Picture of Orville Huntington
Orville Huntington interviewed by Bill Schneider with Sidney Stephens in Fairbanks, Alaska on February 28, 2003.

Tape Number: H2001-113-07

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The complete interview and unedited transcript is available at the Oral History Office at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Click on an outlined section below to listen to the audio.

1) Observations on climatic and environmental changes in the Koyukuk Region.
geese -- hunting\ ducks\ environmental changes -- rapid\ springtime|

2) Environmental changes and listening to the Elders.
Uncle Sidney\ changes\ Koyukuk River\ Elders\ river -- width 1/4 mile\ erosion\ channel -- changing\ fish -- effects\ water -- dirty\ fungus -- grows on fish\ glowing fish\ bacteria\ water -- colder\ Galena\ fish -- not healthy\ Koyukuk River\ temperature -- monitor\ Henry, Matthew -- grandfather\ traditional knowledge -- passed on\ riddles\ long-term memory\ beaver\ climate change\ permafrost -- loss\ water -- creates energy\ US Fish and Wildlife Service\ tree line -- moving north\ moose -- fat\ snow -- tastes different|

3) Permafrost melting out and water flushing.
permafrost -- thick, no flushing\ water -- gets high in the spring\ vegetation -- wiped out\ ice -- not thick anymore\ slush\ water level -- not high enough\ pattern -- different\ jams -- use to come over banks\ floods\ Allakaket\ rains -- heavy\ flush -- easy\ Hughes\ double break-up\ ice -- unpredictable\ shelf ice -- no ice under it\ permafrost\ Little Lake\ Big Lake\ tundra|

4) Monitoring the environmental changes.
water temperatures\ quality of snow\ snow depth\ Chapin, Terry\ warmth\ snow -- lack of\ heat -- builds up\ Galena\ water -- sits on ice\ vegetation -- none\ cold\ snow deposition\ wildlife use\ willow heights\ old beaver houses\ beaver -- along the river\ ice thickness\ warm weather\ break-up\ freeze-up\ harvest patterns\ US Fish and Wildlife Service\ Elders -- tell stories\ Turco, Kathy\ long-term memory\ bear den\ environmental change\ old village\ trees -- huge\ upriver\ fire\ trees -- build up\ stress -- from drought\ traditional knowledge\ wisdom|

5) Elders and change.
changes -- recent\ stories\ Koyukuk River\ spring -- like winter\ Krupnik, Igor\ St. Lawrence Island\ sea ice\ averages\ trends -- warming\ Grandma Angeline\ teaching\ changes -- go way back\ documentation|

6) Learning from the Elders.
storytelling\ learning\ knowledge -- giving back\ changes -- understanding them\ weather predictions\ scientist\ Elders -- want to learn\ global climate change\ hunters\ understanding\ sky -- red\ month -- warm\ full moon\ Anchorage\ rain\ winter condition -- spring\ geese\ weather event\ western science\ information\ Huslia\ trapping|

7) Changes in different species.
beluga whales\ Northwest Alaska\ Koyukuk River\ belugas -- leave alone\ fish\ beluga -- moved fishnet\ geese -- seen near drainages\ song birds\ Athabaskan\ songs -- different\ birds -- less today\ cow birds\ bird eggs\ seagull\ Willow Lake\ geese -- stay weeks longer\ bears -- don't talk about them\ wind -- birds leave\ Kotzebue\ prevailing wind\ storms -- more intense|

8) Listening to the Elders is the responsibility of the younger generation.
hunters\ responsibility\ US Fish and Wildlife Service\ village -- growing up in it\ Elders -- listening to their stories\ teach what the Elders teach|

9) Understanding science's strengths and limitations.
parameters\ culture\ organize\ traditional knowledge\ working together\ Elders -- work with teachers of science\ adjusting\ open mind\ focus\ learning\ teaching\ Grandpa Joe|

10) Science activities and seasonal change.
trees-- watching them in the fall\ springtime\ seasonal change\ sequence of activities\ continuum\ trees\ photosynthesis\ light -- stays constant\ storms\ clouds\ nutrients\ fiber\ willows\ growing\ moose\ muskrat\ food source\ balance|

11) Seasonal round markers.
Huslia\ markers\ warm air -- geese\ Willow Lake\ light\ dark\ Spring\ warm winds -- marker\ cold- warm change\ fall -- freeze\ warm-up\ hunting season -- late fall\ meat -- cut sooner than usual\ fishnets -- kept in longer\ cold weather\ land -- spend time out on it\ subsistence activity\ knowledge -- pass on|


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