendant Taylor Harvey has always had a year-round passion for being outdoors and enjoying subsistence activities. In the spring, he partakes in caribou hunting, seal hunting, bird hunting, egg hunting and gathers kelp. In the summer, he works on fish. In autumn, he enjoys moose hunting. In the winter he traps. In the last few years, Harvey has become old enough to go out on his own. Harvey follows the tradition of sharing with Elders and those that many not have ways of getting food on their own. He takes part in all steps when taking care of the catch and makes sure whoever is with him or has helped him butcher gets their share.
Harvey volunteers with the High School Boys Basketball Team and shares his subsistence knowledge with other young men. He always stays busy, whether subsisting or doing preventive boat or snowmachine maintenance. Harvey is also helpful when others need a hand with their own snowmachines or other vehicles.
Harvey will be recognized in honor of the late Middy Johnson. Johnson was taught at an early age to hunt, fish and gather berries and greens to help feed his huge family which included eleven older brothers and sisters. He was also taught to share his subsistence foods with the Elders and those who could not hunt in his community and the surrounding villages. Johnson made time to take youth from his community on family outings to teach them the traditional way of life whether it be to hunt moose, caribou and birds, to gather berries and greens, and to fish for salmon, trout and whitefish.
Johnson served on many boards including Norton Sound Economic Development Corporation, Native Village of Unalakleet, Unalakleet Search and Rescue, Federal Rural Advisory Committee for Fish & Wildlife, Unalakleet City Council and others. In his lifetime, he saved lives as a police officer, paid good fish prices as a seafood plant operator, helped champion local hire and served as Mayor of Unalakleet. He was proud of his work as a father, saying he succeeded in raising his children to be respectful and productive citizens. Johnson passed away in 2019.