Eskimo Indian Aleut
AFOGNAK ................................. 1
ALITAK ................................. . 3
ANVIK .................................. .. 4
ATTU ................................... ... 6
BARROW ................................. .. 7
BEAVER ................................... 12
BETHEL ................................. 13
CANTWELL ............................... 14
CHIGNIK ................................ 15
CIRCLE ................................. . 16
DIOMEDE .................................. 18
EAGLE .................................. .. 20
EGEGIK ................................. . 21
ELIM ................................. .. 22
FLAT .................................. . 23
FORTUNA LEDGE (MARSHALL) ............... 24
FORT YUKON ............................ ... 26
GALENA .............................. ... 31
HAYCOCK ............................... ... 32
KARLUK.................................. . 35
KENAI .................................. 34
KING COVE ........................ ..... 36
KIVALINA ............................... 37
KOKRINES ............................... 40
KOTZEBUE ............................... .. 41
KOYUK .................................. .. 42
KOYUKUK ............................. ..43
LONG BEACH .. 44
MANLEY HOT SPRINGS .................. . 45
METLAKATLA ............................. .. 46
NASH HARBOR .... ................... 48
NEELIK ................................. .. 49
NOATAC ................................. 51
NOORVIK ................................ 54
NULATO................................ .. 56
NUNAPITCHUK ............................ . 58
PERRYVILLE ........................... .. 60
PILOT POINT ............................ .. 61
PILOT STATION ........................... 63
POINT HOPE ............................... 64
POINT LAY ............................. 65
RAMPART ................................ .. 68
RUBY ..................................... . 75
SELAWIK ................................ 76
SHISHMAREF ............................. 79
SNAG POINT .............................. 80
STEVENS VILLAGE ........................ ... 81
ST. MARK'S MISSION ..................... ... 82
TANANA ................................. 85
TATITLEK ................................. . 85
TELLER ................................. .. 86
UNALAKLEET ............................. .. 87
UNALASKA ............................... . 88
WAINRIGHT ............................. .. 90
WHITE MOUNTAIN ......................... . 91
WISEMAN ................................ 94
YAKUTAT ................................. .. 95
ALASKA VILLAGES 1939-1941
My home is located among the first islands on the Aleutian chain,
on Afognak Island, near Kodiak. It is on the coast so that means there
are lots of boats that travel back and forth, some from outside and
others from almost all parts of Alaska from Seward to Unalaska. Our only
way of travel is by boats.
The climate is quite favorable: hot in summers and with very
There are about 300 people in the village of which one-third is white.
For a living the men fish in the summer and hunt in the winter.
During the three summer months they do a lot of fishing of all sorts and
for all sorts of fish. They then sell the fish to a cannery and after
the summer months are over they go out and get fish for their own use,
for instance they dry fish, salt, and smoke them. That is for their
own winter use. Besides these things they grow all kinds of vegetables
which are very useful to the people.
In the winter they go hunting foxes for their fur and some
ducks for their food. Of course there is some other meat they can get,
like bears, elk and rabbit. They sell the fur that they get. Some are
lucky but still others don't get as much as the ones who are the most
experienced hunters. There are two or three fox farms, but they are
all owned by the white people.
For recreation they have dances which is one of the best hobbies
of the younger generation especially. Then there is baseball, basketball
and other games which the white people have brought in with them. They
have parties and school programs quite often and so that helps us natives
to be sociable.
The village is governed by the principal of the school and it
helps the people a lot.
Quite a few of the people have been outside and have got some of
their friends from the States interested in the village. Some persuaded
them to come and see for themselves. Then, too, there are a lot of
boats traveling and tourists who are on board come ashore and look over
There are now more boats than there used to be and they come
oftener. It seems as thought whenever the people go to a place like Sew-
ard or Kodiak that they come back with something new to do every time.
And they are always willing to show their fellow men the things they
Most everyone who can afford to buy a radio has one. Of course
they are not electric like we have here at school, but they are battery
Some people who can really afford electric lights have a little
motor which we call a Delco. It is kept in the basement and is a great
help and some younger boys are having lessons on how they work.
They used to have silent moving pictures before but now they
have talkies which the Coast Guard cutters have helped the villagers to
Since we have a new schoolhouse they have had nice, worthwhile
books which all the students enjoy reading in our little school li-
They have improved the hospital down in Kodiak for
the use of the natives from the nearby villages like Ouzinkie and Afognak. They
also have a new and well-experienced doctor.
The homes of the people in the village are becoming more and
more attractive slowly but surely and the people are very hospitable.
My home is 550 miles from
Anchorage, on the southwestern cor-
ner of Kodiak Island. There is a population of only 95.
We fish for the canneries and work there, too. The price of
work there is seventy-five cents an hour. We fish two months and five
days, then get paid off according to how many fish we caught and sold
to the cannery. In a good season we make lots of money, but sometimes
it isn't so good. After we get paid off we buy our winter supplies of
food and clothes.
We have dances and play ball and go skating for amusement;
some people go to Kodiak in the fall and others go to Karluk. To go to
Kodiak we have to go by water, but we can walk to Karluk overland. It
It takes four days hiking to make it, but there are cabins along the way
where we can stop overnight.
Alitak is governed by the government school teachers. In the
summer there are fish wardens around to see that the fishermen obey the
fishing laws, and the game warden comes around once in awhile, too.
My home is a small village called Anvik,
located in the interior of Alaska; the Anvik River
flows into the Yukon and the village is at the mouth
of the Anvik. There are hills surrounding the place
and mountains in the distance so that most people who
come to see Anvik admire the beautiful sunsets we
have, and the pretty scenery.
The climate is very changeable in the win-
ter; sometimes the thermometer will drop to 60
below zero, sometimes it is mild all winter and rains
quite a bit. The first part of the summers are quite
warm but in August and September it rains quite a bit
and gets cooler.
There are about ninety people in the vil-
lage. Ten years ago Anvik was a larger village with
a population of about 200, but in the spring of 1927
all the people had the flu and pneumonia, and the
result was that most of the older people and some of
the young folks died at that time.
Most of the people leave the village in the
summer, scattering around the Yukon to do their fish-
ing, since the kings and silver salmon do not go up
the Anvik River. Some of them catch whitefish as
well as the king, silver and dog salmon; they salt
some of them, putting them in kegs for future use,
can some of them, make up salmon strips and use the
rest for dog feed. Most of the
people stop their
fishwheels on Sundays and spend the day in Anvik.
The 4th of July is always spent in the village. Most
of the villagers raise good garden vegetables.
Some of the people cut cord wood during
the winter and then sell it to the SS Nenana during
the summer. Some of the men work at the sawmill in
summer; the men bring in a raft of logs and the
Mission sawmill cuts it for themin payment they
give half the logs to the Mission. Others work for
the mission during the summer. In the fall the men
leave home for their winter camps but the women stay
in the village so their children can go to school.
The men trap for foxes, wolverine, mink, otter,
weasels, marten, beaver when the season is open, but
come home about once a month and on all the holidays.
The women, in the meantime, make and sell beaded
moccasins, mittens, cushions, gloves, scissor cases,
and picture frames, fur boots, caps, parkas,
and fur mittens.
The people all like to dance at home so they
have them quite often, celebrating every holiday with
dancing. We skate, ski and, drive dogs and have par-
ties. The days we enjoy the most are Halloween, Christ-
nes, Valentine's Day, Easter and the 4th of July. They
have card parties quite often, too. Picnics are also
one of the main recreations.
Most of the people have outboard motors,
or larger gasboats. Those who don't own one of them
are able to borrow from their neighbors when they
have to travel from place to place. But if they are
going longer distances, they travel on the "Nenana".
In the winter they use their dog teams, but in emer-
gencies they often go by plane.
There is an. Episcopal Mission at Anvik and
the one in charge looks after the village. The U. S.
Marshal passes thru once during the summer and the
head of the Mission gives him a report about the
About five families have radios, and there
is a lot of visiting around at nights to hear the
news from KFQD. The ones who have short wave listen
in the day time to amateurs and their friends go in
to listen, usually saying, "Well, I came to hear the
The "Nenana" comes every two weeks in the
summer, bringing our mail and freight for four months.
during October while it is freezing up we do not get
any mail at all. The first of November the mail
plane cones with mail every two weeks for six months.
During May while we are waiting for the ice to go,
we get no mail till the boat starts running.
The people who are most ambitious raise
good gardens in the summer; lettuce, cabbage, tur-
nips, rutabagas, beets, carrots, radishes, onions,
spinach, potatoes, peas and cauliflower. The mission
has its own hothouse where they raise tomatoes, cu-
cumbers and green peppers: they sell some of these
things to the villagers.
[signed] Alberta Fisher
Attu? Some people lift an eyebrow, shrug
or shiver. They wonder how anyone could live out there
and be contented. Yet to my ideas of happiness, I don't
believe I have ever seen a happier community!
It is the last island of the Aleutian
chain and is rather large in size, but the village it-
self has a population of only 45.
In the summer, the climate is very warm,
But gets very cold in the winter time, tthe temperature
often reaching 30°.
All the men fish for cod to be shipped to
the states, to say nothing or halibut and salmon that
is caught for their own use in the way of food. Another
food considered very delicious is fresh seal meat.
Having eaten it myself, I know it is much more tender
than beef but of course tastes differ.
Ways of recreation vary in this small vil-
lage. People amuse themselves in any way possible.
During the year there are only three boats. Of course
they do have their dances quite often. In short, they
have few means of recreation.
Every Sunday, the entire village attends
church, but are not in any manner foolishly religious.
They have their own religion and they have established
a new church by themselves.
The only means of travel is by boat. They
own their own power boats and do all their yearly seal
hunting by boat. Every fall the men with their fam-
ilies leave for the fox islands to trap and remain un-
The village is practically self-governed.
Of course they have a chief to care for all the money
The people have little or no contact with
the outside. This is due to the fact that the island
is so far out of the way.
Improvements may be made by more frequent
boats calling at the village. Radios, doctors and a
nurse would, help, but what they would want for their own
happiness is hard to say.
[signed] Stephainta Tarkauoff
Barrow is located on the northern-most part of Alaska. It is
on the shores of the Arctic Ocean. The place is a low country; there are
no mountains and no trees. It is just bare tundra. The climate is al-
ways extremely cold in winter. The temperature goes down to 45° below
zero and sometimes more. In summer the weather is quite warm. The hot-
test part is usually in July. The sun never goes down in the months of
June, July and the first part of August. There are no nights during
those months. The place starts freezing up in September and the ocean
freezes up in the month of November. The sun disappears in December and
reappears on the twenty-first of January.
The population of Barrow is from 400 to 600. When the people
all gather together at Christmas time it is usually 600.
In the 18th Century Barrow used to be a whaling place. Many
sailing vessels would come for whaling from the United States. They
would return home with ship loads of blubber and whale bones. Sometimes
three or four ships would winter in Barrow and also east of Barrow. Quite
a number of ships were wrecked at Barrow in those days. The remains of
these wrecks can still be seen, things such as big tanks and heavy boilers.
The chief occupation of Barrow people is hunting game. In win-
ter there is fox trapping, wolf hunting, seal hunting, hunting for polar
bear, and also the fishing in the interior. Trappers sell their skins
in exchange for white man's food and stuff. In wolf hunting they get a
bounty for the skins they get. They can also sell the skins at the stores.
Wolf is used for parka ruffs. The legs are used for high boots, which are
very useful in winter.
The seals are also very useful. The meat is used for food and
the blubber is put in seal pokes and conserved for winter use. The skin
is used in many ways. It is used for fines, seal nets, and waterproof .
boots and for soles. The Ugrood skins are also used for boot soles, for
heavy lines and oomiak [umiak] covering and for kyaks [kayaks].
There is also a reindeer company owned by the natives. Almost
a whole village owns reindeer. They butcher reindeer in fall and summer.
The meat is used for food while the skin is used for parkas, fur pants and
for fur socks and mittens. The meat is sometimes sold to the whites at
eight cents a pound.
In the month of April there is whaling. This is the most import-
ant of all hunting. When one whale is caught everyone in the village
gets his share. Sometimes when the whalers are fortunate enough they would
catch nine or ten whales in a spring. The skin boots are used in whal-
ing for they are easier to handle in case of danger from the ice breaking.
Once in a while the whale boats are used for whaling. The meat and muk-
tuk are stored in the ice cellars and the peoples houses, enough for the
After the ice breaks away, usually in July, they start walrus
hunting. The walrus hunting is the most exciting tine I've ever had in
my life. When you get into a big herd like a hundred or two hundred on
a big cake of ice it's a thrilling time. The walrus hunters just right
into them and shoot about at a distance of twelve or twenty feet way
from the herd. Sometimes the men would get up on the ice and shoot. From
a herd like this they can get anywhere from ten to twenty walrus. Some-
times they don't dare to shoot when there are too many because they are
dangerous when they are many. They can punch holes in boats with their
tusks. The meat is used for dog feed in the winter and the tusks are sold
to the stores.
To make money a few people work for the whites and in the sum-
mer they haul freight for the traders and the whites and make a little
money. In the fall they cut ice for the stores and earn more money.
There is also the whalebone basket making, which which increasing. Good
baskets are solf for fifteen to thirty dollars each. An expert basket
maker can finish one basket in less than a week.
For fuel we use pitch instead of coal. Driftwood is also used
a great deal. There is a pitch lake about 65 miles from Barrow. In
summer we use launches and dories for hauling pitch.
There are three stores in Barrow; two owned by whites and one
a native cooperative. The latter is getting bigger and better every year.
For recreation we skate in the fall; play fall; football and
volleyball, and celbrate the Fourth of July. On Christmas we play lots
of games and dance. After the whaling season is over we celebrate the
catching of the whales with "Nalookatuk". We have blanket tossing from
morning until evening.
Our traveling in winter if by dogteam; in summer by skinboats,
or launches. The mail carrier comes by dogteam three or four tines dur-
ing the winter; we get occasionally by plane and in summer our mail comes
by ship. We have a radio stationoperated by the Signal Corps.
For government we have a U. S. Commissioner and also a village
Barrow is located on the farthest north tip of the Terri-
tory of Alaska. It is all tundra where no trees grow and no vegetables
can be grown. It is about one thousand miles north of Eklutna.
The temperature at Barrow goes about 50 degrees above zero
during the summer, and in winter it has been as cold as 45 degrees be-
low zero, tho it is usually not so cold as that.
The population is about 700.
The people of Barrow work as longshoremen, janitors, car-
penters, carving ivory, making whale-bone baskets, sewing skins and
making mukluks and parkas.
The people live on whale meat, seals, polar bears, walrus,
and many foods of the white men, which may be bought from the stores.
There are many things which keep the people of Barrow busy.
The women make parkas, boots, gun-cases, sleeping bags for men in the
winter, parka-covers and many other things. The men work at repairing
equipment, making iron stoves and building their small houses.
In the winter the boys and young men often play football.
Sometimes we go for dogteam rides just with three to five dogs, for
pleasure. We often play volley ball for recreation.
On the 4th of July everyone gathers for a big celebration
when they play all the Eskimo and white man games and have big feasts.
The village is governed by the commissioner and the native
village council, which is advised and directed by the school teachers.
