Igiugig Tribal Library is pleased to announce that the Niraqutaq Qallemcinek (Bridge of Stories) website is ready for visitors, with eight recorded stories, two of which have been translated into Yup’ik. Go to www.igiugigstorybridge.org to hear stories like “A Close Call” and “What the Elders Told Us Not To Do.” Niraqutaq Qallemcinek is a multi-year local history project that collects and organizes audio stories and related photographs from community members to share Igiugig’s rich social and cultural history and support Yup'ik language learning. Library staff would like to invite ALL Igiugig residents to share at least one story about this incredible place and the people who live here. The four story categories are:
- Yuut | People (fond memories, things they taught you, etc.)
- Unguva Unuaquaqan Yuungnaqsaraq-llu | Daily Life and Subsistence
- Ellami cayarat Qanemciit-llu | Outdoor Adventure and Local Lore
- Akallaat Piyarat Cimimimi-llu | Traditions and Changing Times
On-site librarian Kiara Nelson is trained to use the recording software and ready to gather stories, and if you come with a story in mind, the whole process only takes about 30 minutes. While first-time storytellers admit to feeling a bit nervous when they get started, afterwards they discover the process was easier than they expected. A few things to keep in mind is that only your voice will be recorded, and the stories are meant to be conversational, just as if you are sitting around talking with friends. Your story will not be instantly posted on the internet; you can re-record until you are happy with it. Finally, you may not think your stories are important, but they most definitely are. Think what a gift it is to family, friends, and people around the world to tell your own story in your own voice. Quyana to those who have shared stories so far, and to those who will share stories.
This story project was made possible by a grant from the Alaska State Library. The Library also received another grant from the Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries, and Museums and the National Endowment for the Humanities for a second story project called, Qanemcimta Pinirituakut (Our Stories Make Us Strong), which allows Igiugig Tribal Library to help three other tribal/public libraries or other cultural organizations in Alaska to start their own story projects. On October 25-27, library staff Kiara Nelson and A.J. Gooden will present Niraqutaq Qallemcinek and Qanemcimta Pinirituakut at the Association for Tribal Archives, Libraries, and Museums Conference in Temecula, California. We hope to have gathered many of your stories to represent Igiugig.