Letters to the Editor

Letter: Cultural impacts

How many other ancient seasonal Native trading centers were taken over by Westerners for permanent cities?

The Russian explorer Otto von Kotzebue transformed our seasonal trading site Kikitugruk into a permanent home for western miners and other fortune-seekers in the 1800s.

Inlanders/coastal Natives from the Doyon, Sitnasauk Nome, Dillingham, Point Barrow, and the Kobuk River people traded food, materials, tools, and vital environmental news every summer at Kikiktugruk.

Our Native lives are changed for the worse. We no longer hunt for bearded seals near Kikiktugruk, an important main food source. Fresh ocean salmonberries and cloudberries are also taken out of our diet as a result of Westerners/Bush pilots overtaking our historic trading site.

My father’s family comes from Teller, Wales, Shishmeraff, Noatak and Sisolik. I was born in Kotzebue and spent most of my life on the Kobuk River.

— Avuu Schaeffer


Have something on your mind? Send to letters@adn.com or click here to submit via any web browser. Letters under 200 words have the best chance of being published. Writers should disclose any personal or professional connections with the subjects of their letters. Letters are edited for accuracy, clarity and length.