Communications From Near and Far.

Page 2 (year 2003 - 07). To Page 1 (2002)

The following messages originated as emails sent to, some have been edited slightly for spelling, length and content. Send an email message and we will post it here. I may edit for length and content. Webmaster comments will be included in brackets and italicized. I will not post email addresses unless specifically instructed to do so. If you wish to contact any of the message writers please send a message to

From: Angie SantaAna, December 21, 2007
Hi! I was wondering how you say Merry Christmas in Cup'ig? Thanks.
Angie Santa Ana

Reply: Hi Angie,
I copied the text below from Howard's Director's messages on the website:
Agayunerpakegcikici (Have a very Merry Christmas)
Allrakularakegciluci-llu, (and have a Happy New Year)

January 2, 2008
Thanks for keeping the website alive and well.

From: Brenda Kolerok-Schott, December 9, 2007
Quyana so very much for these pictures.   These are TRUE TREASURES of our
parents and puts their stories of life on Nunivak Island into perspective.
I have already started sharing these pictures with my family members.
Brenda Kolerok-Schott

From: Elwin Estle, December 8, 2007
I have started a special flickr account called historic-nunivak and uploaded some new photos that are not on the nunivak project site.  As of now, there are only a few, but I will try to add more as time permits.

From: Melissa Doherty, November 27, 2007
Hello Uncle Howard,
What a terrific site you have put together.  I haven't had time to view it all - but I have printed many many pages already.
I was hoping you can help me with some Cup’ig holiday traditions.  Maverick has a report to do but I don't know ANYTHING about any Eskimo holiday traditions - if any...  Is there anything special or significant you can remember as a child about Christmas?  Are there other holiday traditions?  Was there gifts?  Was there a special food prepared for special days?  Anything can help.

I have to get some other work done now, but I will be coming back to the site to finish reading it.  Way to go.

From: Dorothy Childers, November 21, 2007
My co-worker, Muriel Morse, and I visited Mekoryuk Nov. 7-9. We gave a presentation to the IRA Council and City about a federal fisheries management decision to create a boundary for bottom trawling in the Bering Sea. We are working with Joseph David and David Bill from Toksook Bay in support of a new Bering Sea Elders Advisory Group to guide tribes in the region on this issue. Mekoryuk IRA is a member of this group.
I have learned a lot from your web site. The place names map is wonderful. I am interested in the fish camp map and documentation of the historic and contemporary use and availability of Atgiiyar. Are the results of that project available? It may be useful in describing fishing grounds which the tribe would want to protect from bottom trawling in the future.
I am happy to explain more about our work.
Dorothy Childers
Program Director
Alaska Marine Conservation Council
(907) 277-5357

From: Judy McCune, November 18, 2007
It would be wonderful to see some photos of all of the children on your island.   This is a most enjoyable site, thank you. How many adults/children live on the island, and where do you go for the winter if you do not stay on the island?

Reply: At Nunivak there is a fairly steady year round population of about 200 people. 99% of which are Cup'ig Eskimos. There are about 50 children. The population moves around quite a bit, often for seasonal employment like fishing and construction jobs in Anchorage or Bethel. Like other Alaskans some people like to go south for winter, but others go home for winter while the construction season halts in other places.

From: Judy McCune, December 9, 2007
My grandchildren and daughter-in-law are part Aleut. I would love to have access to patterns that would be suitable to surprise them with carvings, or paintings.   I have been making Heida carvings and teaching young Native Children how to get started at it. I'm also interested in obtaining a tape of some of your traditional songs to share with all children, as I am involved with people from many tribes.  If there are tapes or cd's, it would be good to have translations, so there is meaning of the songs.

I don't know if you know Teri Smith?  She is my daughter-in-law.  My son mentioned that she has a relative living on Nunivak.  I feel badly sending them a Heida bear, when I should be making her something to keep her memories of her own culture alive, and spark interested in my children.

What a bounty to share the cultures and traditions. You see, once you have open and prejudice free sharing it just grows and grows! You become guided by the ancestors to join in a festival of celebrating all cultures in a way that was never open to you before. Obviously you are very much a part of that sharing.  How special that you communicate with any that write to you.
Sincerely, Judy McCune

From: Kelly Gavrich, November 11, 2007
My name is Kelly Gavrich. I am a Linguistics undergraduate student at the University of Washington in Seattle. I am doing a research project on Bilingualism and communities and am very interested in your community's approach to preserve the native Cup'ig language. I was wondering if anyone is available to answer some brief questions via email about your current language programs and their success to date, as well as any future plans you have for your schools and language programs. I have some more specific questions, if you have the time to answer. If this is something you would be interested in helping me with, please reply to this email or give me the appropriate email address where I can send my brief questionnaire. I really appreciate your help!
Kelly Gavrich

