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Native Pathways to Education
Alaska Native Cultural Resources
Indigenous Knowledge Systems
Indigenous Education Worldwide

Yup'ik RavenMarshall Cultural Atlas

This collection of student work is from Frank Keim's classes. He has wanted to share these works for others to use as an example of Culturally-based curriculum and documentation. These documents have been OCR-scanned. These are available for educational use only.





Against All Odds

On Sunday, February 18 of this year, I was up in Russian Mission for their annual winter dog races and carnival. While I was up there I went to the potluck dinner and hung out with friends. We went back and forth from Abbie Stephanoff's and the city gym waiting for the awards to start. The awards were scheduled for nine o'clock but they had them a little early, so when we got down to the gym the awards ceremony was almost over.

After the awards ceremony, Vassily, Lena and Joe said that they were going to go back to Marshall. I decided to follow them because noone else was going down later on that night and I didn't want to go down by myself. I was taking Gail Fitka back down, and James Edison and Julia Papp were going to tag along. At 9:45 p.m. we all got ready and at 10:00 p.m. we took off.

I was leading the way, Joe was right behind me, and Vassily and James were behind us by about ten minutes. When we were back of Russian Mission I noticed that there was a little bit more water than there was earlier that evening. But that didn't worry me, and when we got about 14 miles out of Russian Mission we stopped and waited for Vassily and James. Within ten minutes Vassily and Lena showed up. We figured that James and Julia were just taking their time, so we took off again. I was still leading, and the trail on the tundra was still good.

About half-way between Russian Mission and Marshall we had to go through a small creek where the open water was about the size of a puddle but a couple of feet deep. Gail and I went through first, and we barely made it up the other side. Joe was right behind us, and while he was crossing his skis got hung up, so Vassily and I had to help him out. Then as we waited for James Edison we all took a break and had a little snack.

About twenty minutes later we took off, and again and I was leading. It took a while before we got to Kayukutaq river. I was going about 15 to 20 mph and when we got to the edge of the river I noticed that it looked different than the last time I saw it. It looked wider and the ice looked black. But it was too late to stop and I decided to try and cross. As soon as I hit the river though, I knew the black color was water. Even so, I thought it was going to be shallow water and I kept going. But when I was a few feet out, all of sudden the back of my snow machine dropped downward. When I didn't feel my track touch the bottom, I quickly gunned the throttle. My heart started pounding quickly and my whole body tensed up. I didn't think we were going to make it to the other bank and Gail and I were getting ready to jump off. But as soon as we got closer to the bank I knew we were going to make it. Then my skis hit the bank and when the track caught the frozen snow it started spinning out. We were stuck!

Gail and I leaped off my snowmachine but kept it running. I asked her if she could get on the other side and use the throttle while I tried pulling on the skis. That didn't work so I shut the machine off. I was in such a state of panic, confusion and anger at the same time I didn't know what to do. Vassily, Joe and James were on the other side waiting to see if I could get my snowmachine out. Vassily looked for a place to cross but he couldn't find a place. I tried pulling my machine out by myself but it was just too heavy. Then I thought of the rope behind my machine. I took it out and tied it to the back of the snowmachine. As I put my hand in the water, it felt as if a lot of needles were poking it.

When I tried to pull the snowmachine out backwards it got hung up on a niggerhead that was blocking the way. I asked Gail to help me but it was impossible. Every time I got tired I would rest for five to ten minutes. I almost gave up and was going to ask Gail if she wanted to walk to Marshall. I thought those other guys were going to have to turn around and go back up to Russian Mission. I then started pulling on the front of the snowmachine and budged it a little. I kept trying and after taking another five minute break I asked Gail if she would help me pull on the front of the snowmachine one last time. So we started pulling together with all our strength. We actually moved it a foot and that sparked hope in us. Gail and I rested and I told her that if we moved it a little more we might have a chance to get it out. We pulled it again and moved it another foot. Then I started it and had her press the throttle while I pulled the front and slowly the machine came out of the creek. After we got it out we rested and waited for the other guys to find a place to cross. When they finally crossed we all headed for home.

Fred Alstrom
Against All Odds

Against All Odds

- Fred Alstrom

Fun in the Creeks

- Chris Fitka


- Ben Peteroff

My Trip to St. Mary's

- Theresa George

The Big Waves

- Olga Moxie

A Long Slog Home

- Garrett Evan

Unexpected Water Conditions

- Carmen Pitka

Stormy Weather

- Tanya Peter

My Longest Walk

- John Tikiun Jr.

My Scary Camping Trip

- Gerilyn Fitka


Authentic Student Stories


Stories by Parents
and Community


Stories by Elders


Stories by the Elementary


Creative Student Stories

Christmastime Tales
Stories real and imaginary about Christmas, Slavik, and the New Year
Winter, 1996
Christmastime Tales II
Stories about Christmas, Slavik, and the New Year
Winter, 1998
Christmastime Tales III
Stories about Christmas, Slavik, and the New Year
Winter, 2000
Summer Time Tails 1992 Summertime Tails II 1993 Summertime Tails III
Summertime Tails IV Fall, 1995 Summertime Tails V Fall, 1996 Summertime Tails VI Fall, 1997
Summertime Tails VII Fall, 1999 Signs of the Times November 1996 Creative Stories From Creative Imaginations
Mustang Mind Manglers - Stories of the Far Out, the Frightening and the Fantastic 1993 Yupik Gourmet - A Book of Recipes  
M&M Monthly    
Happy Moose Hunting! September Edition 1997 Happy Easter! March/April 1998 Merry Christmas December Edition 1997
Happy Valentine’s Day! February Edition 1998 Happy Easter! March/April Edition 2000 Happy Thanksgiving Nov. Edition, 1997
Happy Halloween October 1997 Edition Edible and Useful Plants of Scammon Bay Edible Plants of Hooper Bay 1981
The Flowers of Scammon Bay Alaska Poems of Hooper Bay Scammon Bay (Upward Bound Students)
Family Trees and the Buzzy Lord It takes a Village - A guide for parents May 1997 People in Our Community
Buildings and Personalities of Marshall Marshall Village PROFILE Qigeckalleq Pellullermeng ‘A Glimpse of the Past’
Raven’s Stories Spring 1995 Bird Stories from Scammon Bay The Sea Around Us
Ellamyua - The Great Weather - Stories about the Weather Spring 1996 Moose Fire - Stories and Poems about Moose November, 1998 Bears Bees and Bald Eagles Winter 1992-1993
Fish Fire and Water - Stories about fish, global warming and the future November, 1997 Wolf Fire - Stories and Poems about Wolves Bear Fire - Stories and Poems about Bears Spring, 1992



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Last modified August 24, 2006