Qaluyaarmiuni Nunamtenek Qanemciput / Our Nelson Island Stories

Edited by Ann Fienup-Riordan
Translated by Alice Rearden

  • Published: July 2015
  • Subject Listing: Native American and Indigenous Studies; Anthropology
  • Bibliographic information: 496 pp., 7 x 10 in.
  • Territorial rights: World Rights
  • Published with: Calista Elders Council, Anchorage
  • Contents

In this volume Nelson Island elders describe hundreds of traditionally important places in the landscape, from camp and village sites to tiny sloughs and deep ocean channels, contextualizing them through stories of how people interacted with them in the past and continue to know them today. The stories both provide a rich, descriptive historical record and detail the ways in which land use has changed over time.

Nelson Islanders maintained a strongly Yup'ik worldview and subsistence lifestyle through the 1940s, living in small settlements and moving with the seasonal cycle of plant and animal abundances. The last sixty years have brought dramatic changes, including the concentration of people into five permanent, year-round villages. The elders have mapped significant places to help perpetuate an active relationship between the land and their people, who, despite the immobility of their villages, continue to rely on the fluctuating bounty of the Bering Sea coastal environment.
Alice Rearden is the primary translator for the Calista Elders Council. She translated Paitarkiutenka / My Legacy to You by Misaq / Frank Andrew, Sr., among other bilingual works. Ann Fienup-Riordan is the author of many books on the Native peoples of Alaska, including Freeze Frame: Alaska Eskimos in the Movies.

"This book is a pleasure to read and offers a profound insight into the lives and living histories of the people of Nelson Island."
-Elizabeth Marino, Arctic, June 2012

"The latest in a long and extremely rich and valuable series under anthropologist Fienup-Riordan's editorship but created by the Yup'ik themselves. . . . As a volume in one of the truly great ethnographic projects of all time, it deserves full respect. Summing Up: Highly recommended.:."
-Choice, February 2012

"Their stories cover the breadth of historical, cultural, and personal experiences living on Qaluyaat, each memory tied to a place with a meaningful name. This book is an invaluable resource for researchers in a variety of disciplines, but particularly so for the Qaluyaarmiut themselves . . ."
-Ross Coen, H-Net, December 2011