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Elder Voices: Lela Oman

Noorvik from plane
The view from the plane ride from Noorvik to Kotzebue. Photo: Lauren Frost/KNOM

In April 2005, Lela Oman shared her story for an episode of Elder Voices. Lela was born in Noorvik on December 15th, 1915. As an adult, she worked at the hospitals in Mountain Village and Kotzebue, raised five kids, and visited Nova Scotia to speak about the Alaska judicial system.

In the episode, Lela describes the challenges of motherhood, facing severe weather, and living through a tuberculosis epidemic. She says prayers, family, and education were the things that helped her thrive.

Hear the story in Lela’s words in a rebroadcast of Elder Voices: a window to the past, a door to the future. The episode airs this Wednesday, April 12th, at 11am and again at 6pm.

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