[signed] Stephen Ahvakana
Barrrow is located on the northernmost part of
Alaska. Just because it is located there, most of the
people think it gets very cold, but Fairbanks, which
is quite a way south of Barrow gets just as cold as Bar- r
row or colder in the winter. The temperature is about
40 to 50 below zero in the winter and this summer the e
wamest we had was 50° above, which was too warm for most
of the people. The population is approximately 300.
Mostof the people make their living by hun-
ting all kinds of animals, foxes in winter, whales in n
Spring, walrus in Summer, and some of the people go u p
inland just before the freeze up and fish on some of the
creeks. So a fellow is kept very busy during the year
if he does all these things.
In spite of all the things that the people
have to do to make a living, they find time for recre-
atin. Holidays like Christmas and the 4th of July are
enjoyed by the people. Games are played which they like.
This summer the favorite ones were baseball and foot-
ball, Eskimo style. Five years ago just before I left
home I remember that on the 4th of July that every-
body played football. Men and women, boys and girls,
young and old played football and that was the only time
I have ever seen that happen. Nowadays just the young
people play the game.
Practically all the traveling where I come
from is done by dogteam. We have long winters up there
and during that time we use dogs for traveling. You
can't do much traveling in the winter if you don't have
dogs, so in order to have dogs you have to have feed
for them. My dad is always anxious to go out walrus
hunting so he can have lots of dog feed during the win-
ter. Without the dogs he can't have the job of carrying
the mail, which pays pretty well. Summer they use laun-
ches, whaleboats and canoes, getting from one place to
another. Airplanes are used rarely, and the wireless
operator up there has a snowmobile that he uses when he
goes on a trip once in a while.
The village is governed by the commissioner
and the council men. The commissioner hasn't much to
do unless something comes up like a man's stealing. The
council men do most of the governing but the commission-
er sometimes gets after the council men if they don't
see that the people clean up.
During the winter months we get our mail
four times a year by dog team. Summer we get mail by
boats that come up, and the airplanes sometimes go up
and bring mail. Like last summer, quite a few planes
came up and each one of them brought mail except the
Russian plane. All the whites up there have radios
and also some of the natives, so we get all the news,
and the wireless station is the place where we get the
news. The operator broadcasts twice a week, so the
people of the outside world knows what is going on wa y
[signed] Henry Panigeo
My home is located near the Arctic
Circle on the Yukon River. Thiss small town has
a population of about 150 people. There are
no hills near the river at that place, and the
nearest ones are about 14 miles back of the
town. These are low hills, however, with a
great many lakes.
The climate is cold in winter, the
temperature ranging from zero to 45 below. It
gets very warm in the summer, especially dur-
ing July and August.
The people at Beaver depend for
their living mostly upon trapping, altho some
engage in mining for gold or prospecting for
other minerals. The trappers sell their fur
to the fur buyers who come through Beaver or
to the store keeper in return for food and
clothing. Those who trap in the winters usu-
spend their summers in fishing--they sell some
of their fish, but most of it they keep for
themselves and their dogs.
For recreation the people read,
have dances, hike, ski, skate, take dog rides,
visit each other. In summer the boys swim
a good deal, but very few of the girls know
We travel by dog teams in the win-
ter; in summer with motor boats. Some of us
are able to travel by airplane winter or sum-
The only government we have is the
United States marshal. Contacts are made
with other people by travel, radio, news-
papers and magazines, and mail between vil-
[signed] Katherine McGuire
My home is located on mission ground--where
the first missionarys made their homes; later they
called, it Bethel. Now the people from below the town
are moving up to Bethel because they may receive
mail and supplies there by boat or air. The pop-
ulation now is about 300.
In the winter it gets very cold; January is
the coldest month, when the temperature stays around.
10° below zero. When one travels from place to
place by dogteam one feels the cold most.
The people fish starting in June or July
and either dry or salt, smoke or can the salmon.
In the winter there is some fishing for pikes,
with hooks, thru the ice. To earn money many of
the people work for the traders or do freighting
down the river or up the river as far as McGrath.
The Eskimos there trap or hunt fur-bearing animals
such as foxes of all kinds, mink, muskrat, beaver,
and land otter.
Recreations are Eskimo dances and games,
or moving pictures provided by the Northern Commer-
There are three schools in and near Bethel.
Two are in town and one is about 18 miles above
the village. One in Bethel is a government native
school, to the eightth grade. The territorial
school has classes to the l2th grade. The mission
school has classes to the 8th grade.
Travel is done mostly by dogteam in the win-
ter; by boats and airplanes in the summer. There is
a telegraph station in Bethel, and. many of the people
own their own radios.
Bethel is governed by a U. S. Commissioner
and a U. S. Marshal. The Eskimos have to have a
permit to kill the reindeer for their families. In
the fall and winter, they kill reindeer and save
the meat, and make parkas, mukluks and mitts from
[signed] Ivan Jordan
Cantwell, Alaska is the name of my hone town. It's a big name
for such a small place. It's just a small village on the Alaska Railroad
located near Mt. McKinley National Park.
How many people live in Cantwell; only between 20 and 30. Most
of the men work in gold mines nearby or just go out and hunt for a living.
Cantwell is a good hunting ground, most people travel around by dogteam
altho some use caterpillar tractors and. others use planes to go to the
Many of the people go outside from Cantwell after the freezeup
while the ones that are left usually go out trapping.
Most all of the houses have radios; radio is about the only
thing the people have to enjoy here besides the busting and fishing and
The snow gets very deep in the wintertime and sometimes the
ice covers the railroad tracks.
There are lots of brown bears and lots of blueberries around
the village. We stay clear of the bears and eat the berries.
Some people like Cantwell but it's too small for me.
Chignik is located on the lower side of the Alaska Peninsula.
The climate there in the winter is rather cold. It snows a lot and blows
hard enough to shake the houses. In the sunnier it is sunny most of the
time, raining mostly in the months of March and April.
There are four canneries at Chignik but only one is operating,
and that one is owned by Captain Crosby. Before when the Alaska Packers
cannery was operating, Cp. Crosby used to take in only natives from
Perryville and most of the Chignik natives for help.
We fish in the summer, for all kinds of fish. The natives buy
most of their food supply from Crosby's store because the prices aren't
so high as they are in the Packers or PAF stores. And they also put
up fish to smoke, dry and salt. In the winter the natives go up to the
lakes and trap and hunt for fur and caribou. Some of the white people
go out to their islands and trap foxes.
There are three stores and a liquor store which is owned by
a Mr. and Mrs. Anderson. We do not have a marshal there. But if some-
one does not obey the law they just send for Mr. Peterson, the marshal
at Unga. The population is about 210.
There were two schools; one government and one territorial.
When the boys and girls are thru with grade school they can either go
to the Jessie Lee Home at Seward or the Kodiak Mission for more school-
ing. Some of the boys and girls that are old enough to work in the
cannery go outside for a trip or go to high school, which many of them
have done in the past.
Circle is my home town, and is located near the Arctic
Circle; at one time, in the early days it was thought our village
was on the circle, hence its name; later it was found to be somewhat
In the early days there were five or six thousand people
living in the town of Circle, but times have changed and now there
are between one hundred and one hundred and fifty. I do not know much
of the history of the town except that the gold rush caused the place
to grow very rapidly, and the lack of gold has made it shrink.
During the winter, most of the people hunt and trap out in
the surrounding country. Some go to wood camps where they cut wood for
people who remain in the village. In the summer, most of the people
go to their fish camps where they catch and dry fish for winter use.
Winter is the time for many parties, dances, and all the
outdoor winter sports of sliding, coasting, skiing, skating and racing.
During the summer, there are usually parties only when the boats come
in and tie up on their trip from Whitehorse and Dawson.
We receive our mail every week during the winter; it comes
to us both by plane and by dogteam. In the summer, buses carry the
mail on the Steese Highway from Fairbanks, and the mail boats on the
Yukon bring mail from both up-and down-river.
In Circle we have a telephone system, tho there are very
few telephones. Many families have their own radios.
Circle is up along the Yukon River;
it isn't a very big town, with a population of
about 100 people. In the winter the weather is
so cold that the thermometer sometimes goes
down as far as 70 below or more. In the summer
it doesn't get so very hotonly once in a
while. It rains and blows a good deal in the
The people go trapping and hunting
in the winter. In the summer they make fish
wheels, and work in the stores or on the Steam-
boats. Those are the only ways of making money.
The men and boys go hunting and dry the meat
or fish and the women and girls pick berries
or make beaded mocassins or other things to
sell to tourists.
Circle has a church and a place to
dance. They dance on holidays only, and have
Church every Sunday. The women and men some-
times play cards or tell stories, while the
kids play with balls, go swimming or have pic-
nics. In the winter they go outdoors and
play with snowballs, go coasting, skating or
The people can travel by cars,
boats, and steamboats in the summer and in
winter they can go by dogteams, horses, or
by plane. There is a store in Circle, where
we get the mail. They have a radio station
in the N. C. Co. store and telephone in the
store and some other telephones in places
There is a road from Circle to Fair-
banks and on thru to Valdez. We get most of
our supplies from Fairbanks or Valdez. Even in
the winter we can travel to Fairbanksit is
162 miles to Fairbanks and about 520 to Valdez.
[signed] Lois Peters
My home is located in the Bering Sea, one hundred and eighty
miles northwest of Nome. The name of the island is Diomede. The
village is located on the west side of the island.
The climate of Diomede is much warmer than the mainland in the
winter time. The termperature ranges from twenty to thirty-five below
zero in the winter. In order to protect ourselves from cold, we use
mukluks and parkas. The parkas are made from reindeer and squirrel
skins. She mukluks are made from either reindeer legs or seal skins.
In the summer we wear lighter clothing. In the first part of July, we
have warm days until the last part of August. We have very little rain,
but in the winter the snow fall is rather heavy.
The approximate number of people on the island is one hundred and
The people at hone make their living by hunting and carving
ivory. Fishing is not so common. The fish they catch are bullheads,
tomcods, bluecods, etc. There is also some crabbing in the winter time.
The people over on big Diomede Island do more trapping than we do for
the reason that the island is much larger than our little Diomede and it
belongs to the Russian government. The Russians do not allow any Amer-
ican to trap foxes in their territory or get any kind of fur. About
eight or ten years ago we used to get most of our furs from Siberia,
such as reindeer, wolverine, wolf, and white fox. In April we start to
hunt for whales, seals and walrus.
Recreations at home are skating, snowshoeing, hand ball, foot-
ball and Eskimo dancing. Since there are no movies, the people spend the
rest of the evenings by telling jokes and old-time stories.
There is no traveling in winter time at Diomede, except going
to big Diomede. The distance is about five miles, and in the winter the
ice doesn't freeze up between the island usually. In the summer we
travel in skin boats equipped with outboard motors. They either go to
Siberia or Wales. In July half of the population goes to Nome to spend
the summer for trading. Most of our carving and skin sewing is sold at
Nome. They we return home on the MS North Star in October.
The village is run or governed by the village council. These
councilmen serve three year terms. A long time ago the village was run
by a chief whose name was Kosinga. The old Russian name of the two is-
lands was "Krusenstern". That was when the village was run by a chief.
I don't know why the name was changed
There is no wireless communication on the island, except the
radio receiving sets. No airplane comes to Diomede except for some
very special reason, during the winter. The MS North Star brings
groceries for the people on the island from Nome. At the same time
she unloads freight for the school teachers. The Coast Guard cutter
Northland comes in twice during the summer to look after the natives.
In order to improve the village there should be a doctor and
a nurse, and a hospital for the village. They should have a wireless
station and more radios, so the people on the island could have better
contacts with other places and from Outside. In order to have more
recreation there should be a gymnasium and a moving-picture show. There
are lots of other things needed on the island in order to improve the
Arthur Ahkinga (deceased- 1942)
Note: Married Kate Brower, of Barrow, now teaching arts and crafts
at Pt. Lay, for the Office of Indian Affairs; two children.
My real home is at Eagle, which is about seventeen miles from the
Canadian boundary line. The climate there is very different during the
summers and the winters. The fomer are nice and warm, but the winters
are always brisk and cold.
There are just about two hundred people living in Eagle, counting
both whites and natives.
To earn their livings, the Indians often dry and sell fish to the
traders for money and food. In the winter some of them trap wild fur-
bearing animals. The rest of us cut wood for the steamers which travel
back and forth between Dawson and Nenana in the summertime.
For recreation our people play games like running races, boxing.
On the Fourth of July prizes are given to the winners. On every holi-
day we have big dances.
We travel by dogteams and steamers or on our own boats if we own
The village and town are governed by a U. S. Marshal and some
Councilmen. The Indians have their council, which was formed to help
each other in their government.
If we want to hear from our neighbors or friends in other towns
and places we often visit them or write to them in order to keep in
contact with them and learn how they are getting along. Letters and
packages are carried by planes, boats, and dog teams, depending on the
time of year.
If my people wanted to make more money in different ways, they
could put up a salmon cannery some place along the Yukon River and
make plenty of money for themselves and their families. There are lots
of ways they could make more moneyputting in movies, starting fur
farms, a library; but what we need most is a good hospital because we
have none in Eagle now.
Egegik is in Bristol Bay. It isn't a very big placethere's
about 95 people in the winter, but in the summer there are lots more
from other places, who come looking for work. There are two canneries
and they are now building a new one. There is a restaurant which is
run only in the summertime when there are lots of fishermen and cannery
workers around the village.
We also have a building in the village called the poolroom,
where the men and boys can go to pass away the time playing pool. We
also have lots of dances and show.
People in Egegik make their living by fishing for the canneries,
working in the canneries, and by trapping in the winter. We travel by
both airplane and boats.
I don't think Egegik is a very pretty place; there are no trees
around the village although there are just a few way out in the hills.
We all have wooden houses and have almost all the things that the white
people have. There are two stores, one owned by Mr. Evans and the other
a cannery store owned by the Alaska Packers.
Elim is located on Norton Sound, on the coast. Every Spring and
Fall one of the Coast Guard cutters stops there. Each time they bring
a doctor and dentist with them, who examine people. The town is just 100
miles east of Nome.
Elim is surrounded by trees and mountains. The trees there are
pretty. In the springtime when we go out walking we pick wild flowers
and play games and go any place that we want to go.
There are about 100 people in Elim. In the summer we go out
to fish in our fish camps. During the fishing season only two or three
families remain in the village. We stay away for two and one-half months.
Of course, some of us go back to the Elim to visit. When we are through
fishing we go berry picking for the winter. We put the berries into big
barrels and into seal pokes.
Transportation is mainly by dogteams, boats with outboard motors,
and sometimes by plane.
Most of the people fish for a living, but some go to other
places to work and some sell or trade furs to the stores there. But
most of them send their furs to Sears, Roebuck and Co.
The people at Elim are going to have a cooperative store soon.
We all hope it works out all right.
We live in log houses and get our water from the creek nearby
or from the spring which is less than a quarter of a mile away. The
school buildings are at the west end of the village and made up of the
schoolhouse, machine shop, woodshed, and teacher's house.
The mail boat comes only twice a month in the summer, but there
is no regular mail in the winter.
Flat is located in a long flat valley with
high mountains around it. It is about 300 miles
inland from the Yukon river and eight miles from
the Iditarod river which flows into the Yukon.
