Your donation will help Igyararmiut (the people of Igiugig Village) purchase an historic fish camp before it is sold to outside interests and local access is restricted. The land holds special significance because it is the oldest continually used salmon fish camp on the upper Kvichak River and was established by Mrs. Dolly Gust, also lovingly called “Amau” (Great-grandmother in Yup’ik) by her many descendants in the Lake Iliamna region. Once the land is secured, Igiugig plans to rebuild the fish camp for youth and use it as a Yup’ik language immersion camp.
The educational site will be used to teach subsistence and cultural values which were developed by our ancestors living in reciprocity with this land over millennia. Local elders tell us that when we catch a fish, it has voluntarily given itself to us. We respect salmon for their sacrifice and do not take more than we need. The Salmon Song and dance are an expression of our ancient relationship to salmon which we want to pass on to our youngest residents. Igiugig youth will be given a voice in the conservation movement for salmon in the Bristol Bay area.
We look forward to inviting you to participate in the fish camp with us!
*Donations to Igiugig Village, a sovereign tribal government, are tax-deductible.
Learn more about Igiugig :
Igiugig Village occupies the heart of Bristol Bay, Alaska ; it is located at “Water Down the Throat” (ig-ee-ah-gig) where Lake Iliamna drains into the Kvichak River, which feeds Bristol Bay, home of the last great sockeye salmon run on earth. All Igyararmiut (people of Igiugig) engage in the subsistence way of life and rely on salmon as a main food source. Igiugig is committed to clean energy and sustainability in keeping with its Yup’ik cultural values – it is the first Alaskan Village to use hydrokinetic power in the Kvichak River. Igiugig’s five-star school, zero crime rate, greenhouse, and recycling program have contributed to its reputation as Alaska’s cleanest rural village.
Historical forces, such as the Great Influenza Epidemic of 1919, caused survivors of Igiugig Village to lose many of their local songs and dances. Today, the Lake Iliamna dialect of the Yup’ik language is also highly endangered. However, the Village is in the midst of a booming cultural renaissance. Through the Yup’ik language program, Igiugig children are once again speaking Yup’ik and singing traditional songs, working directly with local elders. The Igiugig Village Council (IVC) is the local government and serves Igiugig, a self-sufficient village with strong cultural and environmental values.
Quyana! (thank you) for your donation to protect subsistence in Bristol Bay!
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