From: Jeffrey L. Bada, October 5, 2007
I worked on Nunivak Island in 1968 and 1969 as part of a group studying the way Arctic fish adapt to freezing seawater temperatures. I have many great pictures from that period that may be of interest to your group.  Let me know if you want copies of these and I can make arrangements to send them.
October 12
I was on Nunivak in March and June of 1968 as well as in March 1969.  I only have pictures of the 1968 trips.  I notice that some of the slides in the summer show a lot of dried fish.  Some are probably Arctic Char, but the others may be cod.  I will look at my notes (if I can find them) because I caught a lot of fish for my studies.  I am looking forward to working on putting this into a nice historical story.  I will be in touch again soon.
Professor Jeffrey L. Bada
Director, NASA Specialized Center of Research and Training in Exobiology
Scripps Institution of Oceanography
University of California at San Diego
La Jolla, CA 92093-0212

From: Dana Pauzauskie, August 19, 2007
My name is Dana Pauzauskie -- daughter of Bill Pauzauskie.  My father was recently visiting Nunivak and mentioned a project I am working on. I am currently studying the impact of climate change on (broadly) Inuit traditional culture. I study at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, but last spring I started this project through a class I took at Haskell and I will continue to work with a few of their professors.
I am curious if I can be of any assistance to you through contacts etc. -- and perhaps within my project. I am just returning to the semester and will devoting as much time as I can to studying the political, environmental, and cultural components involved in the warming Alaskan climate.
Thank you for your time,

From: Roseanne (Noratuk) Diaz, August 16, 2007
Hello Everyone,
This is Roseanne Diaz, youngest daughter of Reuben (Chun-ni) Noratuk.
Well, I stumbled upon this website while looking up information about my family.  I think it was meant to happen.  I hope to hear from extended family anyway.  My father Reuben "Chunni" Noratuk is doing well and my sister Ruth lives in Fairbanks and has a son whose 4 years old.  I am now married and have 3 children ages 5, 3 and 1 years old.  I stay at home raising the children and also working at home. Currently my husband and I are enrolled to attend school in Seattle, WA for Interior Design and Fashion Design.  So, three years from now you might see my clothing or product on the shelf and say, "I'm related the her!" I just want to keep in touch with family since that's the most hardest thing to do now a days. People are so busy. I hope everyone is well, and blessed everyday of their life. Enjoy it to the fullest! Take care and God bless.
Roseanne (Noratuk) Diaz

From: Renato Figueiredo, August 6, 2007
Dear friends, my name is Renato Figueiredo, I'm Brazilian, I really love to learn languages, and to learn about languages. I found your web site, with Yupik wordlist. It is very good. Congratulations. I would like to suggest, of course, if it possible for you, to create on line lessons of this language. I think this will help people to know more about your culture. Recently I met a site about Gw'ich language, which is also very good and interesting. Sincerely yours

From: Werner Herklotz, May 3, 2007
First of all a very kind greeting to you from Germany. May I ask you, it is possible to buy some nice colorful unused postcards from your impressive Nunivak Island from you? I would be very interested in. I am an enthusiastic collector, not a dealer. If it is possible, please let me know the costs for postcards and postage. Best wishes and many thanks for your understanding.
Yours sincerely,
Werner Herklotz
Robert-Klett-Ring 25
 D-01796 Pirna-Copitz
Deutschland / Germany, Europe

From Jiri Hrabec, April 16, 2007
Dear Sir,
I am a young collector of picture postcards of the whole world. I would like to have in my collection the postcards of every country or territory, namely from the capital or the royal seat, and, moreover, from another interesting places. I wish to obtain also the postcards from Nunivak Island - Mekoryuk. It is impossible for me to get the postcards from Nunivak Island region in a different way. I thank you very much for your amiability and for the postcards you will send me so kindly.
Yours sincerely,
Saratovska 17/1235
100 00 Praha 10-Strasnice
Czech Republic

From: Marie Byrd, October 29, 2006
I hope you all are well up there. I'm doing well down here in the South, (TN). I was just visiting your website and came across the Cup'ig dictionary. My daughters have been asking me about the meanings of their eskimo names and their children's eskimo names and I didn't have the slightest idea what they were. Finally, I've got most of them and thanks to the dictionary you developed. There are only couple of them that I didn't find. One is Can'iralria and the other is Nayarnir. I know you can find out for me and I would really appreciate this. I'll be waiting for answer, and I hope soon. Until then . . . Marie

From: James Akerelrea, August 9, 2006
I like what I am seeing on your website. I am James Akerelrea from Scammon Bay. I am an Interim Manager for the City of Scammon Bay and I am also ABE and GED Instructor, just recently hired. Have a nice day.