The population in the summer is about 335,
but only 125 in the winter; most of the people go
Outside during the winter and come back in the.
spring. The climate is very hot during the summer;
the temperature in the sun has been known to go up
to 108°; the winter months are much like those at
Most of the people work for wages-- some on
the dredges; some on the draglines, or bulldozers,
pumping stations, hydraulic lines or driving trucks.
The only recreations they have at Flat are
dancing the year around and skating, skiing and
dogriding in the winter.
Most of the people travel by plane. In the
summer, when the weather is fine planes come almost
every day, carrying passengers to and from Flat.
[signed] Keith Housler
Fortuna Ledge, or Marshal [Marshall], as it is gen-
erally called, is located on the Yukon River about one
hundred miles from the mouth or this mighty river.
The climate is satisfactory for raising
home vegetables in the summer. The average temperature
in the summer months is approximately 60 degrees above,
whereas in the winter the thermometer reaches 20 to thirty
The population varies a great deal due to
the fact that the native people of Marshal have to leave
town to do their hunting and fishing. In summer, prac-
tically all of the native inhabitants settle temporarily
along the Yukon and spend three months of fishing. Some
native men are fortunate enough to get jobs on the Willow
Creek gold mine which is nearly ten miles from Marshal.
Other men and boys cut wood for the steamer "Nenana"
that carries freight and mail from Nenana to the different
towms along the Yukon. In winter, mail is carried by
The three chief sports are: dancing,
skating, and mushing dogs. Swimming is not very common
at this place as there are no ponds or lakes in which to
do so. However, some of the younger residents take the
chance of swimming in the river.
Traveling is done by boat, dogteam or air-
plane. The latter is used mostly for long distance trav-
eling in winter. The dogs play a great part in carrying
our mail from St. Michael after the Yukon has frozen.
The town is governed by a deputy-marshal
and a commissioner. The marshal takes care of the "bad
people" as far north as Nome and up the river as far as
.Holy Cross, When cases are brought for a trial the com-
missioner takes the judges seat. I am glad to say that
residents from Marshal are seldom brought to jail.
Close contacts from the outlying districts
are obtained by telegraph, telephone and mail. The daily
news from the states and Foreign countries as brought to
us by radio.
There are various ways in which the com-
munity could be improved but it would rely upon the in-
dividual families to make these improvements, For in-
stance, the proper disposal of garbage, the proper means
of isolation for contagious diseases and better means
of obtaining sanitary water rather than from the river.
There is one underground water supply but looking at it
from a scientific basis it would not be fit for drink-
[signed] Emery Hunter
Fort Yukon is located, at the widest part
of the Yukon River. It is about 5 miles above the
Arctic Circle. The climate there differs very much in
the winter and summer. The coldest I have known it to
be was 78° below zero. In the summer it goes as high
as 98° in the shade. The average number of people at
Fort Yukon in the summer is about 300 or more, but in
the winter there are only about 150 left as most of the
people are out on traplines.
During the summer the people go to fish
camps. Salmon is the most valuable fish up there.
Some of it is dried in strips and others sliced. The
stores buy a lot of dog salmon from their traders. In
the winter people go trapping. Lynx, marten, beaver,
muskrat and a few other animals are caught. In May
most of the trappers come in and sell their furs.
Every week we have a dance and a movie.
In the Fall every one is enjoying skating and the first
fall of snow. On the holidays there is always a big
time. A certain group of people give what is known as
People travel from one place to another by
boats in the summer and by planes and dog teams in the
The village is governed by a deputy marshal
and a judge. If anything goes wrong the marshal takes
it up and they go to the judge. If it is too ser-
ious they have court and it is usually taken to Fair-
We hear from people from other villages
by mail which is carried from one place to another by
boats in the summer and in the winter we have planes
or dog teams to carry it. Most of the white people
have radios and some of the natives.
Some ways that the village could be im-
proved are to build a small salmon cannery. The homes
in the village could be improved a lot. The children
should have places to stay while they're going to
school and their parents go on traplines. I think a few
of these changes could be made and we would have a nice
The small rather thickly populated town
of Ft. Yukon is situated on the Yukon River. It faces
the river and is flat and unprotected from wind due to
the mountainless scenery. The winter is extremely dry
and cold but undaunted the majority of the male pop-
ulace goes ahead with the fur trapping, hunting, wood-
cutting and hauling. The young people in the meantime
When Spring comes most of the womenfolk
go out on ratting trips and after a large, catch the
rats are skinned, the skin treated and sold and, this
brings in a good sum or money or else traded for food
and such supplies. The skins are bought by white men.
Only recently have gardens been developed
and these thrive nicely during the hot summers. The
products from these are used by the household. Flowers
have not been considered quite as much yet.
Fall finds the younger people going to
school and the jamority of the older people at the
fish camps There fish are caught and dried. Bales of
fish are brought to town and sold or kept for dogs dur-
ing the winter season.
Every weekend rain or shine finds the
people enjoying a show or a dance. The other diversions
Include swimming, berry picking and boat riding during,
the summer. Winter and fall skating, snow shoeing and
Many families own a motor boat, canoes and
dogs. It is in these that they travel about as they
please can often carry letters and messages which are
very helpful to out of the way places. Airplanes are
not uncommon in transportation. The weekly steamer dur-
ing the summer season gives access to the outside.
Whatever trouble that may arise in town is
attended to by the marshal and the judge.
Recently radios have been installed in a
few places and are quite a subject of interest. I know
our place could be improved by constructing walks and
larger sized houses.
Fort Yukon is located on the Yukon
River, eight miles above the Arctic Circle and has
a population or about three hundred people.
In winter it gets very cold. One winter
it got as cold as 70 below zero, but in summer it
gets very warm at times.
In the winter the people go out trapping
for lynx, marten, foxes, and beaver. Early in the
spring they make their fish wheels, then about the
first of June they all leave for their fish camps.
The kind of fish they catch the most of is salmon.
They have a show house where the people
can go any night to see a show. A big dance hall and a
large ball field and a place where we play basketball
are also there.
The people travel mostly by small
boats or by canoes in summer. A river steamer comes
down the river once a week and goes back the next
week. In winter all their traveling is done by dog
The village is governed by the Chief or
Council, and they help the people in a lot of their
troubles. Also they have a marshal so he keeps peace
among the people and they also have a commissioner.
In winter the mail is brought once a week
by dog team from Circle to Fort Yukon and from Fair-
banks to Fort Yukon by plane. In summer the steamer
Yukon makes weekly trips from Dawson to Nenana.
Some of the ways we could change our
community are having or making better places to
dispose of our garbage, and making our homes more at-
tractive, and having a library.
Fort Yukon is situated on the northern-
most point of the Yukon River, where the Porcupine River
meets the Yukon. The River is supposed to be about 10
miles across but we can only see to the next island
which is about 5 miles. The country surrounding the
town is flat, with not even a hill in sight for miles.
The climate is extreme in the winter and the
summers are very mild. Thethermometer sometimes reaches
78°. But every one is bundled up so in parkas, boots on
and fur mittens in the winter that they don't mind the
cold at all. Everybody enjoys swimming almost every
day in summer, it is so warm.
There is a great variety in the kinds of
people that make up the population of the town. The
Indians make up the larger portion of it. There are
also many whites, and a few Eskimos. Then there is the
mixture of white and Indian blood, the half breeds and
the quarter-breeds. All in all the population amounts
to about 500. In summer of course there are more
people due to the fact that Fort Yukon is the place
where all trappers and traders from the outlying
villages and towns come with their furs to be either
sold or shipped outside.
Trapping is the main way of making a
living. In the fall of the year the trappers take
with them enough supplies for the winter, and leave
the town not to return until spring unless necessary
supplies are needed. Both the whites and natives of
the town make a living by trapping. During the summer
enough fish are caught for a family for winter. This
fish is dried, of course. September is the month when
the men get together and go on their annual caribou
Hunt. The caribou that they get are usually given to
the older folks who can't go out and hunt, and also
used for their own families. All the trading stores are
owned by the whites. Fort Yukon also boasts a very good
hospital, with 4 nurses and a doctor, a sanatarium for
TB patients and everything else a good-sized hospital
has. This hospital also serves the surrounding country
as far up the river as Eagle, and as far down the river
as Rampart. The Northern Commercial Company owns the
wireless station, where the daily weather reports are
sent and messages received from Fairbanks.
Dancing is the favorite sport of all the
younger people of the village and. for the old folks, too.
The older folks have their old-fashioned jigs and square
dances. Every week there is a movie shown. These
movies Were all silent until recently a talking machine
has been installed. There are many other sports that
are enjoyed such as skating, swimming, and dog team
riding. During holidays or after a caribou hunt we
sometimes have a big potlatch, to which everyone comes
and eats their fill. It is during Christmas and New
Years that this feasting is carried on for about two
weeks. To get to the nearest us village, one can go in
launches or canoes or in the winter by dog-teams. In
the summer, there are the weekly river steamers that
make traveling easier. Planes come over quite often
from Fairbanks with mail and passengers or tourists.
Our town doesn't seen to be complete with-
out our marshall and jail, not meaning of course that
our people are rough and rowdy but for other pur-
poses too. When a native has done something wrong the
village Council usually takes it up first and then turns
him over to the judge to settle. The natives have also
a chief who is at the head of the Council.
Most of the town's homes that can afford
a radio, have one. This is one way of keeping up
with the outside. During the winter we get weekly
mail by dog-teams and also by plane. In summer the
riv er steamers bring mail, freight and passengers.
Just about all summer long there is heavy tourist traf-
fic because of the many tourist that want to get to
Fort Yukon to see the midnight sun. Of course one can
see the sun at other points along the river but Ft.
Yukon is about 7 or 8 miles above the Arctic Circle
and that makes it more exciting for the tourists. Other
attractions are the church and it's old graveyards, where
the dead, of the Hudson Bay expedition,. Which first
discovered the town, are buried.
We also have at Ft. Yukon, a mission, which
is supported by the churches. This happened to be the
place where I lived a while before I came here.
One way in which I think our village could
be improved is by building more attractive homes, altho
the people seem to be quite satisfied with their small
log cabins even if some are not attractive. A better
means of disposing of garbage and a better water supply
are truly improvements that should be had. Everyone
dumps their garbage into the river and everyone gets
his water from the river, too. Maybe a couple of wells
built in the village would help.
[signed] Martha Carlo
My home is on the Yukon Fiver. It's not such a very big place-
only about seventeen houses and a little less than a hundred people there.
In the winter time we usually fish with nets under the ice, but
in the summer we fish with fishwheels. Of course we go out trapping for
furs and go hunting for game.
Galena just looks like a fish camp to most people, but just the
same we have lots of fun; dances of course whenever people cone from a-
nother place to celebrate. We have lots of visitors from Nulato and from
Koyukuk. Of course we have no cars or trucks, so they come by boat in
the summer or by dogteam in the winter. We do not have any cows, horses,
pigs or chickens.
We play baseball and handball, but the thing I like best to do
is go dogteam riding in the wintertimes. Sometimes we go out riding with
a dogteam, boys and girls mixed; then sometimes the boys would throw
the girls in the snow; the girls would get cold so we'd wrap them all up
We have no real government at Galena, but there is a Deputy
U. S. Marshal not far away in case anything serious happens.
Haycock is a small town of less than one hun-
dred people. It is located near the Koyuk River
on Dime Creek, a tributary. It is built on the
side of a hill. Dime Creek runs thru the place
where the dredge works; and, of course, there are
trees all around. In the winter it sometimes
gets over forty degrees below zero.
For amusements we ski, skate, swim, coast,
dance, play baseball, lap ball and other outdoor
and indoor amusements.
For a living most or the people mine and a
few trap. Some cut wood for the miners, the
school and for some other people. W get mail
by planes, dogteams and boats. The planes land
at Landing, a small place seven miles from Hay-
cock, where the boats come in the summer time.
From Landing the mail is carried to Haycock by
dogteam. In the summer it is carried by the
tractors. People travel by dogteams, boats and
planes. Two fellows even came from Nome last
winter on skis.
There is a radio station at Koyuk, fourteen
miles from Landing where people can send mes-
sages in cases of emergency.
[signed] Harry Beltz
My home which is located on Kodiak Island has a
population of about 200. The climate is quite favorable down there
and in the summertime the weather is quite warm while the winters are
In the summertime the men go fishing and sell the fish
to some cannery. After the summer season is over they go fishing for
their own use for winter. They dry, smoke, or salt the fish for their
own use for their families. In the winter time they hunt for fox and
ermine for their fur, for which they get quite a reasonable price when
they sell them.
They do not have much in the way of recreation; they
have dances and silent pictures, of course, and the little children a-
muse themselves by playing games out doors and also some indoor games.
All the traveling is done by boats.
The village is governed by the teacher there; he also
has to take care of the people that are sick.
Some people who can afford to have radios have them
which helps the people to come in contact with other towns, villages,
and outside. Mail also helps to hear from other people.
My home is just a little town and the houses are scattered here
and there. There are three stores which aren't very big, but big enough
Kenai is located at the mouth of the river of the same name.
On one side of the river is our fish cannery and on the other side is the
little town. The population is about 350, and it is about 100 miles from
Sometimes in the middle of the summer there are very hot days,
but most of the time it just rains. Once in a while we have terrible
For recreation in the summer the people dance, swim and listen
to their radios. In. winter we go skating, dancing and have parties at
Most of the men go fishing in the summer. Some make over nine
hundred dollars fishing, but some don't make that much. In the winter
they go hunting and trapping and sell their furs to the stores. That's
the way most of the people make their living.
On Christmas the people usually celebrate all day. The night.
before Christmas the school children give a program and then after that
there's a bundle of presents for everyone. Then we have a big dance.
We celebrate New Year's Eve by shooting off guns at midnight, and on the
Fourth of July we shoot off firecrackers all day.
Kenai is governed by a deputy Marshal. Every once in a while
a game warden comes around to check up on us, too.
My home is in Kenai, Alaska. In Kenai I live in a three room
house; there are two rooms downstairs, and one bedroom upstairs. The
village is located hair way up Cook Inlet on the southeastern side. The
population is about 350.
A long time ago there was a little village up the Kenai River
quite a way called Skitook where the people used to live before and later
they moved down the river towards the mouth and named the place Kenai.
In the summer most of the people go fishing. There is law
that you're not supposed to fish in any river or creek in which fish go
to spawn. There is a limit from the river to the location of the fish-
ing grounds. The fishermen get 21’ for good fish and 4½’ for poor fish.
Fishing is a good trade for some people make as much as $2000 in one
For recreation in Kenai the people dance or they go on hunting
trips up the Kenai River. The methods of travel are by boat and plane
in the summer and by plane and dogteam in the winter.
We have regular mail service and also have a radio telephone in
the village for communication with other places.
The place is governed by a U. S. Deputy Marshal.
King Cove is a small town located on a long
piece of level land with water on three sides and
two main channels; one on the South and the other
on the East. The climate is very poor since it
rains practically every day. In winter it gets
only as cold as 10 or 12 above zero. In summer
it often gets up around 60 or 70 above.
There are about 80 people in King Cove in the
winter, but in the summer a crew of 100 whites
and 100 Chinamen come up to work in the fish
cannery. Most of the people work, and most of
them have little boats with which to travel
from place to place.
