Tuluksak

 

About 430 mostly Yup’ik people make their home in Tuluksak.  It is located on the Tuluksak River near the junction of the Kuskokwim River about 35 miles northeast of Bethel, the region’s largest town. The Yup'ik people have long used this area as their traditional hunting, fishing, and trapping territories, traveling great distances between seasonal camps using waterways, land trail networks, and man-made portages to access them. Fish, such as whitefish, is an important food source, but salmon is the primary species harvested by many families. Other primary food harvested include waterfowl and their eggs, snowshoe hares, beavers, and a wide variety of berries and plants which make up a family’s typical diet.

 

As with many communities in the Y-K area, seasonal jobs along with subsistence gathering activities play a crucial role in the economy. Jobs are scarce with a few permanent ones available with the school, local government, and health services such as community health aide positions. Residents take advantage of summer job opportunities in commercial fishing.

 

Along with Tuluksak, the communities of Akiachak and Akiak make up the Yupiit School District. Moe Tapoka, a local teacher, cares for a school dog team throughout the year. In 1970, a city government was created, but was dissolved in 1997. Because plumbing does not exist, residents use honeybuckets and must haul their own water from a treated well which serves as the only watering point in the community. A washeteria, clinic and school are the main buildings in town.

 

Households spend much of their resources on transportation goods including fishing boats, skiffs, snow machines and ATV’s needed for subsistence gathering and hunting. A small airport provides local air transportation year round and cargo barges deliver goods in summer.