I am cleaning red salmon. This is salmon season and my husband stands in the water and catches them with dip net with big hoops. It is easier with a boat, but we didn’t have a boat this year. He started fishing about midnight when there were fewer people fishing and he caught 15. There are four in our household and we are allowed 55 salmon. We live in an apartment and can’t have a smokehouse, so we dehydrate the fish with a dehydrator. I cut the fish into strips and It takes about 10 hours to dehydrate. We also gather berries. We also eat moose, caribou, and bear. Black bear are good when they are smoked. I used to pressure cook them because they are tough.
I grew up in a village on the river. There are about 300 living there. Most of the people in my village are related. I have four kids and we have to let them know who their relatives are so they don’t have relations with their first cousins. It is expensive to live here. The cost of housing is high. We rent an apartment that costs too much. Groceries in the village are about triple the cost of bigger towns in Alaska
My kids are grown. I worked for a child placement agency and therapeutic foster homes. I now advocate for native families and child welfare. It is my passion. There are many native children in custody. We have more kids in custody than families who can help. Our kids deserve better than this and I try to help.
The best part of living in Alaska is everywhere. I like the green, but it has gotten hotter here. People need to know the rest of Alaska is part of the United States. When I went to Oregon, I bought a cell phone and asked if it worked in Alaska. He said it only works in the United States.”