There is no government in the place. There
are only bosses for the cannery and the people
who work there. Of course, if things get too
bad, we have to send for a marshal from a neigh-
There are about 20 radio sets in the village-
almost one for every house; and a few of the
people have telephones. We receive our mail
only once a month from the steamer which connects
at Seward with the steamer from Outside.
Well, King Cove may be a good place for some
people but I certainly don't like it.
[signed] Edward Mack
Kivalina is located on a little is-
land surround, by the ocean and a lake. The
climate is very cold in the winterdown to
60 below in the winter around January; it
never seems to get so warm there as it does
In the fall there are about 150
people in the village but in the spring only
about 30, for that is the time when the
people scatter along the coast to hunt seals.
We do not bother about fishing except in the
Fall when we catch trout; fishing for them lasts
about a month.
Trapping is the most important way
of earning a living: in the winter they trap
red and white foxes and a little for wolves.
No other fur-bearing animals are seen except
weasels. The fox skins are usually sold to the
The recreations of the Eskimos are
native dancing, dogteam racing, foot races,
snow shoe races, wrestling, playing tricks on
each other. These tricks are really ways of
showing skill in athletics and stunts.
Travel is mostly done by dogteam
in the winter and boats in the summer. In
summer when the men are inland where they are
rounding up the reindeer, they have to walk
on foot for miles.
The village is governed by the
Civic Club and the councilmen; they are doing
their best to keep everything in good shape.
The natives are always trying hard
to make their living and they seldom think of
buying a radio, but we do have one in the
village. The village is growing and there
may be more radios in the next few years.
[signed] Adolph Jones
Our village is located on kind of an island; it has
a lagoon right back of it which is about 13 miles long, and our vil-
lage has rivers on each end.
In winter time, the climate is very very cold. The
people all use fur clothes and the temperature goes down to 40° to
60° below zero. But in summertime the weather is warm, too, and the
temperature goes up quite high.
The number of people at our village is approximately
In summertime our people fish with nets and also seine
with long line of net in the rivers. In winter they hook fish from the
ice. In the first place, they make a hole in the ice and then they
put their hook in and wait until they have some luck and get a bite.
We trap only in the wintertime because the fur is so
good then. They also hunt seals and butcher reindeer. Otherwise in
summertime they go to Kotzebue or further South for work of different
kinds in order to make their living.
The recreations they have at home are Eskimo games and
dancing in both the Eskimo and American ways.
In the summer they travel in summer mostly by umiaks
or skin boats while in the winter they travel mostly by dogteams.
Our village is governed by councilmen; they vote one
person to be chief and the councilmen meet at certain times when any-
thing comes up to attend to.
Up North the mail comes by dog team from other villages
The Outside mail comes by ships or on mail boats. They go up as far as
Kotzebue. At our village the airplanes don't come very often. The
most of the planes come 10 our village from Kotzebue or further South.
There are not many boats in our village.
I think there's only one radio in our village and that
belongs to the school teachers and that is the only way we get our
news from other places.
At our village the houses are mostly made of sod framed
with driftwood. There are a few lumber houses, of course, but very
Theres not even one truck or car and no large boats and but few gas or motor boats.
Our village has the largest herd of reindeer and the
largest reindeer company in Alaska even tho it is so small. And the
people are as happy as other places and really very smart.
[signed] James Smith
My home is far up north about seventy-five miles above
Kotzebue and is on the coast of the Bering Sea about forty-five miles
below Cape Thompson.
The population of Kivalina consists of about 150
people. It gets very cold in the winter but it is warm in the summer.
It gets so cold in the winter that the people wear fur parkas and fur
The people do most of their fishing in the fall. The
village is very small but it owns quite a lot of reindeer. Toward fall
the reindeer herders go out in the mountains and round up the herds
of reindeer and corral them. They then mark them and chase them back
in the mountains. When the Motor Ship North Star goes by they round up
some of the herds and butcher some and send them to Seattle. The last
year before I came to school they butchered 1,070 reindeer to send
South to Seattle. The people start trapping on the first of November
and quit at the end of April.
For recreation the people at home skate, play ball,
dance, and other things of the sort. They travel mostly by dogteams
and by boats. The village is governed by seven councilmen.
The people of the village are in contact with other
villages by mail. This place is really a little island with the lagoon
in the back and the sea in front with one inlet from the sea and one
outlet from the lagoon.
I think if the people had a cannery for reindeer meat,
it would be better for the village.
[signed] Walter Wilson
If you were looking for Kokrines you would look between Ruby
and Tanana. There are hills almost all around it. The town itself is
built on a big hill. It is about 402 miles from Eklutna.
The temperature is sometimes very hot, but if it is there is
always a little breeze from the hills to cool it off. Sometimes in the
winter the temperature goes way down to 60° below or lower, but not very
often. The winds blow very hard in March and the first partoof April.
The ice starts running about the middle of September, and freezes in Oc-
tober. Around, the last part of October there is no danger of falling
thru the ice but before then it isn't vary safe to travel at night. The
snow gets very high and thick and takes a long time to melt.
There are about 98 people in Kokrines. They cut wood for the
steamboats, traders, school , and Northern Commercial Company down at
Ruby. They sell dried fish, meat, all kinds of berries, moccasins, boots,
and many other things to earn money.
We dance, have parties, play ball, play cards, and have plays
given by the children. They travel by canoe, motor boats, steamers,
plane and in winter by dogteam. They have one telephone in the store
that is connected with Ruby.
The village has a chief and some of the men to help him, but
if things get too bad, they can go down to Ruby where there is a U. S.
Kotzebue is located above the Arctic Circle
about 125 miles north or Nome. The thermometer rises to
about 60° in summer and in winter it is about 4:0° below.
Snow piles up about 20 feet in drifts. There is a pop-
ulation of about 400 people. In the summer people from
the Noatak and Kobuk Rivers coming down to fish set up
about a mile of tents, increasing the population consider-
One of the chief means of making a living
is fishing; it is also a sport. In winter a hole is
made thru the ice and a line is cast thru it. A large
pile of fish is caught in an hour when a lot of fish are
running. Another way of fishing in winter is casting a
net under the ice. Two holes are made about 30 feet
apart. A net is drawn down one hole and is anchored in
the other. Salmon fishing is common in summer. A lot
of hunting and trapping is done in the winter as soon as
the season is opened, quite a few foxes are caught. A
bunch of men go seal-hunting in the Spring. The meat is
dried and stored in seal oil.
Baseball is a favorite sport. A lot of
skiing and skating is done. On moonlit nights more than
50 skaters are out. There is a small show house where a
silent picture is shown once a week. Afterwards there is
Dog-teams are the most important means of
travel in winter; boats are in summer. There are a couple
of trucks--one owned by the Ferguson Company, which also
owns a motorcycle and 2 or 3 airplanes. These planes car-
ry mail between Nome and Kotzebue.
The town is governed by a marshal who takes
care of the tough characters of that town. There is a
small jailhouse in which drunks are kept for about a week.
There are a few radios by which we hear
news from the outside. Airplanes and dogteams carry mail
to and from the other towns and villages.
The natives could be more careful about
their garbage. Instead of dumping it behind their houses
or by the street they should take it way out on the ice
where it will be taken away at breakup time. Playgrounds
could be erected.
[signed] Bertha Schaeffer
Koyuk is located near Norton Sound. Part of
the village is located on the side of the hill which
is covered with trees, and part of it is nearer the
Most of the people herd reindeer and fish
for a living. A few of them work for the miners dur-
ing the summer.
The coldest it ever gets is about sixty below
in winter, but it is usually only between thirty or
forty below. In summer the hottest it ever got in
the sun was 116 above, but it is usually much cooler
The population is about 100. Nearly every
family has a dog team. With a team they can travel
almost any place in the winter. In the summer they
do all their travelling in boats.
Koyuk is governed by a Mayor who is elected
by the people of the village. There are also a few
other elected officers who manage affairs of the vil-
There is a dogteam mail-carrier who goes
from place to place with freight and mail. He usu-
ally goes thru Koyuk twice a week. The plane trav-
elling between Fairbanks and Nome also carries mail
and usually lands at Koyuk twice a week. The Pac-
ific Alaska airways has put up a wireless station
in the village to aid their flyers, since that com-
pany has the mail contract.
[signed] Henry Adams
My home is near the middle part of the Yukon and on the mouth
of the Koyukuk River. It is very cold in the winder and moderately
warm in the summer. In the village there are about 150 people.
Most of the people at home fish in the summer and trap in the
winter. In summer when all the people come from trapping they have
good times every night such as dancing, the native type, parties,
potlatches, etc. In winter there isn't so much recreation as in
summer and fall.
The most important way of travel at home is by dog teams in win-
ter and steam and gasboats in summer. Every winter there is aman
with a team of about 15 dogs who goes up and down the Yukon river and
carries the mail from all points. It is a very dangerous job.
In summer time we contact people with mail, telephone, river
boats and in winter with dog teams. There is a Signal Corps station
about 15 miles down river and it is used daily to bring weather re-
ports and messages to Anchorage to broadcast. It was out of order
last spring when the river flooded the whole town.
[signed] Gilbert Andrews
My home town is located on the Kobuk River. In winter time it gets
pretty cold but in summer it is mild.
The population of our village is approximately three hundred.
The people fish for grayling, white fish in the summer and about the
month of August they fish for salmon until freeze up.
In winter time they hunt red, white, blue, cross and silver foxes.
They trap all winter until March, and after March they trap for muskrats.
The native mine for gold also.
They play baseball, foot ball, skating, skiing, dancing, and a whole
lot of games. They also go to shows once a week.
They travel by dog team in the winter and by gas boats in the summer.
We get our mail by plane in the winter time and in summer by gas boats.
They are very friendly with each other. They trade for things they
My home town people are not very civilized as they should be. I think
there is lot of ways that they can improve. For instance:
They need more gas boats, build a cannery, more attractive homes,
Doctors and Nurses, fur farms and vetter ways of preparing food for
both winter use and summer. If they can allord to buy radios, I
should think it would be a good thing to do. But the thing is that
they would have a rather difficult time getting electricity. They
also need knowledge of crafts. If they all combine as one I think
they wouldn't have much difficulties in getting there little village
better than the rest.
[signed] Clarence Aden
Hot Springs is situated on a slough of one
of the tributaries of the Tanana River, above the
settlement of Tanana. The steamers stop at the dock
which is 5 miles out of town; there is only a ware-
house at the dock.
The climate there is very favorable; it is
warm in the summer, and very cold in the winter. The
population is about 100, which makes it quite crowded
since it is only a small village.
The people trap foxes, mink, coyotes, weasels,
otter, lynx, and wolverine. They hunt rabbits, moun-
tain sheep, moose, caribou, muskrats, porcupine, ptar-
migan, spruce chickens, ducks, geese, and cranes.
Fishing is another great industry; they fish
for different kinds of salmon: kings, silvers, and
chums; also whitefish, grayling, and lush.
Farming is another occupation. One of the
chief occupations of the people is the mining of gold.
The people travel from place to place by dog,
teams in winter and gas boats in summer, horses and
The only government of the village is han-
dled by the U. S. Commissioner.
There is one store at Hot Springs, owned and
operated by the Northern Commercial Company, but there
is also a roadhouse there.
For recreation the people skate, dance, swim,
ski and go picnicing and for dog team rides. Mail
comes twice a month in the summer by the steamer, and
in winter it is brought by dogteam and airplanes.
The people live in log cabins, which are very
cosy in the winter time. Almost every family has a
Hot Springs was named and is noted for its
warm water spring and anyone can bring their tubs and
washboards and wash their clothes at the spring.
[signed] Irene Westerlund
There are about six hundred Indians in
the progressive Alaskan town of Metlakatla,
which has running water in every Indian home,
electric street lights, sewers, a large salmon
cannery, the largest town hall in Alaska, and a
fifty-piece band or orchestra, with new, modern
instruments. The Indians also own and operate
a sawmill and a boatbuilding establishment. The
chief source of income is the salmon industry.
The Metlakatla colony on Annette Island,
Alaska, possesses a unique history. In 1856
William Duncan, a young Englishman, came to Fort
Simpson, British Columbia, as a boy missionary
of the Established Church of England, Missionary
Society of London. After five years at Fort
Simpson he founded an Indian village near there
which was called Metlakatla, and converted a-
bout one thousand Indians to Christianity. He
taught then self-government, to construct suit-
able log houses, thrift, morality, and the ways
of the white men.
The community prospered. In the course
of years, however, friction developed between
Mr. Duncan and certain officials of the church
and of the Government. This trouble began about
1880. As a result, Mr. Duncan and the Indians
decided to found another home elsewhere, and fi-
nally chose Annette Island, Alaska, as a desir-
able site for their new colony.
Mr. Duncan visited Washington, D. C. and
interested Government officials and members of
Congress in this work among the Indians and their
desire to migrate to Alaska. By Act of Congress,
approved March 5, 1891, Annette Islands were
set apart as a reservation for the use of the
Metlakatla Indians and such other Alaska natives
as might join them.
The colony has prospered. It is a self-
governing community, operating under Rules and
Regulations prescribed by the Secretary of the
Interior, January 28, 1915, with a Town Council
and town officials elected by popular vote.
The Office of Indian Affairs conducts a
school at Metlakatla which is its largest day
school in Alaska. The salmon cannery is leased
to a commercial operator, under a contract which
assures a large share of the profits to the In-
dians for community welfare and improvements.
During the last few years this has approximated
$40,000 a year. People who visit Metlakatla for
the first time invariably express surprise at the
advance in civilization which has been made for
these Indians in a comparatively short period of
The Natives of Alaska have retained, tho
in modified form, the essentials of the arts
and crafts of their forefathers. In Southeastern
Alaska the men, through expressive carvings,
sometimes bold, sometimes delicate, in wood,
slate and bone, testify to a sensitive interpre-
tation of the mythology of the Tlingits and
Haidas, rich in totemic symbolism.
Baskets are likewise produced by many
Eskimo villages. But the Eskimos are better
represented in the art field by carvings in
ivory, executed with fidelity to a style set
centuries ago by a cultural era now passed, a
style often compared with the impressionistic,
palaeolithic drawings of the caves of Southern
D. E. Thomas
(From Indians at Work---July 1, 1935)
The location of my home is on the north
side of Nunivak Island. It is beside a small river or
lagoon. The weather is not so cold as farther north,
but sometimes it was 20° below zero when it was the
coldest. There are only about 65 people.
In summer we fish for codfish, salmon, and
some trout. We hunt, too, in the fall, for seals when
our fishing is over. In winter those men and boys who
are not in school hunt and trap foxes.
The people have Eskimo dances almost every
month. In the winter they play Eskimo football, too.
They travel mostly in kayaks, but sometimes
when they have enough walrus skins they make umiaks
or skinboats. The use dogteams in the winter.
The village has no commissioner or any other
Form of government, so the headman of the village
rules the people with the aid of the teacher.
