To assist us in our this project, we involved undergraduate students from UAA who have lived in our partner communities. They helped us to learn about local culture and customs, and gave us an additional glimpse into rural life and subsistence practices. The works posted on this page are from the writing of one such undergraduate research assistant.

Arnold Simon-Noratak, a student at UAA who spent many years in Chevak, worked with us in 2009 to document his experiences in Chevak and tell us about life there. He composed four documents for us. You can read a brief excerpt and download each one.

"The things our ancestors learned over many generations have allowed us to live a traditional lifestyle which is a big part of our lives today. But you have to keep doing it and continue learning about it, or the process will be forgotten. This lifestyle is not easy. It can be tough, but... this way of life can also be fun."

"On the second day of the trip, my dad and I spend most of the day checking our favorite meadows and valleys where we hang out and eat lunch.... While we wade through the tall grasses and thick brush, he explains to me not to stick too close and be on alert for any harmful animals such as bears, wolves, and moose."

"Hunting and gathering subsistence foods in our community is the most important activity for survival of the Cup’ik people."

"The final process of the subsistence cycle is sharing the food with Elders and other relatives in Chevak."

"It is nice to see icebergs everywhere when we go out, because the seals like to rest and sleep on top of the icepacks and can be easily spotted."
"Hunting can be dangerous, and we are taught how to be as safe as possible all the time."