From: Douglas G. Vulcan, November 20, 2005
I'm doing an Alaska studies class, and studying the yupik culture. I really enjoyed your wonderful web page. Thank you from Montana.

From: Della Hendrickson, October 24, 2005
Hi, I am just writing to say hello to everyone who reads this. I finally saw this website and just brings back so many memories. I especially would like to say hi to Auntie Prudy. Take care and God bless you all.

From: June Sandberg, September 12, 2005
Hello, my name is June Sandberg and I live in Cody, Wyoming. In 1987, I purchased a Loon Spirit Mask at the Alaska Native Hospital in Anchorage (Big Pink Building). It was in Downtown Anchorage. The Mask looked like the one of Peter Smith, Sr., has in the Anchorage Museum. I think it is beautiful. The Lady in the Craft Shop told me that it was made by a SMITH, and she thought the first name was Johnny. (???)  I have looked for years to get information on the carver, but to date I haven't had any success. I was wondering if you or someone there on Nunivak Island could help me. I have been collecting Native art from Alaska for about 25 years, I try to document all of the items that I purchase, as to the Artist, area, date, etc.  Any help you can provide would be a great help.  I can send you a picture over the e-mail , if you would like to see the Mask. Any help you can provide will be greatly appreciated.   Thank You,  June [View Mask here]

From: Louise Shavings, September 7, 2005
I was doing research on other Alaska Native cultures and came across the site by accident. It was a good accident. I am quite pleased that you were able to combine the traditional with the western technology; I think that's very innovative! I think it is worth it to keep the site alive although I don't know much about the history of the site; for instance, when it was first formed, how long it's been on the net, how long it is updated? It appears there are 18,000+ site visitors since the inception. I will say that it is very neat to see the former elders on the net, it brings me joy and fond memories of these elders whom I used to do chores for and help out and of course spend time with. Good job. Louise

From: Eva (David) Malvich, May 18, 2005
Hello to everyone at home! I often wish I could go home, especially after surfing the website. Thank you for posting all of those pictures, they bring lots of happy memories for me. I attached several pictures for your viewers. They were scanned from my sister Jeannie Richard's collection of pictures.

After reading Howard's commentaries about fishcamp, I am grateful I got to experience the fishcamp trips, fishing (especially jigging for salmon fry using a bent needle & fishing line), harvesting bird eggs, etc. for several years when I was growing up. I hope my 3 boys get to experience this too, one day. The boys and I will be traveling back to Bethel shortly for the summer. One more year of graduate school and I will be back for good. Hope to run into many of my friends and relatives in Bethel this summer.
Eva (David) Malvich

From: Frieda (Pirraq) Seebold, Anchorage, January 11, 2005
Happy New Year to all Nuniwarmiut, This is a great website, thanks to all those whom have worked so hard in getting this website together. I'm so proud to show this site to all the people I know here, I even told my in-laws in Arizona about the site and they have enjoyed reading about Natives in Alaska. Its so nice to see old photos of our elders, as well as up to date photos. It always good to know what is happening out there in Mekoryuk. Have a great year. Quyana.
Frieda (Pirraq) Seebold

From: Luke A. Smith, Anchorage, August 17, 2004
I have been meaning to drop a line to you regarding the web page you folks have put together. You and your group have definitely done a tremendous job in preserving our history. As you know I am in school and I have been "showing off" the web page to my class mates to let them know that we can do things like this if we really tried. Also, whenever we present class issues I use it as a reference for my class projects. You have designed the web site really well. We have reviewed some "good" and "bad" sites and I think NPT site is one of the best. Thanks for your time consuming efforts on this project. And keep adding "good" information to the site.
All them "old" pictures of school with Estel are very interesting. Keep up the good work.
God Bless. Luke A. Smith

From: Jason Mathlaw, May 25, 2004
Hello there people of Nuniwarmuit. I thought I would drop a line and say hello.
Jason Mathlaw

From: Marian L. Shavings, April 22, 2004

What an awesome website - hurray to the people that worked on this site - I especially like the dictionary and the pictures. I finally went to the website what Elwin Estle emailed and lo and behold I saw myself in elementary school and my mother Susie Shavings. Keep up your fantastic work on this website - thank you.
Marian L. Shavings

From: Ann Craig, November 21, 2003
Subject: Mekoryuk Indian Totem

I discovered your site today while searching for information on a totem pole I inherited from my father. He received it as a gift around 1928.

On the back of the totem, in pencil, are the following words "The Mekoryuk Indian Totem", and what's left of a label from "Ye Olde Curiosity Shop" in Seattle.