We have radios that gives us news as well as
music. In the winter we have no visitors from the
mainland, and we have to wait until the ice melts in
the spring before we can get any mail. The only way
the mail is brought is by Coast Guard cutters and other
boats. The traders travel regularly in the summer,
trading merchandise for baskets, foxes, and ivory car-
[Signed] Arthur Nagozuk
Neelik is a small village about sixty
miles north of Selawik. It is located at the mouth
of a small slough on the Selawik
In the summer tine, the temperatures av-
erage from sixty to seventy degrees above zero. Only
in rare instances has it ever reached eighty degrees
above zero. In general, the climate at Neelik is very
moderate. In winter the temperature almost never goes
below sixty degrees below zero and never goes above
twenty above. It usually ranges from thirty to fifty
Unlike most towns, Neelik has more people
in winter than in summer. In winter there are about
15 families at Neelik, but in the Spring most of them
go away to their various fish and muskrat camps and stay
away all summer. In winter the men go out hunting and
trapping foxes, mink, wolves, land otter, and once in
a while some hunter gets a lynx, which they trade to the
fur buyers and traders. In addition to that, they kill
reindeer, rabbits, ptarmigans, geese, etc. Also, in
summer, the people catch fish which they dry for winter
During the latter part of August, all the
women and children go out into the hills to pick blue-
berries, cranberries, salmonberries and currants. They
store these berries away in barrels and seal-skin pokes
for winter use. They also pick wild rhubarb in July,
which they cook and store away in barrels, also for
use during the winter.
As there is no school at Neelik, the boys
and girls have a lot of time to themselves. So when-
ever there is no work to do, they all hitch up their
dog teams and go out riding, play football or baseball.
If the weather is too stormy to be out of doors, they
all gather at one house and play cards, tell stories,
or dance to the phonograph, the guitar and sometimes
when they happen to meet at our home, to the radio.
There are also two favorite out of door sports that I
almost forgot to mention: skiing and skating.. As there
is a lot of snow up there, almost every boy and girl
has a pair of skiis, which they make out of birch wood.
As Neelik is only a small settlement,
there is no marshal or even a school teacher there, so,
whenever the natives are in trouble, they go to the
trader and he does whatever he can do for them.
The cheapest and most common means of
travel above the Arctic Circle in winter is by dog
team, and for the more well-to-do, airplanes. In
summer everybody travels by boats, mostly gasboats.
The only way the people at Neelik can
come in contact with people from the outside places,
in winter, is by radio, and thru the mail that an
airplane brings once a month. In summer, however, as
the boats run up and down the river all the time,
you can go down to Kotzebue, about 180 miles away, and
back again in a week.
Since there are quite a few families with
children that are of school age, I think that there
should be a school there.
Noatak village is located on the high
banks of the Noatak River in the interior from Kot-
zebue Sound. It is many miles north of the Arctic
Circle. The village itself is encircled, with many
trees and at the back of it there is a great lake.
In the winter it is quite cold and in
summer it is comfortable. In the coldest days of the
winter the temperature is some around 80Ί below zero.
Thus the parkas and mukluks made of skin are warm. In
summer an ordinary kind of clothes like we have here
now is used.
The population of the village at present
is at least around 200, but I am not sure.
In summer a lot of fishing for all sorts
of fish is done and they are stored for winter use
mostly while some of it is sold. Of course there are
many different kinds of hunting that the people do,
such as muskrat hunting and selling of the furs, and
also seal hunting. The skins and the oil from the
seals are sold and also the skin is made into clothing.
The meat is kept for food. In winter most people trap
for foxes, wolves, minks, wolverine, ermine, etc. The
foods that are Most used by people are such as rein-
deer meat, fish, caribou meat, all kinds of wild
berries, rabbits, ducks, and once in a while mountain
sheep and goat. There is very little growing of vege-
The people enjoy all sorts of interesting
native games such as native stunts, dances, football,
baseball, and sometimes parties for the school children.
The traveling in summer is mostly by boats
and in winter by dog teams.
The village is governed by the school
teachers and village council. When the people need help
they usually go to the teachers for aid.
To make contact with people from other places : mail
is brought in by either boats in summer or by dog teams
in winter and also by radio.
Some ways that the village could be im-
proved is by building up more attractive home. Or course
most people are quite satisfied with their log cabins
which are very cozy and loved by
the family. One could
also build a fur farm there.
There is a fur farm at the village but it is owned by
the whites. There are many ways that thev village can
be improved although it is a Very small village.
[Signed] Grace Barger (Stevens)
My home is located near the Bering
Sea and has a little river near it called the
Snake River. There are a few hills nearby,
and mountains not far away, with tundra dotted
with lakes and ponds in between.
The climate there is almost like
Eklutna except that it doesn't rain so much
and is much colder in the winter. The people
who live in Nome wear parkas, jackets, coats,
mukluks and heavy winter clothing.
In the winter Nome has a population
of about 700, but in the summer there are
1,000 or more. The people fish, trap, hunt,
or mine. They fish in the summer along the
beach and rivers; they mine along the beach;
in the winter they hunt seals and ptarmigan
and trap foxes and rabbits; ducks and geese
are shot both in the spring and the fall; and
both walrus and seals are hunted in the Spring.
For recreation we have dances and
games. White people have their dances where
they dance in their own way, while we Eskimos
have our own dances for recreation.
Travel is done by planes, steamers,
motor boats, skin boats, dogteams and skiffs.
The town is run by a city council
which takes care of most of its government.
There is a postoffice at Nome; a
landing-field for planes; and a radio sta-
tion. The mail is carried by dogteams and
planes in the winter, by planes and boats in
My home is located on a hill by the Kobuk
Rivor; it is half surrounded by the river and has many
beautiful spruce trees around the village. On its
north side, the mountains are about 19 miles away and
on its south side, about 22 miles. The village has
two streets; the upper one is called Spruce Street and.
the lower is called Birch Street.
The climate from November until April is
usually cold. In the summer, however, it is hot, from
70 to 90 degrees. In a year the ice in the river freeze s
4 or 5 feet deep and 2 or 3 feet of snow covers the
In the winter the people work and hunt for
a living. The women cook, make mukluks, parkas and
mittens. They use wood for fuel instead of coal. In
the Spring nearly all the people scatter out for their
muskrat camps and hunt for the next three months. In
summer they move to their fishing camps and fish for
smelts, sheafish, white fish, pickerel, mudsharks, trout
and salmon. The most important fish are the salmon and
the whitefish; A bundle of these fish contains 25 sal-
mon and a bundle costs about $4.50. There are 8 white-
fish in one string; one bundle contains 20 strings.
Its cost is now about $6.75. They sell these to the
traders and get what they need in exchange. Most of
the time the women pick berries and store them away for
On Thanksgiving they have a great feast.
Before they eat they have dog races, root races, and a
football game. At 4:00 p.m. they come to the feast
at the Friend's Church and stay until 9 o'clock. Then
the men and big boys go the native store and play
Eskimo games all night. On Christmas they have pro-
grams, feasting, racing and play all kinds of Eskimo
and white games until New Years.
In the winter time the people travel by dog
teams. Some richer people travel by planes. In the
summer they travel by motor boats and rowboats. In
the fall some of the people travel on their skate s.
The village is governed by councilmen; they
also have a judge, two marshals, and a secretary. No
gambling or other bad things are done in this village.
Every spring the village must be cleaned up.
Some people have radios in their homes and
they hear the news from other places. In winter time
the planes are used to carry the mail; in summer boats
are used. There is no postoffice in the village so the
mail is handed, out by the teachers: mail usually comes
once a month.
There is no doctor or nurse in the village
so the teachers see that the people get along. Most of
the people go down to Kotzebue to see the doctor. This h
is 60 miles from Noorvik. The population of the vil-
lage is 185.
[Signed] Louis Kagoona
Nulato is eighteen miles from the
mouth of the Koyukuk River. The climate is
mild and warn with a little rain in the sum-
mer and extremely cold around the middle of
winter with about 15 inches of rain during
January. There are about 200 people in the
The present village of Nulato is
not in the same place as before the famous
Nulato massacre took place when the Koyukuk
Indians wiped out the village. The old vil-
lage was about a mile below where it is now.
Most of the people were killd and their houses
were burned down; what few were left lived
around the Koyukuk mountain which was their
trapping ground and winter camp ground. They
finally settled ton the present site of Nulato.
Most of the boys of the village
either work on the river boats or go freigh-
ting to the Koyukuk mine which is turning out
good lately. There is also a sawmill there where
some of the people work.
Other people of the village chop
cordwood for the three trading posts or fish
during the summer with nets or fishwheels.
They often use fishtraps in the winter.
During the winter, December 25, is
a day set aside every year by the people for
their dances and the entertainments given by
the school children. March 17th is also a day
of recreation, especially for dog races, snow-
shoe races, and games. The most of the people
between Kaltag and Galena select good runners
and teams and try them out to see who will win.
July 4th is also a day of races, but different
kinds than in the winter; the one-man canoe
races for 2 miles; boat races with 4-6 men in
each boat; footraces; baseball games. Nearly
every Sunday they play baseball, handball, or
Transportation is by gasboats on the
river in the summer and dogteams in the winter.
For communication there is a telephone between
Koyukuk and Unalakleet and also a Signal Corps
The head of the government of the
village is called the Chief and he has a council
to help him talk over matters about dances,
and other things of more importance. A new
chief is elected every four years.
[Signed] Donald Stickman
My home is at Nunapitchuk, located on the
west side of the Kuskokwim Rive r. It is about 40 or
50 miles from Bethel by the river and about 28 miles
by land. It is on one of the tributaries of the Kus-
kokwim, called Johnson Slough. The place is nothing
but tundra and is very swampy and we can see for miles
around us because there are no trees except willows
about 3 feet high.
The climate is not very satisfactory during
the fall for it rains continually every week until
about the middle of January. In the winter it does not
get very cold except that it blows and drifts snow. Dur-
ing the summer months the weather is very favorable.
The sun shines almost every day.
The population of the village is 120 or a
few more. Most of the people live in mud igloos for
there are very few who live in log cabins, it is very
hard to get timber as far as the village; every summer
they go up to the Kuskokwim and cut logs for the win-
ter use and then drift then down stream.
During the summer the people all go down
to the Kuskokwim and fish for king salmon. Then they
go on up to the tundra in August to put up as many
berries in barrels for winter use as possible. In the
fall they fish for whitefish and black fish with dip
nets and fish traps. During the fur season they trap
for red and white fox, mink, and beaver.
For recreation in the fall they skate and in
winter they play football and baseball. In the even-
ings, they have their native dances which are very in- n
teresting to see, for even the five-or six-year olds
do the dances just as well as the grownups.
In the winter they travel by dogteams,
Which they use for going from one place to another and
Get getting their wood. During the summer they go by
rowboats and mostly by kyaks [kayaks].
The teacher has just been explaining to the h
men how to organize a council this fall (1937). When
the teacher first got there he found they did not
know the difference between yes and no because they had
never been to school before and they talked nothing but
The mail is very irregular at Nunapitchuk
for the planes do not go there. In the winter they
take the mail up whenever they go to Bethel by dog
team. In the summer they go by boats. Only the
teachers and the traders have radios which help them
a great deal for they can hear the news every even-
[Signed] Ruth Anaruk
The little village where I come from is Perryville and it is
located on the Alaska Peninsula, six to seven hours run by boat from
the Shumagin Islands. It is on the coast and there are lots of hills
and mountains around us.
The summers are sometimes very hot, with cold winters. There
are at least 100 people in all including the school teachers.
Recreations are baseball, basketball, and other sports. Last
year in the spring our boys played a game of baseball with the players
from the cutter Hermes. They won the game bay a schore of 9 to 3.
We have dances at least six or seven times a month in some of
the houses. But they're building a dance hall. The size of it is to be
30' x 50'; pretty good size for such a few people. They are planning to
have games played in it when it is done.
The natives there also have a bluefox farm on Chiachi Island.
That started four years ago. There's a certain family to take care of
it in the winter when the rest go to their trapping grounds and trap for
fur such as fox, mink, wolverine, cross fox, etc. In the summer there
is also someone to care for it and when the summers work is over they
pay the ones who took care of it. .Each man gets at least $200 to $250
apiece. But the men who work, kill and help with the skins in the winter
also get paid besides. First they have to catch the foxes and put them
into pens , then they pick out the finest before they do any killing
and let the bad ones go. The men and boys seem to like it and cooperate
together to put up feed during the summer months.
In the summer we put up fish and berries. We salt, smoke and
dry fish for our won use. The men do all that work while the girls
and older women pick berries and make jams and jellies out of them. There
are salmon berries, blue berries, mossberries, and cranberries.
Last year, beginning May 21, the volcano erupted and there was
Hardly any berries, game, fowl or fish. But now it isn't so had.
Father Hubbard and his party were in Perryville to climb Mt.
Veniaminof and see if it was dangerous. Before they started climbing
they gave talkies which the people enjoyed and were very jubilant about.
Tt took them at least two days to climb and were having hard times as
there are so many steep bluffs, but they go home all right.
There is a mayor and councilmen whom the people obey and try
to do the best they can. We also have a priest in the village.
My home town, Pilot Point, is located on the Ug-
ashik River on the Bristol Bay. The population is about
two hundred, when theyre all there. Most of the popula-
tionis make of the Alaska Packers, men who come there each
summer and work on the cannery, canning fish.
The climate is fairly warm in the summer time, in the
middle of the summer the temperature gets and high as 98Ί in
the shade. In the winter the weather gets quite cold at times.
20Ί below zero.
For living the people fish, and trap. In summer
the people fish and sell it to the cannery, of which they
get fourteen and a quarter cents for a fish. People
there make two to six hundred dollars each season, that is,
if the fish are running good. The packers put up thirty to
fifty thousand cases each year. Red salmon, of course, is
the main and only fish they can, and of course the king and
dog are top, but it isnt so sweet and juicy and the red sa-
lmon. Crabs are also canned at the Alaska Packers Cannery.
Cod fish is also caught and salted and diced.
For recreation people gamble, dance, play pool, and
baseball, camp, hike, and joy ride in automobiles and speed
boats. Speed boat riding is the leading recreation in my
Traveling is quite a hobby to the people of Pilot
Point. They travel by boats and chiefly by plane. The pl-
anes come in quire often bringing passengers, mail and fresh
fruits and vegetables like tomatoes, celery, bananas, peaches,
cherries, plums and many others which we cant raise at our
In winter people travel by skating and skiing and
so many dog teams. There is so many lakes and hills that
it is always cheaper to either ski or skate going from
one village to another. Skating is one of the chief means
of traveling from village to village in winter.
Most every one has a radio and light plant. By
means of radio, we get the news and whats going on in the
There are few attractive homes, most of them are at
the north end of the village. To tell the truth, most
houses arent painted and the fish cashe could be built a
little more like one than of having a tumble down shack
covered over with canvas. Garbage is one of the most un-
tidy looking places, since most people are living so close
the beach back and it is always easy to dump the cans, etc.
there. A garbage disposal will be very nice thing to have,
as it will make the bank, not of cans, boxes, and all such
Roads can be made more smoothe with gravel then of
having big gutters here and there.
Our town is run by the Alaska Packers Cor-
poration. This company is known to be the biggest Packing
Corporation in the world.
[Signed] Mary Griechen
This little village is located on the Yukon River. It is in a
valley; the best valley along the river. In the winter the coldest it
gets is between 50° and 60° below zero. There are not many people during
the winter for they are out at their winter camps. There are only about
28 people there during the winter. In the summer there are somewhere a-
round 90 people.
In order to make a living we hunt, herd reindeer, work for
wages at the government school, cut and haul wood, work at mines at
Marshall, and go muskrat hunting down ont the flats in the spring. We
have good duck and goose hunting in the spring and fall.
