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.

In the summer of 2009, Josephine Hishon worked on a small research paper while living in her home village of Tuntutuliak, where she had spent several years and most of her summers growing up. She studied Yu'pik cultural and subsistence practices, and we have included a few excerpts from her writing on this page. We will post a link to download the completed work soon.

"The most common way for people to prepare the salmon is to cut the fish and hang them to dry. Once the salmon are dried, they are brought to smoke houses. The fish are smoked for a period of up to four weeks. Salmon is also frozen so that it can be boiled or baked in later months when fresh salmon is no longer available."

"...These roots are called mouse food, because they are gathered by mice and stored for winter. People search for these mouse caches during fall time. When they find them, people dig up the cache and then take the roots. The roots are then brought home and cleaned, boiled, and then made into akutaq. The roots can also be added to soups. Mouse food is also frozen and used for later use."

"Through this project I hope to learn about the lifestyle changes that the people in the community have gone through. Learning more about Tuntutuliak, and the lifestyle changes will help me as well as others to understand the people and the community better, and to help understand the past and present cultures."

"Utilities are provided for by the Tuntutuliak Community Service Association, a part of the Tuntutuliak Tribal Council. Because running water is not available in the village, with an exception of the school, a Laundromat is provided for residents to do laundry.