49 Voices: Linda Sampson of Noorvik

Linda Sampson of Noorvik (Photo by Andrew Kitchenman, KTOO – Juneau)

This week we’re hearing from Linda Sampson in Noorvik. Sampson is an instructional aide at the village school.

SAMPSON: Before, I had worked at the Native community as a secretary-treasurer and when I started having my kids, I started doing some volunteer work, and they said that they needed a part-time worker. So I started off with a three-hour position, and then I realized that I enjoyed working with kids and the staff. So I just like working here.

I like summers off. I go to our summer camp, and work on fish, whitefish. Mom is still alive, so I take her to camp and stay at camp a majority of the time because that’s where she loves being. So anyway, end of May and Jay, we work on those kinds of fish. Beginning of July, we start on salmon. I love making smoked strips. And then we make half dried. And of course we filet some for the winter. It’s a busy summer, goes by too quick… besides berry picking and stuff.

It was last year that we hardly catch salmon, because our rivers were too warm. And they end up following the cooler water. It varies, this year it was a little better. And the whitefish too was better. We were really busy.

I love subsisting. When it’s time to come back for work, fall time, I would prefer to stay at camp. It just goes by too fast. That’s just our way of life. That’s our main diet.

Andrew Kitchenman is the state government and politics reporter for Alaska Public Media and KTOO in Juneau. Reach him at akitchenman@alaskapublic.org.

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