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Sidney Huntington

Mike Spindler interviewed Sidney Huntington in Galena in April, 1996. The interview was edited and produced by Mike Spindler.

SIDNEY HUNTINGTON was born in 1915 at Hughes, along the Koyukuk River. His mother was a Koyukon woman of the caribou clan with her own rich history. His father was a goldrusher, trapper, and trader who came to the Koyukuk in the early 1900's. They lived at Hogatzakaket, where the Hog River meets the Koyukuk, about 90 miles downstream from Hughes. Following his mother's death when he was five, Sidney, his brother and three sisters were sent to the Anvik Mission. Later, he and his brother, Jimmy, attended the Bureau of Indian Affairs school at Eklutna, where he completed the third grade. When he was twelve years old, he returned to help his father on the trapline at Hog River, where he learned many essential subsistence skills. At the age of 16, Sidney was on his own earning a living by trapping and fishing from their camp at Batza Slough. In 1937, when he was 22, Sidney took a job at the gold mine on the Hog River. Later, he married and moved to Huslia, where he lived mostly by subsistence in combination with cash jobs. In 1963, Sidney moved to Galena to take a steady job as a carpenter for the Air Force. Then in the 1970's, Sidney got into the fish processing business, which remains his main livelihood today. He served for 17 years on the Alaska State Board of Game. In 1989, Sidney was conferred an honorary Doctorate from the University of Alaska. Sidney still gets out to trap wolves, and every spring, it is usually Sidney who makes the first boat trip upriver after the ice goes out. His book, "Shadows on the Koyukuk" (Huntington, Sidney and Jim Rearden, 1993, Anchorage: Alaska Northwest Books), details his remarkable life.

The goal of Raven's Story is to record elders' stories, observations, and experiences relating to wildlife, fish, and subsistence in the Koyukuk and middle Yukon areas of interior Alaska. This Raven's Story was produced by Mike Spindler at public radio station KIYU-AM in Galena, Alaska, with the support of Louden Tribal Council and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Click on a link below to hear the audio.
H97-152 Part 1 (1996 CD 1)
1) Biography (1:39)
2) Abundance of geese long ago (4:47)
3) Hunting geese (5:45)
4) Ducks (6:55)
5) Wildland fire (3:46)
6) Berries (6:25)
7) Beaver trapping (7:40)
8) Beaver abundance (7:08)
9) Muskrat (4:35)
10) Pike and whitefish (5:01)
11) Summer chum salmon (7:57)
12) King salmon (5:41)
13) Fall chum salmon (4:15)

H97-152 Part 2 (1996 CD 2)
1) Yukon River flooding (6:43)
2) How flooding affects wildlife (6:56)
3) When moose first appeared (6:55)
4) Abundance of moose in 1990's (4:57)
5) Caribou (6:52)
6) Bear hunting (5:51)
7) Grizzly bears (5:46)
8) Wolves (8:21)
9) Wolf trapping (8:51)
10) Predator control (5:08)
11) Subsistence (5:26)
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