300 Villages: Newtok

Photo courtesy newtokmoves.org

Now it’s time for 300 villages. This week we’re going to the village of Newtok, on the Ninglick River, which drains into the Bering Sea. The community is being relocated because of coastal erosion due to climate change.

Stanley Tom is tribal administrator in Newtok. 300 villages is AK’s attempt to put every community in Alaska on the radio.

“Stanley Tom and I am from Newtok, Alaska. It’s a small village a population of seven…three-hundred seventy [people].

Uh still uh…living remotely and we still speak our language in Yupik and still doing subsistence live style.

Uh…they like to go out ah…ah herring fishing for substance and also…ah salmon fishing ah…and do commercial fishing with halibut and um…it’s like all summer long ah…fishing for…for winter preparation.

Due to permafrost melting and eroding of the Ninglick River we are relocating our village to Mertarvik site and we have been discussing this relocation [for] more than thirty-years. It’s a never ending process.

Ah yeah Eskimo dance. What we do is um…we invite our neighboring villages like ah Tununak, Tuluksak, Chevak, Cooper and we…invite them every year and in return them invite us too.

Some gifts like ah…anything house ah utensils or anything they…they give. All kinds ah anything that they catch like black fish or um…muss fish white fish…all sorts of stuff to the visitors too.

Yeah they got like subsistence gathering ah…berry picking seal hunting all kinds ah…that’s how they make songs.”

Listen Now

Newtok 2
Photo courtest newtokmoves.org


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