Sophie Evan, KYUK - Bethel
Sophie Evan is a reporter at KYUK in Bethel.
The Yukon Kuskokwim region is gaining national attention through the business savvy of the local Sparck sisters who happen to be triplets. Since 2006 the entrepreneurs have run a cosmetic company, ArXotica, using ingredients from the tundra. Now, they have a chance to win a free commercial for their company, which will be aired during the Super Bowl and are asking for your help.
A young Yup’ik man with roots to Kotlik on the Lower Yukon has distinguished himself in the International competitive world of Martial Arts. Thirteen-year-old Michael Martinez, son of Mary Yunak Martinez, has won first place in three out of four divisions at the U.S. World Open Martial Arts Championships that were held in Disney World, July 5 and 6.
The Kanektok River in Quinhagak is world famous for sport fishing, and has been the only consistent commercial fishery on the Kuskokwim for many years. But this year, commercial fishing during the King Salmon run has been closed. And the Native Village of Quinhagak is asking that sport fishermen also stand down.
The Federal agency responsible for commercial fisheries in the Bering Sea have made, what some consider, a landmark decision Monday, June 3rd. The North Pacific Fisheries Management Council, or NPFMC, has decided to consider classifying the Bering Sea Canyons as a wildlife preserve.
Grade school archers in Bethel will soon be competing nationally. After winning at state competition, they have qualified for the National Archers in School Program in Louisville, Kentucky next month.
Dozens of dance groups will be performing this weekend in Bethel at the annual Cama-I Dance Festival. One of them will be a student group from the village of Quinhagak. The students had to receive special permission from their elders to Dance, after it was banned in the village for decades.
The K-300 Sled Dog Race brought new international teams to Bethel this year. Team Beringia is made up of two teams—one from Russia and one from Norway. They are part of an educational program that is linking students in classrooms across the Bering Sea.
Early in our series “Being Young in Rural Alaska” from the producers of Kids These Days, we learned about efforts to re-introduce indigenous languages through school programs. At the Lower Kuskokwim School District, they have a different challenge: figuring out the best way to teach reading and writing to kids who are already living in two languages. LKSD is the heart of Yup’ik country. One quarter of the certified teachers are Yup’ik, the greatest percentage of indigenous educators of any district in Alaska. The district is rolling out a new method for teaching its bilingual students called the dual language model.
Calista, the for-profit Native Corporation for the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, still has a board member filling in as President. But amid the controversy over current leadership, one of Calista’s subsidiaries has gone on with business as usual, managing to secure a staggering $4.5 billion Federal contract.
A fugitive wanted for kidnapping and rape has been apprehended after eluding Troopers for two and a half days. The incident happened in Sleetmute, a village on the Upper Kuskokwim River.
The 20 villages that form the Coastal Villages Region Fund, or CVRF, have started a public campaign aimed at increasing their fishing allocations under the Community Development Quota program. To change how much fish CVRF can take would require Congress amending the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. CVRF is hoping there is enough support to make it happen.
The Donlin Gold mining company, which wants to start an open pit gold mine near Crooked Creek in the middle Kuskokwim River area, sponsored a tour of the Fort Knox Gold Mine in Fairbanks. The day trip allowed 30 stakeholders from the Y-K Delta a first-hand look at an open pit gold mine in operation.
The Community Development Quota (CDQ) program for 20 villages along the Bering Sea recently handed out 100 free nets in Bethel. For most of the summer, subsistence fishermen on the Kuskokwim River have been restricted to smaller nets to protect Chinook salmon. Coastal Villages Region Fund says the nets were gone within an hour, but the nets didn’t change hands without some controversy.
Bethel will soon be the home to a new aircraft mechanic school. It will be run by the Association of Village Council Presidents and is scheduled to open in September of 2012.
Tribal leaders from all over the state will be convening in Anchorage this week, to sign an historic accord.