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Village Life Stories

BSNC’s Village Life Stories Project seeks to share the Bering Strait region’s rich cultural history. BSNC shareholders and descendants are invited to submit short stories of personal experiences about growing up and life in the village to media@beringstraits.com. Photos are not required but encouraged. Story entries must be accompanied by the author’s name, hometown and a story title.

The Calm Ocean Water by Jermaine

There was a year when my father and I would wake up every day exactly at eight o’clock in the morning. We woke up every morning because we wanted to go see how the weather for the day would be, except we wouldn’t check the weather anywhere else but at the west beach. We went to the beach every morning to go see how the ice and ocean looked. It looked the same every day but not literally. One frosty, good, cold morning, my father Alexie, Chris and his father Daniel had went down to the beach ready for a beautiful day once again in the Bering Sea. Agra’s cousin Herby had come down to the beach too to join us on a boating trip to “other side” to go hunting for walrus. Read more…

Whaling in Gambell, Alaska by Ethan

There was a crew of Native men that always went boating from spring to the end of summer time. One morning, they were getting ready to go out whaling, dressing up warmly, making hot beverages, and making food for the trip. As soon as they were done getting ready, they then picked up the gasoline from the Native store and brought it down the beach near the boat. After they had brought the gas to the beach, they had to turn the boat around and push it to the edge of the ground near the ocean. Read more…

Grandma’s Secret Berry Picking Spot by Sarah

As I looked all over, there were trees like giants in one corner and mountains in the other. “Where are we grandma? I don’t remember this place.”

“That’s because you never been to my secret berry picking place.” she replied smiling. My Grandma was still sitting on her four wheeler with her eyes meeting the ocean, and I decided to start picking. I was filled with hope that I would fill my bucket with berries as big as grapes, just with that thought I smiled and left to look for berries. Read more…

About Shishmaref and Hunting by Kaden

Hunting walrus we need to go in the ocean. Walrus do not be on the ground they be on the ice. Walrus snore really loud. When we shoot not too far from the walrus, they don’t wake up. Hunting walrus it is very dangerous. The walrus can make a hole in our boat. Some Walruses live together. They have two tusks. Walrus sink if you shoot them if they are in freshwater. Read more…

Arctic Arc by BSNC shareholder Vernae Angnaboogok of Wales

The Iñupiat community of Wales, Alaska, traditionally known as Kiŋigin, lies along a long sandy beach at the base of the Wales Mountain and is located at the most northwestern tip of the Seward Peninsula on the Cape Prince of Wales. Kiŋigin rests alongside the Bering Sea, about 25 miles from Big Diomede Island, traditionally known as Imaqłiq, and about 55 miles from mainland Russia. The population is about 160 today, but was once was about 800. Traditionally, during my great-grandparents time, Inuit traveled back and forth across the Strait by umiaq to visit and trade with family, celebrating our trading customs that spanned from Siberia to up and down the coasts and inland of Alaska. Read more…