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Elder Voices: Barbara Koogasagoon

Large casks used for fermenting walrus meat in Savoonga.

This week, Elder Voices shares the story of Barbara Koogasagoon from Savoonga. Barbara remembers life in Savoonga before electricity, before airplanes. The men spent their days hunting and trapping, the women gathered greens, and she and her sisters carved to help support the family.

Barbara also reflects on all the jobs she held throughout her life; working in the kitchen at the Savoonga school, volunteering as a firefighter, and acting as a midwife for most of her life.

If she had to do it all again, she would go to college: “I wish I was young. I would try my best. I would try my best to go to college. It’s useful. It’s useful for our village.”

From the KNOM archive, tune into Elder Voices every Wednesday at 11am and again at 6pm. Elder Voices: a window to the past, a door to the future.

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