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Elder Voices: Patrick Omiak

Patrick Omiak, an elder from Little Diomede, Alaska

This September, Elder Voices remembered the late Patrick Omiak. Born in Diomede in 1935, the respected leader passed away in early August of this year due to natural causes. He was 77 years old. 

In November 2010, Patrick shared his memories and experiences with Elder Voices. We re-aired his story this month in honor of his passing.

Diomede, from the runway

In winter months, air transportation to the remote island community of Little Diomede involves landing on a runway made of ice.

“One time a white man said to me, Patrick, every time I see you, you always look real happy. I said, I got to! I got to be happy.”

– Patrick Omiak

Episode I

Episode II

Episode III

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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.

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