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Local Woman Appointed to Presidential Council

Vi Waghiyi, an environmental justice advocate, mother, and grandmother who grew up in Savoonga, has been appointed to a federal advisory council on environmental justice. “It is an honor, not only as a Sivuqaq Yupik grandmother and Native Village of Savoonga tribal citizen, but as an Arctic Indigenous person who has been working on environmental […]

Nome Lifts Restrictions for Vaccinated Travelers

Woman wearing a bright reflective jacket and face covering standing outside COVID tent

After a year of severe travel restrictions that required mandatory testing and quarantines, the new ordinances are a relief to many in the region, particularly those in the villages. Due to the increased risk of catching COVID-19 in places without sanitation or running water, communities in the region were among the first in the nation […]

Hometown Musher Sets His Eyes on Next Year’s Iditarod

The 2021 Iditarod was a great race for Nome musher Aaron Burmeister, setting a personal record in his 27th race. Burmeister finished second, just three hours behind winner Dallas Seavey. This year, he said, the race was very different. “You know it’s a different event when you’re not going to Nome… It was certainly a […]

Breaking the Ice in the Arctic

Two different US Coast Guard ice breakers will venture past Western Alaska this year, in what locals and researchers are calling a strategic message to assert American sovereignty to the nation’s adversaries. First, the vessel Polar Star spent 12 weeks above the Arctic Circle, breaking a 40-year wintertime absence. Then, the Coast Guard announced the […]

“Dear Friend…” (May 2021)

Some newcomers are surprised to learn how important good humor is to Western Alaska, a region known for a pragmatic view of life. For the Indigenous people groups in Western Alaska, humor is a significant cultural value. The ability to make a good joke can diffuse a tough situation. Good humor gives strength to stay […]