All thru the summer we do a lot of fishing for Yukon River
salmon, which we dry, smoke, and salt. Some of this we sell, and some
we keep for dog feed and still others we keep for ourselves. In the
winter, too, we have fishtraps in some of the lakes and streams, and we
visit them every once in a while to take out the fish that we catch.
My home is at Point Hope. The Post Office
is called Tigara. The village is located at 68Ό de-
grees north latitude and 167 west longitude. There
are two oceans on either side and there are two capes.
Cape Lisburne is north of Pt. Hope and Cape Thompson
is southeast of the village. Lisburne is about 30
miles north and a range of mountains extends between
the two capes.
The village is about half a mile away from
the point; the houses are built of lumber and drift
wood; more of lumber then of drift wood, which are
covered with sod. In. winter the temperature goes
down to 30 below zero, but not very often below 6°
below zero. In summer it sometimes goes up to 80°.
There are about 150 people in the village.
In the summer the people fish, hunt walrus,
herd reindeer, and dig in the old ruin for relics to
sell when any boat comes. In the fall some people go
up the Kukpuk River to fish and also to rebuild their
trapping camps. In the winter most of the people go
trapping up in the mountains. The season opens in
November and lasts until March 31st. In the district
called no. 8 it opens in December an. lasts until
April 15. Last winter some of the trappers caught over
40 foxes. In the Spring the men go out on the ice for
whaling; the season lasts for about three months and
after that they hunt for oogruks, seals, walrus, bel-
ugas, and ducks. The first part of July some of the
men go to gather crowbills eggs in skin boats.
For recreation they dance both Eskimo and
American dances, play football, baseball and do other
things for pleasure. In the summer they travel by
skin boats with outboard motors. In the winter and
spring they go by dogteam.
The village is governed by seven council-
mmen and four women. Every Saturday these four wo-
men inspect the houses. Every New Year they have an
election in the school house for the village com-
mittess. There is also a Commissioner in Pt. Hope.
There are two radios, so we can hear news
and music. In the winter the mail is brought by dog-
team which makes four trips. In the spring or autumn
the mail comes by boats and sometimes by planes.
In the summer boats bring supplies for the teachers
and the store. Every Sunday we go to church at 11 a.m.
[Signed] Rose Koonook / John Oktallia
My home is located on an island; it is
cold in winter, and by now (October 20) it is just
about freeze-up time. Boys and girls go skating
and sliding. They wear fur clothing and they never
wear shoes in winter. Sometimes it is warm in the
summer and the people can go without parkas or other
There are quite a few houses in the vil-
lage but not much over 100 people.
People go fishing by boats in the fall; they
store them and eat them choked or frozen. The reindeer
hide is used for clothing and the meat is for food.
Squirrel, skins are usually used for coats and parkas,
and the meat is used for food. Seal, oogruk, polar
bear, brown bears are all used for food and clothing;
whales are not used for clothing, but are much used
for food; they are very big, some over 100 feet long.
People go and mine coal in the spring and fall.
Recreations are good: Eskimo games and
dances mostly and the people do them very well.
In winter there are people traveling by
dog teams from place to place and in summer by sail
and by skin boats. Once an old man went to Icy Cape
from Wainwright by a sailboat all alone and I think
he enjoyed his trip.
The village is governed by seven council-
men; or six of them are councilmen and one is the
marshal. They also have a reindeer manager and a
People travel and bring news from place
to place. The mail carrier is the one who brings
the mail, and his home is in Barrow, his route from
Barrow to Point Hope. The mail goes four times a
year. In Point Lay we have only one radio and we
often hear the news. In the summer we sometimes get
mail by sailboats, launches and by large ships. In
the spring it sometimes comes by plane.
There is one schoolhouse in the village
and the building is also used as a church. There are
no mountains and trees; it is only tundra. There is
a lagoon about a mile wide and there are a few low
hills on the opposite of the lagoon from the village.
[Signed] Reginald Joule
My home is located between Wainwright and Point Hope;
the name of the village is Pt. Lay. The climate is very cold in winter
time; they use skin parkas in order to keep war. The number of people
at Pt. Lay is a little over 100 so that's not very much. There are not
many old people living there.
At home they don't fish very much. In the fall before
the ice freezes they go up the river and stay up there in igloos which
are built of willows and sod. They stay up there for about three
weeks till the ice is good enough to travel on. They only catch about
from seven to fourteen sacks of grayling.
The men are always busy trapping foxes from December to
April 15. Sometimes a man would stay away from home about one month up
inland trapping foxes and come home with about ten foxes at once.
Besides trapping they do a lot of hunting. They hunt
seals in winter and spring time. They use the seal blubber for dog
feed and for their own use.
The most enjoyment they have at home is Eskimo dancing
and football. Between Christmas and New Years in our village is the time
they have lots of fun. They do all kinds of rough stunts at that time.
The way they travel at home is by dog team in winter
time. In the summertime they use skin boats and whale boats and some
The village is governed by seven Councilmen. Five men
and two women are on the Council. The women inspect every Saturday
to see if the houses are clean. They keep the records of the houses
and at New Years they give the cleanest house a prize.
The way they carry mail is mostly by dogteam, which is
done three times a year: November, January and March. The airplanes
go up there at least five times a year.
Rampart is located, on the banks of the
Yukon in the interior of Alaska. It is considered the
prettiest spot along the river. Rampart once had a
population of about four thousand but that was away
back when--in the mad gold rush days when gold was dis-
covered on one of the creeks by a native. Then people
of every description swarmed in, but now only a little
over a hundred people reside in and around Rampart.
The scenery is very pretty, for our little
village is almost entirely surrounded by hills. There
was once a government experimental farm across the river
from the town but is is now uninhabited. The alfalfa and
hay (oats, etc.) still grows over there in big squares
of lavender and yellow and this added, to the rose of the
fields or fireweed and green trees makes a very color-
ful picture. Strawberries still grow on the farm and are
picked by the people.
The biggest attraction of Rampart is
"Rex Beach's cabin." This little cabin was built by the
author years ago when he lived there gathering material
for his stories. No one paid very much attention to
it then, but now his cabin is very much admired by the
touristsit is all scribbled up with names and initials
of people from all over.
The weather is very warm in the Spring and
Summer. In June the temperature is often higher than
100. In August it grows cooler and by October pieces
of ice begin to form in the river and along the shore.
These grow larger and larger until the river finally
freezes up in November. From November until late in
March it is very cold. The coldest weather we've had was
70° or more degrees below zero, but no one minds the
cold; everyone dresses in fur boots and parkas as they
do all along the Yukon.
The biggest excitement of the year is the
Breakup, which occurs in May, and it never falls to
thrill even the oldest sourdough.
People make their livings by fishing,
hunting, gardening, working in gold mines, sewing, cut-
ting and selling wood. Wood is plentiful around that
part of the country and coal is something foreign to
us. In the fall thousands of caribou cross the river
almost right in the town. Men go on moose hunts and are
almost always successful. Moose and caribou are our
main foods. Berries of different varieties are plen-
tiful. Women gather a lot of them for the winter and the
ambitious ones have enough jelly prepared to last the
whole winter until Spring. Almost every family has a
vegetable garden and the vegetables are stored away in
cold storage or cellars.
Different forms of amusement vary with the
seasons: In the winter we dance a lot, read a lot, go
dog team riding, play cards, listen to the radio every
blessed evening. A lot of people have radios. The
children coast and ski and make play houses of snow. In
the Spring we fish for grayling thru the ice, go fish-
ing on the creeks for trout. In the summer the boys
practically live in the water. They also play baseball
quite a lot. We dance very often in the summer, espec-
ially on boat nights-- I mean when we expect the steam-
boat Yukon which brings our mail and freight during
the summer months.
In the fall skating is enjoyed very much
before the deep snow cones. Traveling is done mostly
by dog teams. In the winter we get mail twice a month
by dog team, too. In the summer people travel on the
river in motor boats, and canoes, quite a bit of trav-
eling is also done by flying.
We have contacts with the outside by radios,
newspapers, mail, boats and airplanes.
The town is governed by a Commissioner.
People never seem to have any serious trouble.
Rampart can be improved in many ways. First
of all a hospital and doctor would help, even only a
nurse would be nice. Whenever anyone gets sick they
have to be taken about eighty or ninety miles to the
nearest hospital or else a plane has to be sent for to
take the patient to Fairbanks. Rampart would be benefited
by a church, a landing field for airplanes, and more
attractive and larger homes.
[Signed] Kitty Evans
My home is located, in the interior part
of Alaska along the banks or the Yukon River. To me,
there is no other place in the world as beautiful as
Rampart. It is entirely surrounded by beautiful moun-
tains. Looking across the river, once can see moun-
tains that seem to reach the sky.
The climate is usually very favorable. In
winter it is cold and there is much snow. In summer
the thermometer mounts to a high point, which shows
that Alaska is entirely different from the opinions of
There are approximately a hundred and ten
residents. There are probably only about ten full-
blooded Indians, most of them being half-breeds and
whites. Rampart was first settled, by white people when
gold was discovered along the banks of one of the
creeks. Gradually more people, both Indians and whites,
settled along the banks of the many creeks. These creeks
are located in all places out of town. After many years
of mining and prospecting, gold was found to become
scarce, but to this day there are to be found mnay old
sourdoughs and their mines.
In summer, most of the natives earn their
living by fishing for the salmon that is very abundant
in the streams and the river. Some men are employed
at the various mines. The women and children pick and
can the wild fruits that grow in great amounts. In
winter the men trap and hunt the wild animals of var-
ious kinds. Moose and caribou meat are the main foods.
These animals are killled in the fall and stored for
winter use. Fur is traded for food and clothing at the
one trading post. The women also earn money by
sewing for the prospectors and the other white men.
For recreation the inhabitants of Rampart
do various things. Dancing is probably the most pop-
ular. During the holidays everyone gathers from miles
around and dances are enjoyed every night, besides the
parties. They also enjoy all kinds of outdoor sports
such as snowshoeing, skating, riding, skiing, and in
summer swimming, boating and camping. Naturally, there
are a few who spend their vacations in unpleasant ways
but the majority of them are people of good behaviour.
They have various ways of traveling but
the most important ones are boats and dogteams. Per-
haps every family has a large boat with an engine in
it. With the aid of these they can move to different
places during the summer. They also have large, well-
trained dog teams. There is no use for these during
the summer but in winter they are in constant use.
The village is governed by a commissioner.
The school teacher governs the behaviour of the chil-
dren. There is verly little trouble among the people,
therefore, there is little use for a commissioner.
The people contact other villages in
many ways. In winter, a mail team makes a trip to
Manly Hot Springs, about seventy miles distant, every
two weeks. In this way we secure mail from other
places. Almost every family owns a radio, therfore
news from the outside is kept up with. In summer mail
is brought by a steamboat which makes two trips every
month from Dawson to Nenana. People also travel on the
boat, besides on their own small boats. Airplanes
are used also, and during the past year has been more
frequently used for traveling.
Looking back now, I can see many ways in
which the village can be improved. First of all, the
people should be taught to obtain more sanitary con-
ditions in the homes, build larger homes and furnish
them with things which would make them more comfortable.
Then they could be taught the various methods of
preserving food for winter use. Many valuable foods
are used only in summer because of the fact that they
will not keep during the winter. They could also be
helped by making more use of the things Mother Nature
affords them, if only they had someone who could en-
courage them and bring to them the realization of the
value of their native crafts, foods and other things.
There is a possibility that they could be helped be-
having a doctor and nurse, but since there are so few
people sickness is vary rare so, of course, a hospital
isn't a necessity. A library would be a very nice thing
to add to one list of things for recreation. As it is
now there are few people who have enough to read.
Being neighborly they usually pass books around to one
another. A moving picture certtainly would be enjoyed
by all, but I believe it is not missed so very much.
There is great promises of earning a fortune in having a
fur farm, since wild animals are so abundant.
[Signed] Margaret Evans
Rampart is located on the banks of the
Yukon River about 75 miles above the mouth of the
Tanana River and it is about 60 miles south of the
Arctic Circle. The view around this place is very nice;
looking across the river from the village you can see
some rolling foothills on which there was once a United
States Experimental Farm and behind these foothills is
a long range of mountains. There are mountains all
around the town and these make the town look as though
it is in a big hole; this also is what gave Rampart its
In summer the weather is very warm and
hardy vegetables are easily grown, but in winter the
sun is shut off from the town and at times the thermom-
eter drops clear down to 70° below zero, but we don't .
mind the cold much as we are dressed warmly and we also
get used to it. There is plenty of timber around there
for warm log cabins and for fuel.
There aren't many more than a hundred
people there, but means of making a living are many.
In winter the larger portion of the people trap, but
some of then carry mail by dog team; some cut wood for
the river steamboats and some of them work in the gold
mines. In summer most of them work in mines and
fish; usually with fishwheels turned by tile current
of the river. Some of the older native women make their
living by sewing skins and fur that they tan themselves.
For recreation we do a lot of dancing and
in winter we ski, skate, coast, have dog team rides and
in summer we play ball, swim and have rides in canoes,
motor boats and also small sailing boats.
The largest part of the traveling is done
by dog teams and small motor bouts, but people there
also travel by airplanes, river steamboats, and some
of the people also drift with the current if they are
not in a hurry and they want to go down the river.
This village is governed by a U. S. Com-
missioner but he doesn't have much to do so he does
some gold mining on the side.
The people keep in contact with other places
by mail carried by dog teams in the winter and by
steamboat in the summer and also by radio and travelers.
Ruby is a beautiful town and also a very nice place to live.
It is located very near the center of Alaska on the banks of the Yukon
river. Ruby is situated on a hillside and surrounded by hills on three
sides. At each end of town facing the river are high bluffs. It is
approximately 260 miles up the Yukon River on the boat and then 200 miles
further by train to Eklutna.
The climate in summer is very hot at times. It gets as hot as
110° in the sun, and at other times it is very rainy. In the fall the ice
begins to run and in October it gets thicker and thicker. Ice forms along
the shore. It gets wider and thicker. In November it freezes up. Some-
times there is an early freezeup about the first of November or a late
one around the 18th or 20th. In winter it gets as cold as 60° below.
There are approximately 160 people in Ruby. In summer there are
a lots more besides.
Ruby was probably named so for the ruby stones, found in the near-
by creek. Gold was discovered in Ruby in 1914. There was a big stampede.
People came from all over. There were about 600 people. Houses were
built all over the hillsides. There were many stores, drugstores, and
grocery stores, bakeries, candy shops, retail and wholesale stores. There
were also beauty shops, saloons, restaurants, and dance halls. Now there
are only two stores, one dance hall, one restaurant, a machine shop, a
grade school and a barber shop. All of the old buildings are dilapidated.
People have torn most of them down and used them for wood.
A lot of men work in drifts and out on the creeks. Some haul
freight with trucks in summer and with dog teams in winter. Men work
for the Alaska Road Commission in the summer and they also work for
wages in fish camps. The people in Ruby plant gardens for themselves;
they cut and haul wood, and some people fish with nets, but most of them
For recreation in winter we go skiing, coasting, and for dog-
rides, and some people go hiking with snowshoes. We also go to dances,
listen to the radio, read, and play cards. In summer we go for boat-
rides, car rides, and people go horseback riding. We go swimming, go to
dances, movies, and listen to the radio.
