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A “Restorative” Trip to Wales

Francesca Fenzi and Jenn Ruckel in Wales, Alaska
Francesca Fenzi and Jenn Ruckel in Wales, Alaska, on a reporting trip in April 2015.

We’re always happy when our volunteers travel to the isolated communities that KNOM serves. These trips, in a vital way, deepen our relationship with our listening region.

That’s definitely the case with a return visit of news volunteers Jenn Ruckel and Francesca Fenzi to the community of Wales, Alaska (on the westernmost fringes of our state, and pictured below). The two visited back in autumn 2014 and returned this April to prepare radio pieces about the garments they’re pictured wearing: qaspeqs (CUSS-pucks), which are beloved, traditional Alaska Native clothing.

Their trip — which, thanks to an ongoing sponsorship with a regional airline, was almost completely free — clearly yielded more than just good sound bites. As Jenn writes,

It was so restorative to sit in a room of women sewing, little girls running around, borrowing our microphones to interview each other… And then wearing those qaspeqs to the Wales choir practice, we joined in singing Americana-style folk hymns with some really talented musicians.

Thanks so much for allowing our volunteers not only to experience rural Alaska, but also to share this experience and to give back to the places we serve in a special way. As always, it’s all possible thanks to you.

Wales, Alaska
The community of Wales, Alaska, April 2015.

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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.