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Story49: Delbert Pungowiyi

Delbert Pungowiyi sits with a cup of coffee in the IRA office in Savoonga.
Delbert Pungowiyi at the Savoonga IRA. Photo: Zoe Grueskin, KNOM.

Delbert Pungowiyi was born in Savoonga in 1959. Back then, he says, they had “nine months of winter.”

As climate change has reshaped life on St. Lawrence Island, Delbert has become a fierce voice calling for action to protect his home.

In this two-part series, Delbert shares memories from his childhood and explains what’s at stake for his community. He’s learned that what motivates him is not fear, but love, and his vision for the future is one of hope.

To hear the series on the air, tune in to KNOM on the following dates. You can also listen using the audio players below after the first air date of each episode.

Episode One: “People of the Bering Sea”
June 17th at 6 pm, June 21st at 3 pm

Episode Two: “She’s on the Move”
July 15th at 6 pm, July 19th at 3 pm

Thin ice and open water along the coast of Savoonga in late March 2018.
Thin ice and open water along the coast of Savoonga in late March 2018. Photo: Zoe Grueskin, KNOM.

If you or someone you know has a story to share, contact KNOM at (907) 443-5221 or through our contact formStory49: Sharing your voice, your story, your Alaska.

Image at top: Delbert Pungowiyi in the Savoonga IRA office. Photo: Zoe Grueskin, KNOM.


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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.