Conversations in rural Alaska

Teller, Alaska

A regular part of our mission is to send our hardworking volunteers to the rural, isolated villages in our listening area, especially when events rally those communities together around a particular cause.

Eva collects audio at Teller presentationLast month, volunteers Eva DeLappe and Lucus Keppel visited one of the communities closest to KNOM: Teller, a village on the coast of the Seward Peninsula (pictured at top). Both went to gather material for their respective jobs at KNOM. Lucus recorded voices and other material to be used in spot production. Eva (as pictured) reported on a news event, a pancake dinner benefit that featured a local author, Claire Kennon, whose novels address a problem that is tragically rampant in rural Alaska: domestic violence. Here’s Eva in her own words:

It was amazing and inspiring to meet such a courageous woman. In her powerful presentation, Claire shed light on the mindset of a domestic violence survivor; the message was that we cannot judge women who stay in harmful situations, but we can help them.

I also did my first interview for Elder Voices (KNOM’s program featuring the stories of respected Alaska Native elders). I spoke with James Okpealuk (ahk-bee-YAH-look), an 80-year-old Siberian Yup’ik man born and raised in the village of Diomede (DYE-yuh-meed). He told me stories about seal hunting, his father’s love of Eskimo dancing, and his own passion for ivory carving. He was kind and generous, and I felt honored to listen to his stories firsthand.

The drive was fun! It was a two-hour drive on a long, quiet dirt road. And we could tell winter is definitely here. We passed half-frozen streams, saw snow-white mountains, and drove through snow flurries.

Thank you for making trips like this possible! (Additional photos, below: artwork in the Teller school celebrating Native culture and decrying domestic violence.)

Artwork in Teller School

Hands against domestic violence

This article is part of the November 2012 edition of our newsletter, The Nome Static.