Land is the gift of our ancestors and the guarantee of our right to continue our subsistence lifestyle. Land is the heart of our culture. Without the land, we are nothing” – Harvey Samuelson, late Bristol Bay leader
By AlexAnna Samon, IVC President, April 2, 2020
The Village of Igiugig is a small, self-sufficient community with strong cultural and environmental values. As a community, we strive for a prosperous future by creating a sustainable social and economic future that is compatible with our subsistence way of life. In November 2019, Igiugig Village Council launched a campaign to purchase a 160-acre Native Allotment before it was sold to outside interests. The land holds special significance to the Igyararmiut (people of Igiugig) because it is the oldest continually used salmon fish camp on the upper Kvichak River and was established by Mrs. Dolly Gust, also lovingly called “Amau” (Great-grandmother in Yup’ik) by her many descendants in the Lake Iliamna region. We are ecstatic to announce that with your help and contribution, we have successfully raised all the funding needed to secure the property. Future plans include rebuilding the fish camp for youth to use as a Yup’ik language immersion camp. The educational site will be used to teach subsistence and cultural values which were developed by our ancestors living in reciprocity with this land over millennia. Future plans also include continuing to work with our partners at Caltech University and University of Alaska, Anchorage to build a Northern Wind Energy Field Lab to test wind power at the site, while protecting the riverfront property for its critical cultural site and salmon habitat. This project was supported, in part, by a grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation through its special projects funding to the Igiugig Village Council. The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation fosters path-breaking scientific discovery, environmental conservation, patient care improvements and preservation of the special character of the Bay Area. Visit Moore.org and follow @MooreFound for more information.
Following is a list of other contributors:
Linda Branham – Royal Wolf
Lodge, Big Ku Lodge Owner
Halay Turning Heart
In addition to donating money, many contributors offered praise for our community and way of life. Your contribution to our shared vision and goal is immensely appreciated. Quyana to the allotment owner and everyone that made this effort possible. It was from Amau herself that I learned the word Quyanaqvaa, “My how thankful!”