Young Barrow whaler receives Spirit of Youth Award

Spirit Of Youth
Submitted by Raymond Atos

Raymond Atos of Barrow is part of the young generation that wants to keep the Inupiaq tradition alive. He has been selected as a 2014 Spirit of Youth Award recipient in the category of Cultural Pursuits.

Atos is part of a whaling crew in Barrow. The 16-year-old hunts for his family and community year round.

His father, Raymond Sr., said he’s proud of his son’s involvement.

“He’s been at the whaling crews helping cut up [since] he was five years old,” elder Raymond said in a recent Spirit of Youth radio story.

Atos also takes younger children camping, boating, whaling and hunting to teach them to be safe and to survive. He improves the quality of life by showing everyone in the community that it is still possible follow a traditional lifestyle.

“Tradition is a big part of it -- being taught the little stuff. Being taught how to paddle how to throw the harpoon…how to read where the whales are going,” Atos said.

Click here to hear Atos' story, which recently aired on more than 100 Alaska radio stations.

Learn about this year's Spirit of Youth Award Winners and reserve your seats for the 16th Annual Spirit of Youth Awards Dinner April 5 by visiting

Spirit of Youth
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