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KNOM News: Delving Deeper

Children hold a large cloth near a reindeer herd on a sunny day on the tundra.

Alaska Native ivory carving is both an expression of culture and a source of income for crafters who convert the tusks gathered after subsistence hunting into works of art. The business has been complicated in recent years by confusion between African elephant ivory and walrus ivory.

Recent KNOM news stories have provided clarity on this regionally significant issue.

Ivory carvings on display, behind glass, inside a small Nome gift shop.
Examples of subsistence culture and rural entrepreneurship: traditional Alaska Native walrus ivory carvings for sale at a Nome shop. Photo: Davis Hovey, KNOM.

Also featured are efforts to pass on the trade of reindeer herding to younger generations. News Director Davis Hovey described how dozens of children from Western Alaska learned about herding from a local ranch owner, Bruce Davis. Bruce says that even with its inherent challenges, reindeer herding is still “a possible way to make a living.” He hopes his “Youth Reindeer Summit” will help revitalize the profession.

Because of your support of KNOM, news reports need not fit the short, immediate coverage one would expect from commercial radio. Complicated stories like ivory commerce laws and entrepreneurial enterprises like reindeer herding can be communicated at length and in greater detail.

This type of reporting reflects KNOM’s mission and values. Thank you for the important stories you make possible!

Image at top: Children learn reindeer herding at a site several miles outside Nome. Photo courtesy of Rosalie Debenham, Bureau of Indian Affairs.

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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.