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SELAWIK: A Beach Day in the Arctic?
Alaska Region, July 12, 2012
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Two boys set off with fishing rods to try their hand at catching sheefish and northern pike.
Two boys set off with fishing rods to try their hand at catching sheefish and northern pike. - Photo Credit: Susan Georgette
An Inupiaq elder from Selawik narrates an old-time Eskimo story to children during a summer outing on the refuge.
An Inupiaq elder from Selawik narrates an old-time Eskimo story to children during a summer outing on the refuge. - Photo Credit: Susan Georgette
Youngsters enjoy the much-loved outdoor activity of cooking on an open fire.
Youngsters enjoy the much-loved outdoor activity of cooking on an open fire. - Photo Credit: Nichole Hanshaw

Youth from the Iñupiaq community of Selawik recently turned out in force to join a “Take Me Fishing” outing to the traditional site of Sauniqtuuq, a gravel spit reached by a 20-minute boat ride from the village. The day was graced with perfect arctic summer weather: blue skies, temperatures near 70 degrees, and a light breeze to keep mosquitoes at bay. Ten adults and 28 kids ranging in age from 8 to 14 spent a fun-filled day fishing, swimming, examining rocks and aquatic life, cooking over a campfire, and listening to old-time Eskimo stories. When the time came to leave, the kids begged to stay an additional hour. Many asked if we could return the following day. One Inupiaq elder said, “It refreshes our minds to get out of town and be in a place like this.” Refuge staff, tribal office staff, community members, and elders all participated in the event. Three similar outings are planned for later this summer.

 

These outings are jointly sponsored by the Selawik National Wildlife Refuge and the Native Village of Selawik. The refuge received funding for the outings from the “Connecting People with Nature” national initiative. There is no doubt that the young people made a connection with nature on this special day!


Contact Info: Susan Georgette, 907-442-3799 ext 16, susan_georgette@fws.gov



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