“They’re learning the traditional way of providing food on the table,” cultural educator Sandi Keller said. “Today’s catch is going to go to the Elders, which is also an Inupiaq value.”
Second-grader Kanon Lewis explained why he likes to fish and give the catch to Elders.
“To be kind and nice,” Lewis said. “It’s important to me because I like to share, and I like to catch fish.”
Parent Briana Piscoya agreed. “I think this is really wonderful for them to be out here ice fishing, and outdoors,” Piscoya said. “I also think it’s a great thing for patience, which we are all learning right here.”
The lessons in ice fishing, or manaqing as it’s known in the Yugtun language, are a staple of the curriculum and happen several times in the year.
Image at top: Sixteen was the magic number when reporter Greg Knight tagged along with a group of 16 elementary students who braved temperatures of -16° to learn how to ice fish.