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Ruth Sandvik

Ruth Sandvik: Interview Outline: Section 4

Noorvik (new place), the Friends Church, and the establishing of Noorvik

Tape Reference Number: H2002-09-11
Ruth Blankenship-Sandvik talks with Bill Schneider and Eileen Devinney in Kiana, Alaska on February 28, 2002.

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Bill Schneider: For people that will be listening to this, some of them will be visitors to the state that have never been here before. Maybe a word or two about Noorvik (map) and why it was established by the Friends.

Ruth Sandvik: Noorvik, that's an interesting village. They moved from Aaqsiiq (Oksik), which is upriver from Noorvik, because Aaqsiiq was -- the Aaqsiiq area was sluffing off. And the Friends came in and established an ideal -- what they called an ideal village. They searched around and they felt that -- they brought over some people from Deering to share in this new community, and Noorvik means new place. And they actually did it quite -- quite right. They built lots. And they had electric lights, they had some communication, probably the Morse Code. And they had staff there. They are fundamentalists, but they -- they did a lot of other things, too. And they were responsible for the -- for the hospital. Building the hospital. It was -- I was still around -- still young enough to remember. Noorvik doesn't look the same, but it was really picturesque to see that -- this hospital next to a lake in back. And it was just -- just pretty. And -- and the houses were -- there were in lots. I don't know if they were 100 by 100, but there were established lots.

Bill Schneider: Yeah, that's interesting.

Ruth Sandvik: And the Noorvik people, I understand-- I mean, not the Noorvik people, but the Deering people who came over missed -- it was not easy to get down to the coast as it is now, and they missed their seal -- their coastal foods, which is the seal oil and seal meat and this sort of thing. So some went back, some stayed, some went to Kotzebue, which is -- which is, of course, on the coast, and where they could get the food that they were more used to.


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