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The "Female Robinson Crusoe" Historical Spotlight: Ada Blackjack

By Media | Published: April 5, 2020

The “Female Robinson Crusoe“ Historical Spotlight: Ada Blackjack

In the past decade, Inuit women revitalized the ancient art of traditional tattooing. The practice dates back at least 10,000 years and involves skin stitching or hand-poke/stickand-poke. Ethnographically, tattooing was practiced by all Inuit but was most common among women and would commemorate an achievement or reaching a certain milestone in life. During the influx of Western civilization in the 19th and 20th centuries, many Inuit were prohibited from practicing the ritual. In 1926, the University of Alaska archaeologist Otto W. Geist (1927-34: n.p.) noted:

“The pigment is made from the soot of seal oil lamps which is taken from the bottom of tea kettles or similar containers used to boil meat and other food over an open flame,” said Geist. “The soot is mixed with urine, often that of an old woman, and is applied with steel needles. One method is to draw a string of sinew or other thread through the eye of the needle. The thread is then soaked thoroughly in the liquid pigment and drawn through the skin as the needle is inserted and pushed just under the skin for a distance of about a thirty-second of an inch when the point is again pierced through the skin. A small space is left without tattooing before the process is again repeated. The other method is to prick the skin with the needle, which is dipped in the pigment each time.”

Yaari Toolie-Walker of Savoonga was one of the first Alaska Native women to revive the tradition in recent history by receiving her traditional chin tattoo more than 10 years ago. She has inspired many women to continue the tradition. BSNC descendant Marjorie Tahbone has also received her chin tattoo and is helping to revitalize the tradition by becoming a traditional tattoo artist.
“We need to bring back our culture and our celebrations and our festivals, ways that we were able to cope with mourning, with death or being able to acknowledge a boy becoming a man and a girl becoming a woman – those ceremonies are important to a healthy society and those were taken from us,” said Tahbone. “And so my motivation is to make sure that they come back in a healthy, strong way and people feel that they’re theirs.”

Geist, O.W. 1927-34. Field Notes. On File, Alaska and Polar Regions Archives, University of Alaska, Fairbanks.

BSNC Social Distancing & Quarantine Contest

By Media | Published: April 1, 2020

BSNC Social Distancing & Quarantine Contest

During this time, it is critical to focus on our communities’ well-being which means staying home to keep others safe. BSNC is holding a COVID-19 social distancing/quarantine contest for shareholder and descendant kids and their families! Write a poem or story, make a video, or art or create a funny meme about how you are practicing social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Simply post your creation (maximum 3 entries per person) to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, use the hashtag #BSNCCommunityWellBeing and DIRECT MESSAGE us your post. Please also list the appropriate age group. You will then be entered in for a random drawing to win these AMAZING prizes!

Grand Prize: Samsung Galaxy S-20 Ultra

Ages 3-6:
First prize: A brand new bicycle
Second prize: Samsung Galaxy Tab A Kids
Third prize: $50 Amazon gift card

Ages 7-11:
First prize: Microsoft Surface Pro 7
Second prize: Nintendo Switch
Third prize: $100 Gift Card

Ages 12-17:
First place: Microsoft Surface Pro X
Second place: Power Beats Earphones
Third place: Polaroid Camera

Adults:
First place: Apple Watch
Second place: Air Pods
Third place: $50 Gift Card

Deadline: April 10 at 12 p.m.

Federal Subsistence Fisheries Regulation Consultation

By Media | Published: March 27, 2020

Federal Subsistence Fisheries Regulation Consultation

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The Federal Subsistence Board will hold a consultation on April 20 from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. via teleconference for tribal leaders and delegates to discuss proposals to change Federal Subsistence Fisheries Regulations. To participate in the teleconference, call the toll-free number 1 (888) 566-1030 and enter the passcode (3344290).

If you plan to participate in this teleconference consultation or have any questions, please contact Orville Lind, Native Liaison at 1 (800) 478-1456 or 1 (907) 786-3953 or by email at orville_lind@fws.goc or subsistence@fws.gov. For more information about the Federal Subsistence Management Program, please visitwww.doi.gov/subsistence.

BSNC Announces Special Emergency Elder Dividend Distribution

By Media | Published: March 23, 2020

BSNC Announces Special Emergency Elder Dividend Distribution

The Bering Straits Native Corporation (BSNC) Board of Directors has voted to declare a special emergency Elder dividend distribution of $250. This special distribution will be paid through the BSNC Beringia Settlement Trust on a tax-free basis to original BSNC shareholders who are 65 years of age or older on March 20, 2020, the date of record. Checks will be mailed or deposited the week of March 23.

“This action was taken out of care and concern for our Elder shareholders as they prepare for the COVID-19 pandemic,” said BSNC Board Chairman Henry Ivanoff. “We hope this dividend helps Elders during these trying times.”