After looking at your site, I'm wondering if this totem was carved by someone from Mekoryuk. That would be so exciting! I was impressed by the photos, by the strength and courage the people displayed, and by the wonderful stories they exchange about their history. Although our world is huge, it's also very small when one finds they have ties to these beautiful people. I look forward to continued visits to your website, so I can learn more about the culture and activities of your area.

Ann Craig
Granite Falls, WA

From: Marie C. Byrd, November 4, 2003
Subject: Nuniwarmiut Kassiyuurtait Photos

Congratulations! All I can say is "what an AWESOME PROFESSIONAL Nuniwarmiut Kassiyuurtait" ya'll are at the 2003 AFN Convention!! I'm so proud of you guys and gals, and I'm so proud to be with our heritage. You all look so good and very awesome in the photos, also handsome looking guys and little guy and very beautiful gals. Very beautiful and awesome outfits, too. You all keep up the wonderful, beautiful tradition and culture work we have. I wish I could have been there to see you all perform. If you have invitations to come to the states in the future, please let me know. Keep up the great work. It's always great to visit your website.

Marie C. Byrd

From: Carolyn Finlay, October 25, 2003
Subject: Nunivak website
Just a quick note to say I enjoyed your website. I am a 2nd-year university student of linguistics in Bristol, England (even though I am 52 yrs old). I found your website when looking for information on the internet for my project this year on English place-names.
In Britain people do not study Native American languages very much, but I have been interested in them for a long time. Agglutinating languages contain subtleties that are difficult for us to learn. I first understood this from reading Joseph Rael's book, 'Beautiful Painted Arrow', though of course that was dealing with a very different language from yours.
It is good that you have received sponsorship to create the dictionary - I hope you get enough to follow other projects too.
Good wishes,
Carolyn Finlay

From: Brenda (Kolerok) Schott, October 1, 2003

I was excited to see the Nuniwarmiut Piciryarata Tamaryalkuti website. I
lived in Mekoryuk until I was about 5 years old, but I have very vivid
memories of playing on the beach, helping my mom pack water from the village
well, the school, boardwalk, reindeer project, playing in the tundra,
pulling my toy wooden boat along the beach and picking up dead jellyfish.
Although I grew up in Anchorage, I always tell people I'm Cupiq from
Mekoryuk - and I'm very proud of my people and heritage.
Brenda (Kolerok) Schott

From: Ben Orr, May 15, 2003
Subject: about website

You have a fantastic and very informative website! I expect I will be spending a lot of time visiting your website.
Ben Orr

From: Michele Williams, April 4, 2003
Subject: Hello!!

My name is Michele Williams
I really enjoyed your website. So many good memories...Please make updated appointments

From: Rose David, January 20, 2003
Subject: Great Website!

Once again, you've created a great website. Maybe, it's the familiar faces, land, and language. I'm in Lawton, OK going for my M.A.T. Took awhile for the songs to pop up and I'm writing this while listening to the song by Kay Hendrickson. Excellent! Keep it up.

From: Steven Whitman, January 10, 2003
Subject: Happy To See Nunivak Website

Hello All and Happy New Year!!
Just want to say that you all have done a great job on the Nunivak website. It is great to see familar faces and all the other great folks of Mekoryuk, AK.
Again, Happy New Year and a big hello from Dutch Harbor, AK.

Steven Whitman (Qairuan), Westward Fishing Company

From Mary Bendorf, January 6, 2003:
Greetings, ran across your great web site and wanted to let you know that the photo of the boy blowing the bubble by the kayak was photograped by EP Haddon in 1949 [photos (large) (small)]. After discovering the picture he confirmed that it is his. Mr. Haddon is now 93 and one of the most remarkable people that I know. We have heard the stories of how he loved to give the kids bubble gum but he had no longer possession of the photos. He said there was the father out of the kayak first, the mother with a large basket of berries, which he also photographed, a dog and then the boy. He said they seem to have kept on coming. It was indeed a thrill to see the photo and hear the story again. The kayak was driftwood and sealskin. Will check your site often, thanks again, he has the most wonderful memories of his time in Alaska. Sincerely, Mary Bendorf

From Nick Verhellen, January 4, 2003
Subject: hallo from belgium to nunivak

My name is Robin, I am living with my mam and dad in Belgium and I am 8 years old. I am collecting postcards and stamps from all over the world. Now I am trying to receive at least one postcard from as much countries worldwide. Do you want to help me too and send me a postcard ?
Yes ? Just send me an email back and I give you my name and adress.
Thanks a lot in advance. Later I'll let you know how many cards I will have received.
PS : can you tell me what 'Good Morning' is in your language

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