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Leonard Olanna

Leonard was interviewed by Bill Schneider, Knut Kielland, and Kumi Rattenbury at his home in Brevig Mission, Alaska on March 24, 2003. It was a difficult time for Leonard because he had received word that two relatives had just passed away. Nevertheless, he agreed to go ahead with the interview and then drove us by snowmachine over to Teller. Leonard is an active herder who still has a viable herd. In this interview, he talked about his family's heritage in herding and how he got into herding. He also talked about how he uses radio collars to track his deer.

Tape Number: H2000-102-25

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Click on a section below to hear the audio.

1) Introduction and Leonard's family's history in reindeer herding.
grandfather\ Lomen Brothers\ Brevig Mission\ loan\ reindeer herding\ father -- passed on and reindeer turned over to Leonard\ Bureau of Indian Affairs -- loan of reindeer|

2) Leonard's grandfather and father's involvement in reindeer herding.
Olanna, Harry -- grandfather\ herding\ Brevig Mission\ Lomen Company -- Harry herded for them\ herd -- stay with\ snowmachines -- none\ Honda -- none\ herd too big -- starved\ food -- ran out\ Leonard's father -- small boy\ over-grazed\ Kakaruk, Wilfred\ jobs -- none\ Goodhope\ Shishmaref\ father -- passed away\ herd -- scattered\ caribou\ wolves\ north wind\ mosquitos|

3) Influences on Leonard and how he got back into reindeer herding.
work -- for his father\ reindeer -- diminished\ Bureau of Indian Affairs\ loan\ live out in the country\ weather -- watch\ weather -- changed|

4) Changes in the weather.
wintertime -- lots of snow in the old days\ today -- weather is warmer\ snow -- lack of|

5) Leonard and his father going out in the country to reindeer herd and driving reindeer.
Kakaruk, Wilfred\ Brevig Mission\ corral\ reindeer -- drove out from Kakaruk corral\ weather-- nice and cold\ reindeer -- driving from Wilfred's to Brevig Mission|

6) Effects on herding.
tally\ reindeer -- pushing\ reindeer -- numbers go done\ caribou -- mixed in with herd\ caribou -- increasing\ herd -- too big\ feed-- running out\ mountain\ American River|

7) Leonard talks about his range and weather patterns.
Tom -- has trees\ Leonard's range -- no trees\ mountains\ trees\ White Mountains\ rivers\ weather patterns -- difference\ reindeer -- picked up\ storms -- none\ Brevig Mission\ Brevig -- lots of winds in winter\ weather -- blowing snow\ cold weather\ herds -- scatter\ Ocean Bay\ Clarence Bay\ following the wind|

8) Storms and the impact on caribou and how the caribou came into the area.
caribou -- small numbers\ bulls\ yearlings\ caribou -- mixed in\ caribou -- increasing|

9) Managing the reindeer herd and using the computer to follow the reindeer.
summer\ satellite collars\ University of Alaska Fairbanks\ reindeer -- stray\ reindeer -- push back\ September -- lots of rain\ creeks\ California\ rivers -- crossing\ Honda -- use to travel in summer\ fall time -- watch the reindeer on computer\ updates -- five day cycle\ locations\ bear\ wolves -- stick around on range|

10) Snow and how it impacts the herders.
reindeer -- hard to get to\ snow -- lack of\ December -- enough snow to go locate reindee\ tussocks\ snowmachines\ snow -- packed|

11) Making sure that there is enough snow to be able to check on the herds.
Brevig Mission\ snow -- scout\ packed snow\ snow falls -- blows away\ satellite collars\ reindeer meat\ Brevig Mission -- snow is hard|

12) Reindeer using the range in the summertime and how they move around during the different weather patterns.
southeast wind\ reindeer -- stick around the river\ California\ rivers -- too high\ satellite collars\ mountains\ reindeer -- come back\ Clifford's range\ reindeer -- stay up in the hills\ cold weather -- reindeer stay in one place\ summer time -- reindeer move around\ area -- good feed\ fawning\ reindeer -- move to the east|

13) Wolves and their impact on the reindeer and corralling the reindeer.
reindeer -- run\ herd -- pushed down\ caribou\ yearling\ corralling\ tally\ Wales\ Shishmaref\ reindeer -- push in|

14) Marketing caribou meat and antler.
Teller reindeer plant -- sell meat\ antler -- buyer in Anchorage\ antler -- shipped\ antler -- cut\ corral -- late June\ horns -- can't be too long\ horns -- hard if too long\ short and soft horns|

15) Reindeer products and working for reindeer meat.
work\ reindeer meat|

16) The caribou crisis and possible solutions.
reindeer herders -- some wiped out\ Hadley\ caribou -- tough on herders\ income -- losing\ summers -- try to work in town\ caribou -- find new path\ father -- said caribou will return\ caribou -- mixed in with herd\ reindeer -- separate and keep in different area\ area -- down river\ Brevig Mission\ satellite collars\ Goodhope, Fred -- range\ caribou -- 5,000+|

17) Leonard with his grandchildren reindeer herding and using supplemental feed for the reindeer.
fawning season\ grandchildren -- stay with reindeer\ children -- involved in corralling\ summers -- reindeer follow wind when it's hot|

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