Repatriation of Igiugig Ancestors Day

Written by Sandy Alvarez on .

Despite the threatening rain clouds it was a celebratory atmosphere of sorts today--Thursday September 14, 2017--in our little corner of western Alaska as we participated in the repatriation of twenty-four of the local ancestors whose remains were just this fall returned from the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History where they had been since the early 1930's.

The Museum Director, Kirk Johnson and Repatriation Program Manager, Bill Billeck were in attendance providing presentations during festivities on the evening prior to the ceremony and fully involved in the proceedings of the day right down to the shoveling of soil onto the grave site.


In Loving Memory - Pete Hill

Written by Bill Hill on .

Pete Hill - August 7th 1942 to July 17th 2015

Pete Lee Hill (August 7th 1942 to July 17th 2015) of Naknek, AK peacefully departed for heaven on July 17, 2015 with his beloved wife Barbara Jane Hill by his side. Pete was born in Iliamna, AK on August 7, 1942. He claims he was born under a table on a rainy day because it was the only place that was dry, which we’ve learned wasn’t entirely true, but it was a good story. He was a lifelong resident of Alaska with most of his life spent in the Iliamna Lake and Bristol Bay areas, where he was part of a large family of Hills and Wilsons.


Fourth of July

Written by Loretta Peterson on .

4th of July village photo!

Who was all looking forward to Fourth of July? What fun plans did you have in mind? Well, here in Igiugig, we were all very thrilled to be having a parade in our little village.

Though it turned out to be a rainy and mighty windy day for a parade, it did not damper anyone’s joyful mood. We started off the afternoon in the hangar with some great company and wonderful appetizers. People from the community generously brought some small dishes of food which included ribs, baked salmon, spaghetti, macaroni salad, homemade biscuits, chips, watermelon, grape soda, 7-up, and capri sun.


Job Shadow with the Smolt Crew

Written by Tatyana Zackar on .

I did a job shadow with the smolt counting crew on the night of June 4th. The smolt crew this year are Chris Seawright, Dirk Middleton, and Logan (he’s the new Brad) and we got dressed and went down to the landing. The smolt trap is located just past Blueberry Island Lodge. After we got ready, we walked down to the landing, and we climbed into the boats and launched 12:30 A.M. It was calm, no bugs, over cast, and light rain but overall a warm night. After a 10 minute boat ride down to the trap, I got to watch Chris and Dirk set the smolt trap. It looked cool when a school of smolt got caught in the trap. Chis would dip his net in the trap and catch about a 100 smolt per dip. The smolt where then placed in a color coded bucket and all of the buckets where filled in about an hour and half. After all the buckets were full of smolt, we started to head back to the fish and game building. After undressing and warming up with a cup of coco served by Dirk. We sat down around the table and got ready to the sampling. First Logan measured the length of the smolt; Chris scraped scales from the smolt and then placed them on a slide. I helped Dirk weigh them. We stayed up really late until about 5:30 in the morning and after 50 samples I went home.


Flying Fishing & Guide Academy

Written by Tatyana Zackar on .

Sharolynn and I went to a fly fishing and guide academy on June 6th we got picked up with a float plane down below our house and they brought us to Kulik lodge. It was really fun. I got to fly out to American creek and fish for Char. The first fish I caught was a Char after 3 days of fishing in different spots. I was the last person there to catch a fish. The instructors did skits where they showed us how some people act when they fish it was funny. The guides at the lodge did skits too. They did groups of skits called “The good, the bad, and the ugly” where they showed us how a guide is supposed to act with each of the type of client but on the ugly skit the guide was the one acting bad. On the last full day there we did a Client day. Sheryl, Betsy, and Christina were some of the clients that day and I was so nervous and worried I didn’t know if I would pass being a guide. My client was the chief ranger for Katmai National Park, Tom Betts. We flew out to the American creek. He caught about 10 char. After, I found out that they passed us even before we left. We received a college credit for passing. When we came home we flew with a small plane. I didn’t like it.


Healthy Village Challenge

Written by Renee Grounds & Jiles Pourier on .

Igiugig Healthy village challenge participants

The Healthy Village Challenge wrapped up on June 8th with the awards ceremony held at Aquivik (‘the place to be active’). Over 30 local participants, ages 6 to 69 were awarded certificates, t-shirts, and prizes. Most participants lost between 5 and 15 pounds.

Jiles included subsistence foods on the t-shirt design (moose, caribou, goose, and salmon) to represent the importance of eating these healthy foods and getting in shape for subsistence activities. Part of the purpose behind the Healthy Village Challenge was to help us make a strong and injury-free transition from winter to summer when the fishing season and other subsistence activities pick up.


Unuameq Yuullenteni: Today, As we live: Seal hunting

Written by Sheryl Wassillie on .

Terry Wassillie is full blood Yup’ik from Newhalen, Alaska, which is one of the six villages that surround Lake Iliamna. His parents are the late Ira and Louise Wassillie of Newhalen, Alaska.

When Terry was five years old, his father Ira, would take him hunting and out on his trap line, it was then that he began absorbing all the knowledge of the land and animals that his father would share with him. “I had the best teacher in the world,” Terry said with pure respect for his father. As Terry was growing up, school wasn’t a huge priority, and he didn’t start preschool until he was seven years old. That didn’t bother him though, Terry said, “I had fun when I was growing up.” Once the first freeze over started, roughly beginning of November, his dad would take him to check their trap line and go hunting every day. This trap line extended from Lower and Upper Talarik Creek all the way to Brooks Range in the west.