Most of the traveling is done by gasboats or steamers, airplanes
and cars in summer and by airplane and dogteam by winter. In winter we
get our mail twice a week by plane; in summer twice a month by boat and
1st class mail twice a week by plane. There is a radio sending and re-
ceiving set in Ruby and also a telegraph office.
Our village is governed by a U. S. Deputy Marshal and Commissioner.
Ruby is a town located on the bank of the
Yukon River about 175 miles from Fairbanks. It has
a population of 140 people with about half that
many families. The climate is very cold in winter,
the thermometer going down to 60° below zero; the
summers, however, are very warm at times.
Ruby was founded in the year 1905; people
began to settle there because of the gold they found
near there; there's a big mining camp 30 miles out
of Ruby where they take out thousands and thousands
of dollars worth of gold each summer. It is called
Long Creek and there are several small mining camps
beyond this place. There is a government road to
them from Ruby.
Most of the natives fish in the summer and
trap in the winter. Fur-bearing animals are plen-
tiful as Ruby is surrounded, by hills, the favorite
places for such animals as beaver, mink, muskrat,
marten, weasels and land otter. Some of the people
work on the road, build bridges, work at the gold
mines, or work in the lumber mill. Some haul freight
from Ruby to the mining camps, with trucks and. cat-
erpillars. In the fall they cut their own wood and
hunt their own meat for their winter supply.
For recreation there are dances every Sat-
urday night. There is a man who travels along the
Yukon in the summer who carries a moving picture
outfit with him and we see then frequently. The
children play ball in the summer and most of the
boys have bicycles. In the winter there is lots
of dogteam racing, coasting and skiing.
There is a fairly good landing-field at
Ruby so airplanes, take most of the emergency travel
cases. In the winter the well-to-do people travel
by plane; others travel by dogteams. In summer,
there are gas boats and steamers on the river.
The Government has a telegraph and radio
station at Ruby; nearly every family owns a radio;
mail comes twice a week in summer; and the re are
.a good many telephones in town, so communication is
well taken care of. The town is governed by a Com-
missioner and. Marshal.
[signed] Marie Brown
Ruby is a village on the Yukon River. It's right about in the
middle of the Yukon. In summer it gets very hot. We usually have to go
in swimming or stay in the shade or something to cool ourselves off. But
in the shade, there usually are a lot of flies. That's the thing that's
wrong with Alaska in summer; there are too many flies. In winter it
gets too coldabout 50° below zero.
There are around 150 people in Ruby. It's only very small but
sometimes when everyone comes in from the creeks or camps we do have a
lot of people.
Ruby was discovered in 1911, before I was even born. Someone
found gold around there and there was a gold rush. Everyone came from
all over. There are a lot of mining camps around town. Ruby was once
big but there was once a fire there which burned down the whole water-
front. Since then people started coining and going. But more go than the
few who come. Some say there were hotels, restaurants, and cafes but
now there is only a hotel, where people occasionally go to eat. There
are two stores in Ruby; one is the Northern Commercial Co.
The people fish, hunt, and trap for a living. Some of the men
mine and do all sorts of things to make money. Some of the women make
fur parkas, fur boots, and other fur clothes for a living, some do laun-
dry for old bachelors. They go out into the woods and haul wood, too.
For water, we make holes in the middle of the river and get good ice water
as we don't have any running water or wells.
In summer we swim, go on picnics, play baseball and football,
and other games. We also have dances when some people from out on the
creeks come in. We always celebrate the fourth of July. In winter we
ski, coast; sometimes when we want real excitement we get an old
Yukon sleigh and go down the hill, snow flying in our faces and girls
We travel by plane and by river steamer. When the first boat in
the spring comes everyone is excited, even the old men and women. The
ice breaking up causes lots of excitement, too. We have a telegraph sta-
tion; a weather bureau office; and the store has telephones to the air-
field. Most of the people have radios.
We are governed by a U. S. Marshal, a Commissioner, and the
game warden comes around every spring and fall.
One hundred and fifty miles up the
river north of Kotzebue lies a little village known
as Selawik. As it is on the river, the houses are
built in one long street on both banks of the river.
The only means of getting to each other is by a row
boat. If you had to visit your friends or to borrow
something, all you'd have to do is to get in your
boat and row across and then row back again.
As Selawik is inland, the climate is very
warm in the summer, registering as high as eighty-five
above. It sometimes gets impossible to live indoors and
as a result each family has a stove outdoors where
their meals are cooked. Most of the families use home
made sheet-iron stoves for this purpose altho the more
well-to-do families use ranges. Of course the picture
wouldn't be complete without mosquitoes, which at
times are so dense that when landing on a dog's muzzle
the dog dies from lack of blood. Many reindeer have
lost their lives in this manner.
In the winter, the weather is very severe,
sometimes more than sixty below. We have severe blizzards
thruout the winter, sometimes so strong that the safest
thing to do is stay in the house. Many times a blizzard
comes, up while we are in school, so we have to sleep
overnight in the school-house! The storm
leaves high banks all around the houses and some are so
high that your neighbor has to dig you out. Many times
it is impossible to find the house, but if you see a
stove pipe sticking thru the snow, then you are sure
that you're digging in the right vicinity. It certainly
is queer to see the people come in and out thru a little
hole which they have dug in a tunnel-like fashion into
their house. These drifts cause the houses to be flooded
in the Spring unless a ditch is dug around them.
As there are very few modern facilities
in the village the people are more or less primitive in
a fashion, altho they might have changed considerably
during the years I have been absent. The people are very
religious and do not approve of dancing or card playing
and neither are done in the village. I don't believe
they ever had a dance since the village was founded.
They take living very seriously, hunting and trapping
all of the time.
In the Spring, they all move up the river
at different stations and hunt for muskrats. The
teachers and the store keepers are
the only ones left
behind. Each family gets hundreds of muskrats which
they use to pay off their winter bills and to order
from Sears Roebuck and other companies. Fur is used for
money here. When ordering from catalogues, instead of
sending money, muskrats are sent. In the winter blue
fox, white fox, silver and red and cross fox, mink,
squirrel, "siksikpuk", bear, wolverine, wolf, land
otter, rabbit, reindeer, caribou, beaver are caught and
used as a means of making a living.
Fish is also a major means of making a
living. Whitefish, salmon, grayling, mudshark, pick-
erel, river trout, humpbacks and suckers are used for
personal use and the fish is sold in large quantities
as there is a constant demand for them from Nome.
Wild fowl such as geese, all kinds of ducks,
crane, make up the principal diet during the spring and
summers, Salmonberries, cranberries, blueberries,
currants and blackberries arc picked during the berry
season and put in pokes or barrels for winter use.
The younger generation does a lot of
skating as long as the snow is gone, end when its im-
possible to skate, football and baseball takes their
place. Dog team rides, reindeer rides, rabbit drives,
and hunting are enjoyed the year around. There are no
movies or dances or parties, For recreation the women
folk usually go berry-picking or continually visit each
Dog teams are the major means of travel in
winter, while in summer river boats are used as trans-
portation. In Spring, log-rafts ere used in returning
to the village from the hunting grounds. It certainly
is a striking scene to see a. parade of log-rafts floating
down the river, each raft having a tent and smoke curling
up into the air from each one. On another raft their
dogs are kept and also their fish.
There are no such things as cars here and
the majority of the people wouldn't know one if they saw-
one. A few years back, when an airplane was sighted,
everyone thought it was the coming of Christ and several
of the old folks who werent quite prepared for judgment
day, kneeled on their hands and knees and set forth a
storm of prayers asking for forgiveness and mercy!
The school teacher sees to it that every
one is a law-abiding citizen and if anyone fails to do
so, they are either sent to Kotzebue or Nome to the
United States court, and finally end up at the Federal
There are very few contacts with other
people in the village itself, but in the spring most
everyone goes down to Kotzebue and stays there for the
summer. Here they get a chance to meet new people that
have come down from Noorwik [Noorvik] , Noatak, Kivalina, Wain-
wright, and other places, for the summer. They also
meet tourists from the outside. In the village there is
one telephone belonging to a storekeeper with which
calls are sent to Kotzebue. The teacher and the store
keeper have radios also.
The sanitary conditions are very poor and
could be much improved. The school could be run on a
little better basis also. It seems the teachers dont
make a great deal of effort to push the deserving chil-
dren ahead and some students stay in the same grades
when they really should be advanced. Due to this fact,
many children have quit school, rather than going thru
the same grind.
Doctor and nurses would be very welcome as
there are neither here. In most sicknesses hardly any-
thing is done and eventually the person dies. In
more severe cases, the patient is taken to the hospital
at Kotzebue where, under the excellent care of the
staff, the patient recovers.
The people should be induced to take re-
ligion less seriously and have a preacher who doesnt
fill their ignorant heads full of false ideas.
When I was there it was a sin to wear anything red, to
drink coffee, etc. according to the beliefs of our
We should have better hones with more than
one room. The houses consist of one room only where the
family lives. It is very crowded this way and is not
good for the health of the family.
[signed] Irene Frost
My home is on an island about three miles
long with an inlet, on the south side. The climate is
very cold in the winter and warm in the summer. There
are about 275 people in Shishmaref; for a living the
natives hunt for fish, seal, fox, ducks and deer. Some
of the young men also work at the mines in the summer.
The natives are always having a good time
dancing, playing football, baseball, running races,
racing dogteams and wrestling. Most of these things
and others are done during Christmas week, lasting
until New Years night.
Traveling is done mostly by dogteams in
winter and in the summer by skin boats or by steam-
ers which come around about three tines during the
Mail is carried by mailboats in the summer,
twice a month, but in the winter dogteams or planes
bring the mail.
In the Spring the men go out with their
families to hunt on the outside of the island and
usually stay out two months. In the summer nearly
everybody goes up to Serpentine to pick salmonberries,
blueberries, blackberries, cranberries and straw-
The village is governed by nine council-
men and two native marshals.
[signed] Ralph Sinnok (de)
My home is on Nushagak Bay, and it is about 340 miles from
Anchorage. On one side of the river is Kushagak village, Clark's Point,
Creek Cannery, and on the other is Kanakanak and Snaa- Point. The last is
the biggest town in among the others.
In the summers it gets up to 80° above and it hardly ever gets
dark there; I guess we have about one hour of darkness. In the winter,
however, it goes to about 30° below zero. Then we have to wear fur boots
The population there is about 250. But around June we have lots
more people because the cannery boats start coming in and the Eskimos
come from all the small village to set net. Most of the people there
fish for a living during the summer, tho some work in the canneries. In
the winter most of them trap.
For recreation we dance, skate and ski in the winter, or got to
moving picture shows. In summer we can play baseball or go on picnics.
If we want to send a message we have to go to Kanakanak radio
station. We go there by plane, cars, boat or on foot as its only six
miles from Snag Point. We have both a U. S. Commissioner and a Deputy
Marshal to govern us at Snag Point.
My home is located on the Yukon
River; the climate is somewhat like that here
at Eklutna, but much colder in the winter.
Stevens Village is just a small
place with a population of about 100 people.
In the winter most of the people
trap and hunt for a living. In the spring
theu hunt muskrats, and after they get the
skins dried, they buy sugar, butter, flour,
bacon, and other things. Instead of paying
with money they use the muskrat skins in trade.
Fishing is the main industry in the summer.
Recreations are dancing, swimming,
skating, skiing, and many other outdoor
Dogteams are the winter way of
travelling; boats are used on the river in the
Mail is brought to Stevens Vil-
lage by dog teams in the winter; occasionally
by airplanes, and by boats in the summer.
The people should send their chil-
dren to school when they are younger than the
age when they start now, so that they may
have longer in which to learn to live a better
life and to care for their health.
[signed] Eugene John
St. Mark's Mission is located on the banks of the Tanana River
about a mile from the town of Nenana. Between the town and the Mis-
sion is a little Indian village whose population is rapidly diminish-
The climate is like that of any little northern interior village
of Alaska. In the winter the temperature drops to thirty or forty
below zero and quite often to sixty below. During the summer the tem-
perature is very comfortable except for the few times when it is un-
Being in the Mission doesn't mean that we get everything on a
silver platter. The children do everything we can to make things
easier. In the summer large areas of land planted with vegetables
yield a great deal of food for use during the long winter months.
Besides the gardens there are the two fish wheels which keep us busy.
The fish are cut and dried for the dogs. We have never had much
success with canning the fish. We also pick and can as many blueber-
ries as possible. If the fish run is good and the berries plentiful
we are sitting pretty, but if it isnt we just tighten up our belts
and wish for better luck next summer.
The most wonderful river in the world runs right past our
front door. In the winter we skate and in the summer we swim. The
water is very muddy and swift. We children seem to be the only ones
who enjoy swimming in it. The staff members say it's too cold. We
also do a lot of climbing for the opposite side of the river is a
mass of hills. Skiing is popular among the boys and some of the
girls but they are too steep for most of us. Something that we can
do both in summer and winter is dancing and we do plenty of it.
Nenana is quite a busy little town during the summer. For
here it is that the trains are met by the steamers to carry mail
and freight to the people along the Tanana and Yukon rivers, so we
have the privilege of traveling by either train or boat. In the win-
ter our dog teams are invaluable to us all.
The mission is governed by the Bishop of the Episcopal church,
while the village has a chief, and the town a Mayor.
We keep in touch with the outside world by radios, newspapers
and newsy people who arrive from other villages by dog teams, boats,
Tanana is a small town on the banks of the
Yukon, four miles below the Tanana river, which
is located in the central part of the territory.
The winter months are quite cold, the temp-
erature often falling from 40 to 60 below zero.
The summers, however, are very warm and mild.
The Yukon freezes over in November and is usually
quite solid by the 15th when the mail planes
service starts. The river is used for a landing
field until the last of April when the ice along
the edges begins to thaw and become dangerous.
The breakup is usually in the middle of May or
People always look forward to the time when
the river is free from ice and the steamers
come in with fresh fruit, frieght and mail.
The mild summers permit bountiful crops--
the chief one being potatoes.
There are about 95 people living in Tanana,
mostly natives. These natives make their living
by "ratting" in the spring, fishing during the
summer, and hunting and trapping in the winter.
Their favorite recreations are dancing, dog-
racing, and the giving of potlatches. They usu-
ally give potlatches whenever any one of their
The potlatches last for about a week, the
women cooking up big tubs of meat and soup and
every day people fathering in the dance hall to
eat and make merry.
Sometimes, too, when the chief has a big
catch of furs he gives potlatches and they give
many things away to their friends and neighbors
such as blankets, dress goods, clocks, calico
[signed] Jenny Larson
My home is Tanana, at the mouth of the Tanana River,
on the banks of the Yukon River. The people there aren't many because
the people do not stay in town. They are always out fishing, trapping,
During the summer the people are all out fishing and
they never come into town unless it is necessary, altho they all come
in for a couple of weeks in July.
The climate there is very cold in the winter and so hot
that it is suffocating in the summer; at least it seems that way for
the people up there.
During the winter the people are again out of town on
the traplines. They usually stay away on homesteads where they are close
to their traps.
The things they do for recreation isn't very much but
it is enough; such things as gambling, dancing, skating, skiing, swim-
ming, and most common reading in their leisure time.
