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In Koyuk: a Few Days, Listening

Koyuk, Alaska
A few buildings of Koyuk, Alaska and points beyond.

Thanks to your support, one of KNOM’s newest programs continues to make waves in our region.

Story49 is dedicated to sharing the wide diversity of stories in rural Alaska, and most recently, it’s in the capable hands of volunteer producer Kristin Leffler.

In October, Kristin traveled for several days to a community in the heart of KNOM’s listening range: Koyuk, Alaska, pictured at top.

Koyuk Halloween costume contest
This year’s Halloween costume contest in Koyuk, Alaska.

She was there to work as a KNOM correspondent, although as she writes in a recent blog post, it was crucially important not only to capture stories on tape but, also, to listen — with the microphone off — to understand the perspectives and life rhythms of those in the Koyuk community. She says:

Throughout the three days I was there, I found myself enthralled in beautifully open conversations.

I learned about the dreams of the only graduating senior in the village; I listened to the love story of a woman who recently moved from Indiana… I judged the Halloween costume contest (pictured), and I helped clean up after parent-teacher conferences. I stood and looked over the frozen water, rode on the back of four-wheelers… (and) tried to participate in the wonderful community that generously hosted and welcomed me, even if it was just for a few days.

As broadcasters, we — like Kristin — know that our mission continues even when the microphone is off. Our service, to help connect and build bridges within our region, is as much about listening as it is about talking. Thank you again for making this possible.

We encourage you to read more of Kristin’s story and listen to her Story49 episodes.


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Land Acknowledgement

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.