BSNC Announces Emergency Dividend Distribution

By Media | Published: March 23, 2020

BSNC Announces Emergency Dividend Distribution

The Bering Straits Native Corporation (BSNC) Board of Directors has voted to declare a special dividend of $3.00 per share to be distributed the week of March 23. The average BSNC shareholder who owns 100 shares of stock will receive $300. This dividend distribution will be paid through the BSNC Beringia Settlement Trust so that it will be tax-free to our shareholders.

“The BSNC Board recognizes that the coronavirus epidemic has caused an unprecedented public health crisis,” said BSNC Chairman Henry Ivanoff. “I encourage all shareholders to prepare for possibly long-term disruption in travel and the food supply, and practice social distancing by staying at home as much as possible.”

“In providing for a special dividend distribution, we want to do what we can to help our shareholders deal with the COVID-19 pandemic,” said BSNC President & CEO Gail R. Schubert. “We have adapted to many changes, are resilient and look out for each other. This is an important traditional cultural value. I pray that you and your loved ones remain safe and healthy during this pandemic.”

BSNC will continue to closely monitor guidance from the CDC and state health agencies regarding this pandemic and continuously update its shareholders through its regular communication channels, including the Agluktuk newsletter, our social media outlets and on BSNC’s COVID-19 public resource webpage at www.beringstraits.com/covid-19-update/. We are happy to help answer any questions you may have via email at health@bsnc.net.

2020 Census

By Media | Published: February 13, 2020

2020 Census

Participating in the Census determines how billions of federal dollars will be spent over the next 10 years. Historically, Alaska Natives have been hard to count. As a result, tribal programs—like Head Start—have been underfunded. If you’re Alaska Native, you can help our communities and families get our fair share by answering two questions.

  • The first question asks you to identify your ‘race?’
  • If you check the ‘American Indian or Alaska Native’ box, the second question asks you to list your ‘tribal affiliation.’

Alaska Native people can answer the ‘tribal affiliation’ question different ways, however; BSNC encourages you to list your federally recognized tribe.

  • If you can’t remember the name for your tribe, you can write in the name of your village.
  • You can even write in more than one tribe (or village) if you associate with more than one.

Here is the list of federally recognized tribes in the Bering Strait region:

Native Village of Brevig Mission
Native Village of Council
Native Village of Diomede (Inalik)
Native Village of Elim
Native Village of Gambell
Chinik Eskimo Community (Golovin)
King Island Native Community
Native Village of Koyuk
Native Village of Mary’s Igloo
Nome Eskimo Community
Native Village of Saint Michael
Native Village of Savoonga
Native Village of Shaktoolik
Native Village of Shishmaref
Village of Solomon
Stebbins Community Association
Native Village of Teller
Native Village of Unalakleet
Native Village of Wales
Native Village of White Mountain

The 2020 Census is here – make sure you are counted.

2020 Census: List of Federally Recognized Tribes in the Bering Strait Region

By Media | Published: February 10, 2020

2020 Census: List of Federally Recognized Tribes in the Bering Strait Region

As you may know, the 2020 Census began here in Alaska on Jan. 21, 2020 in Toksook Bay. The Census is quick, important and confidential and takes about 10 minutes but the results determine how billons of federal dollars will be spent over the next 10 years.

If you’re Alaska Native, you can help our communities and families get our fair share of federal funding by answering a two-part question on the Census questionnaire. The first part asks you to identify your ‘race?’ If you check the ‘American Indian or Alaska Native’ box, the second question asks you to list your ‘tribal affiliation.’ You will then write in your tribe(s).

Here is the list of federally recognized tribes in the Bering Strait region:

Native Village of Brevig Mission
Native Village of Council
Native Village of Diomede (Inalik)
Native Village of Elim
Native Village of Gambell
Chinik Eskimo Community (Golovin)
King Island Native Community
Native Village of Koyuk
Native Village of Mary’s Igloo
Nome Eskimo Community
Native Village of Saint Michael
Native Village of Savoonga
Native Village of Shaktoolik
Native Village of Shishmaref
Village of Solomon
Stebbins Community Association
Native Village of Teller
Native Village of Unalakleet
Native Village of Wales
Native Village of White Mountain

The 2020 Census is here – make sure you are counted.

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OFFICESBering Straits Native Corporation
OFFICESWhere to find us?
BSNC is headquartered in Nome, has a business office in Anchorage and site locations and offices across the U.S.
OUR LOCATIONSWhere to find us?
ANCHORAGE
3301 C Street, Suite 100, Anchorage, AK 99503
NOME
PO Box 1008. 110 Front Street, Suite 300, Nome, Alaska 99762
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Follow BSNC for news, updates, stories, and opportunities to share in this journey.
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