Their ways of travel is by dog team in winder and boats
--mostly motor--in summer. For passengers and mail they have the river
steamers which are the Alice, Nenana, and the Yukon. We get all three
boats at home because we are right at the turning point of the river.
The town is governed by the Commissioner and the Mar-
shal. In the last few years most of the governing has been done by the
Their ways of communicating are by telegrams, radios,
mail, and airplane. They used to carry mail by teams of horses but in
the past two years they have been using planes mostly.
The town, however, could be made better by keeping con-
trol over the people and if by chance they can get more white folks in
town. There should be a lot done there in the way of cleaning up some
places so they won't have so much sickness in town.
Tatitlek is a little village located half way between Valdez
and Cordova. I think it is the nicest little place in Prince William
My home is half-way surrounded by trees, while out in front
is the water and an island about a mile and a half long. There are a-
bout sixteen houses and about eighty-five people living there.
My people make their living by hunting, fishing and trapping.
In the winter we have dances every Friday and Saturday, and quite often
we have our school programs. In the summer it gets so warm that most
of the people do their cooking outside their houses.
The government school teacher governs the village with some
help from a person from the village. There are no electric lights there
so we use gas lamps for light. Most of the houses have radios which we
listen to to pass away the time in the evenings.
So whenever you get to Tatitlek drop in to one of the houses
and see what kind of entertainment you get.
Teller, the place from which I came,
is located on the Seward Peninsula about 90
miles from Nome. It is built near the sea and
it has a very good harbor. The ships anchor in
Port Clarence in the summer, but the smaller
boats anchor in Grantley Harbor.
The climate in winter is cold--down
to 50 below at times. In the summer it gets
really warm, altho last summer we had lots of
The popultaion is approximately 125.
The majority of the people are Eskimos or
mixed-bloods but there are quite a few whites,
In the winter most of the men hunt
foxes for a living. There are two or three
fox ranches in Teller, too. A few people are
in the mink business. In the summer the men
work on gold dredges, in mining camps, and
many of the natives go fishin. The Alaska
Road Commission had a camp in Teller, but it
was transferred to the Kougarok.
Ways of travel in winter are by dog-
team and airplane. They use boats and airplanes
in the summer. There are a few trucks and cars
in Teller, too. The first cars were brought in
last Summer. Mail was carried by dogteam in
the past winters but this year it will be carried
by plane twice a month. It is carried by boat
in the summer.
There is a commissioner in town, and
also a reindeer unit manager for government.
For recreation we dance, play games,
si, skate, coast, swim, hike and go camping.
Many radios are owned by the people, and there
is one radiophone.
[signed] Grace Blatchford
Unalakleet lies on the west coast of Norton Sound in "Seward's
Ice Box". When the vegetables are just sprouting and when the flowers
are in bloom, the village looks very beautiful, but I must admit that
from the top of the hills the place really looks like a dump pile.
As for the climate I can truly say we have very cold winters.
The summers are nice, but could be better if there were no insects such
as gnats and mosquitoes.
There are about 68 homes in Unalakleet, and a population of
about 370. Our best pastimes are skating in the winter and hiking in the
summer. There is also a good baseball team.
There is no work at Unalakleet except fishing and gardening;
but we are noted for our vegetables. In fact all the nearby villages,
including Nome, buy their vegetables from us.
Since there are so many others who could write better about
Unalakleet I won't say much except that the whole truth is that the vil-
lage could certainly stand a little more excitement.
Unalaska, my home town, is located in
the Aleutian Islands. It is the largest town on
Unalaska Island and, the population is about 300 or
The town is on the seashore and is al-
most surrounded, by mountains. The climate is fairly
warm there due to the Japanese Current. The ground
around there is grassy with but a few willow trees.
Altho there are many odd jobs at times,
the people mostly hunt foxes, fish, or work in a herring
saltery for a living.
For recreation there are talking pictures,
shows, dances, a few sports such as swimming, skating,
skiing, tobogganing, hiking, playing tennis and so
About the only way of travelling is by
boat and the ways of contact with other places and
villages are by mail boats, radio, and telegraphy.
They have a court there, that takes care
of the troubles that come up.
The appearance or the town can be improved
if some people would. make their homes more attractive.
a number of the houses have stood for years without
being repaired or repainted. The people should raise
gardens, as there is quite a bit of land that can be
used for such, and there is practically no gardening
done in the village at all.
[signed] Herbert Pape / Mike Stepetin
My hone is at Unalaska, and it is one of
the largest islands of the Aleutian archipelago.
Unalaska village is located on the north
side of the island and has a population of 300 people.
The climate id fair due to the Japanese current and
the winters are not extremely cold, the coldest weather
recorded is 10 degrees above but usually it is around
freezing. In summer the temperature is about 70Ί F.
There are large amounts of rain fall during almost all
the year around.
From the first part of July to the latter
part of August the people pack herring and some of them
salt codfish in the Spring. During the winter the men
trap fox on the other islands where there are blue,
red and cross foxes.
For recreation the people go to ball games
and tennis games, talking pictures, and dances. There
is also skiing, skating and coasting in the winter.
Boats are the main source of travel all
the year around. In summer from April or May until
September the harbor is very busy. The village is
governed by a marshal and a commissioner.
There is a naval wireless station about
one mile and a half from the village and those who can
afford a radio have one.
The steamer Starr brings our regular mon-
thly mail, to contact with the other villages we either
walk or go by boat.
Our town could be improved by applying a
little paint on some of the homes and by better
ways o living and better ways of preserving foods.
[signed] Walter Dyakanoff
Wainwright is a little village about 100
miles south of Point Barrow. The climate is very warm in
summer and very cold in winter. There are approximate-
ly 250 people there; of these about six are whites and
the rest are natives.
The natives make their living by trapping
and hunting whales, walrus, seals, etc. They trade the
furs of the animals for flour, sugar, tea, coffee from
the very few stores at the village.
The people have their own Eskimo dances
on Christmas and on other important holidays. The chil-
dren learn to skate on their own home-made skates.
Dog teams are the most important ways of
traveling. Every family has its own dog team. These
teams are make up of from 5 to 15 dogs. In summer trav-
ling is done in small boats.
The village has its own commissioner. When
anything bad happens it is taken up by him with the help
of the village council.
Wainwright has very little contact with
the outside. Only in summer, we see ships from outside
as the ocean is frozen up all winter. Once in a great
while, an airplane lands at Wainwright. Very few people
There are many ways in which the village
could be improved; for instance, the proper disposal of
garbage, proper sleeping quarters, better drinking water.
A hospital would be a great help to the people.
White Mountain is a little village of
approximately 250 people. It is located on the Fish
River 15 north of Golovin, about 25 miles south
of Council and 75 miles east of Nome. The village is
built right in between two mountains with spruce trees
behind that make a perfect shelter from snow storms and
high winds that are quite prevalent in that region. I
think it is the most beautiful little spot Ive ever
seen or ever hope to see. Everywhere you turn you see
The climate is quite normal. In the winter
it ranges from 20Ί to 32Ί below zero. The coldest it has
been known to get was 60Ί below zero. I haven't noticed
the temperature in the summer, but it doesn't get too
In the spring some people go to their
mining camps to dig for gold while others stay at home
to wait for the fishing season when they go up the river
to their various fishing camps to spend the rest of the
summer catching and drying fish for winter. In the fall
when the herring season comes along, they go to Golovin
to work at the Golovin Bay Packing Company plant or
fish herring for themselves
Blue berries, blackberries, salmonberries,
cranberries, and currants are picked by the women and
children and stored for winter use.
In the spring and fall, men go to the Fish
River Flats to hunt ducks, brant, and geese which are
either canner or put in cold storage for the winter.
With the coming of winter, men and boys
get their traps, guns and snared ready to try their luck
and skill at trapping and hunting fox, wolverine, land
otter and rabbits. The skins of the fox, wolverine and
otter are sold or else traded for goods. They also go
For recreation purposes in the summer,
swimming heads the list of the young people. In the
winter, Eskimo football is played by everyone in general
who like a good healthy bit of exercise and activity.
Basketball and baseball are also played. A good deal of
skiing and skating is done, not the speak of tobogganing
or sliding down hills on sleds. Parties and dances are
scattered throughout the winter. Christmas, Thanksgiving,
and New Years are celebrated by everyone in a big
way. Eskimo games and entertainment fill up the
evenings between Christmas and New Years Eve.
In the winter time the chief means of
travel is by way of dogteam. Airplanes are chartered from
Nome on emergency cases. River scows and motor boats
carry the mail, freight and passengers from Golovin as
far up the river as Council.
The government of the village is taken care
of by the Mayor and the village council with a little
help from the teachers.
We are kept pretty well in time with every
thing thru mail, radio, and the Nome Nugget paper.
We get our water from the river all the
year around. I think if we had a better water
system, the community would be better off. At the
present time there are no doctors or nurses at the vil-
lage. It would be helped a lot if there was at least a
nurse. The winter evenings wouldnt be so monotonous
if there was a theatre. Otherwise I think my home town
is the best village in Alaska.
[signed] Kitty Amberfelter
White Mountain village is located on Fish River on Seward Penin-
sula 75 miles east of Nome, It sits on the side of two mountains and
there are spruce trees in back of' the village and across the river.
From the village and across the the river you can see a low chain of
mountains about 12 miles away.
In summer we have very warm weather in June and July. In July
and September we have quite a bit of rainfall. During the latter part
of September we have some snow but it melts; about themiddle part of
October the river freezes over and we have about 6 inches of snow on
the ground. Some winters there is very much snow but some winters
there is not, so much. In winter months December, January and February
are the coldest months. The temperature ranges from 20 to 30 below
and 60 below at its coldest.
Daring the winter months we wear mukluks and parkas for out of
doors. In the Summer we wear light clothing.
There are about 250 people at White Mountain. During the summer
the people leave their homes and go to their camps. The women folks
spend the summers at fish camps where they put up fish for winter use
for themselves and the dogs. The women also pick berries in August and
put them in barrels with sugar for winter use.
The men usually go to mining camps and find work or else they
ship. They also go on reindeer round‑ups and work during the butcher‑
ing tune. During the winter the men freight and trap.
For recreation we have many kinds of ball games. We have a large
gym and auditorium where we play basketball, volleyball and besides
have many native stunts. For out of door spots we have baseball,
skiing, skating, football and sleighing besides dog teaming. Besides
we have picnics and hiking also dances thruout the winter.
During the summer mouths we travel mostly with motor boats and
scows on the river. Along the coast a mail boat comes every week.
They also have airplanes over about once a week at Golovin which is
15 miles south of White Mountain.
During the winter we travel by dog teams. The average teams have
about 9 to 13 dogs.
The village is governed by the mayor and the village Council with
the teacher's help. About one third of the families have radios. There
is also two telephones to Nome which are a great help when the doctor
is needed or when some one wants a plane. I am sure there could be
many improvements: for instance a better place to get water. The gar-
bage disposal should be better, and we should have more books and na-
tive teachers as well as an airplane field.
Wiseman is north of the Arctoc Circle about 100 miles up the
The climate of Wiseman is warm during the summer when the
average temperature is about 60 or 70 degrees above zero. During the
winter it doesn't get very cold, probably not more than an average of
20 ° or 30 ° below zero.
There are only about a hundred people around Wiseman. They
make their living by mining, cutting wood, sawing wood, hunting and
working for wages.
About the only recreation we have is a dance once in a while,
and a show sometimes during the winter.
In the summer people hunt and fish up in the lakes about 25
miles away. Sometimes they get wolves when they go hunting for the cari-
bou up there. They do some mining all the year around. Sometimes they
get as much as thirty ounces of gold and come to twon, get drunk and stay
until they have no more money to spend.
The town council takes care of the school kids so they don't
get drunk and so they don't get hurt by drunks, and see that they get
punished if they are bad. There is also a U. S. Commissioner in the
Yakutat, a little village in south
eastern Alaska, is situated between two big ports,
Juneau and Cordova. The village itself is located on
a forested hill facing the bay.
In general, the climate is about average:
in summer hot enough to make one sweat, and in winter
cold enough for one to freeze.
The population summer is about three
times as large as in the winter. People from outside come
to fish, work in the cannery and a few for vacation.
In April everybody gets their nets ready,
their dories in shape and. find a place for their tents.
There are fine fishing locations which are independent-
ly operated or run by groups, in which case, two or
three families get together and all the able boys and
girls fish for their parents and grandparents. In this
way all get a share of every load of fish. As a rule
boy and girls under 18 years of are and women are not
allowed to fish. Women and some of the girls work in
the cannery making from two to four hundred dollars
in a season. A few exceptions are made in the case of
a boy or girl who goes out to school in the fall. They
are allowed to fish if paying their own tuition, buy
their own clothes, etc. A fisherman usually comes out
800 dollars clear in a season, altho some seasons fish
ermen can come out 1200 dollars in the clear.
After fishing season in September is over,
the natives go out and fish for their winters food
supply. They dry, smoke and salt the fish. Then
others salt fish for the companies.
Starting in November the men go out trap-
ping and trap for mink, marten, etc. thru February.
Usually enough money is made so that Spring supplies
can be bought and some money left over for luxuries.
In February and March a chosen group of
men go out seal-hunting and stay for two days. If the
men come back with seal then anybody is free to go.
On one occasion eight men went out and all brought back
from 5 to 8 seals. One man and his son killed 20 seals
between them . The meat and fat is used for food and the
skins for Moccasins.
Between all these seasons for fishing,
trapping and seal‑hunting time is found for recreations.
Every Saturday they have dancing which is very much en-
joyed by young and old. The music is up-to-date with
a good orchestra consisting of 2 saxaphones, 3 gui-
tars, 2 violins, a. banjo, drum and piano.
On Thursdays basketball games are played
between different teams. On rare occasions, when
coast guard cutters, halibut fishing boats and destroy-
ers come in, the town's team challenge them and u-
sually come out ahead with flying colors. A free dance
is always given for these outside teams.
In the Winter, alternately on Friday nites,
practice dances and games are held. If one doesn't
know how to dance they can learn on these nights, while
on the other Friday nites the young and old believe in
having a little run by playing games such as: three
deep; squirrel and Flying Dutchman. Also square dances
and Virginia reels are danced on these nights.
In the way of transportation and contacts
with people living in the same community, you can
travel by automobile, foot, water and railroad. In
contacting with people there are telephones in most of
the homes. In the summer the steamers, the Yukon and
Alaska and cutters call in twice a month. In the
winter the steamer Victoria, cutters and destroyers
call in and people have radios for news of outside.
The village boasts a Judge, Mayor, Village
Council, and Alaska Native Brotherhood organization,
chief of police, 4 marshals and a preacher who all have
a say in any trouble or misunderstanding that arises.
With all these to help in any trouble it looks as though
the people should be law-abiding citizens and it is quite
true of most of the natives .
The village has a power plant so that all
homes have electric lights but I think it could be
improved if the lights were left on all night but as
it is the power plant is turned off a t 11:00 every
nite and on Saturday at 2:30 after the dance.
In the winter the steamer calls in only
once a month of account of the weather. I think that
if the steamers called in twice a month the town would
grow faster. As it is the town is growing slow but
The village has a hospital and a doctor
in summer. Natives need a doctor just as much in
winter, but so far we havent had a doctor in winter.
[signed] Margaret Bagay