780 AM | 96.1 FM 


(907) 443-5221

Hometown leaders honored for helping others

A man in a military uniform, Major General Torrence Saxe, puts a pin on an Elder who is sitting down.

Recently, a number of stories have emerged about leaders whose examples, sacrifice, and focus on others honor their communities.

First, Corporal Bruce Boolowon was awarded for his heroic effort rescuing 11 U.S. Navy airmen in 1955. Boolowon saw a U.S. Navy airplane, a Lockheed P2V-5 Neptune, shot down by Soviet fighter planes. He and a group of 16 other Indigenous Alaska National Guardsmen were first on the scene and got the airmen to safety. Boolowon, the only member of the group still alive, was given the state’s highest award for valor during peacetime, the Alaska Heroism Medal.

Days later, the Alaska Native Heritage Center recognized Sam Schimmel, a 23-year-old Siberian Yupik and Kenaitze Indian man, for his effort to share Alaska Native values and feed his people. Currently a law student, Schimmel coordinated an effort to distribute more than twelve thousand pounds of salmon: a gift of food, and also of cultural continuity. “Some of the greatest stories that you’ll ever hear are told around a table set with Indigenous foods,” Schimmel said.

Finally, Marjorie Kunaq Tahbone, an Inupiaq and Kiowa woman from Nome, was awarded the prestigious Governor’s Arts and Humanities Award. She is an artist, teacher, traditional tattooist, hide tanner, and business owner awarded for her efforts to revitalize culture, such as starting Nome’s Inupiaq immersion program for kindergarten and first grade. She has recently been named the director of Nome’s Katirvik Cultural Center.

“Our languages and our cultures will make us happier, healthier people,” Kunaq said. “It’s not my knowledge to keep. It’s something that must be passed down and shared with everybody and anybody who wants to learn.”

Image at top: Alaska’s top military officer, Maj. Gen. Torrence Saxe pins the a heroism medal on Cpl. Bruce Boolowon in Gambell. Photo courtesy Robert DeBerry, Alaska National Guard.

Share this story


Recent Posts

Round Two: U-Call We-Haul Trash Pickups Return

Overwhelming response to the recent U-Call We-Haul event has prompted the City of Nome to go for another round. Thursday and Friday, June 10-11 residents within city limits will have one more chance to to call and schedule a trash pickup.  Angie Nguyen from the City Manager’s office shared that

Read More »
A long table with a gavel resting on it. American flag in background.

City of Nome Finalizes $17.9 Million Budget for 2025

The Nome Common Council finalized the city’s fiscal year 2025 budget during its meeting on Monday, June 10. The approved General Municipal Fund Budget stands at $17,948,567.33, reflecting a slight decrease from the 2024 fiscal year’s amended budget. A $2,390,600.97 deficit is expected and will be financed through appropriations. Revenues

Read More »

Wednesday Night in Nome: Miss ANB Pageant Returns

The Miss ANB Pageant will be held at 7:00 p.m. June 12 at the Mini Convention Center in Nome. Organized by Janet Tobuk and her daughter Marsha Tobuk, the event highlights the traditions and cultural knowledge of contestants from the Bering Strait region.  This year all contestants are first-time participants,

Read More »



Work for Us:




(907) 443-5221 


(907) 868-1200 

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.