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Elder Voices: Harriet Penayah, Part Three

Harriet Penayah rests on her couch in Savoonga.  Photo by Eva DeLappe.
Harriet Penayah rests on her couch in Savoonga.
Photo by Eva DeLappe.

This series features Yupik Elder Harriet Penayah. Listen to the previous episode here.

Harriet Penayah stays active in her community. The 80 year-old elder teaches children native drumming and dance. She also recently opened up her home to her community’s youth.

Savoonga has no teen center. After the “hang-out place” closed down, Harriet saw teens in her community needed a safe and private place to call their own. So she welcomed Savoonga’s teens into her home, and encouraged them to play instruments and fed them snacks like popcorn and juice.

“We live in a world in which we need to share responsibility,” Harriet says. “It’s easy to say it’s not my child, not my community, not my world, not my problem. But we are all part of Alaska.”

Listen here: 


KNOM’s Elder Voices features a new Western Alaskan elder each month. If you would like to be featured, or know an elder who would, contact us. Call 907-443-5221, or send an email to publicaffairs@knom.org. 



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We acknowledge that KNOM Radio Mission is located on the customary lands of Indigenous peoples. 

Based in the Bering Strait region, KNOM broadcasts throughout the homelands of the Iñupiaq, Siberian Yup’ik, Cup’ik and Yup’ik peoples.