Project Jukebox

Digital Branch of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Oral History Program
Wallace and Florence Nictune

The following tape was recorded with Wallace and Florence Nictune at their home in Evansville, Alaska on September 15, 1992. When interviewers Bill Schneider and David Krupa arrived, their letter describing the project sat on the kitchen table, and the Nictunes were very courteous and helpful as the prospects for making a recording were discussed. Outside, an early freeze-up was under way, but the Nictunes seemed well prepared and unconcerned. Their old dog snored in the corner, and smoke curled up lazily from Wallace's cigarette. Both Wallace and Florence expressed some sadness over the fact that they felt they were among the few people left in the area. Their own children had moved away, some as far away as the Lower 48. They said that there just wasn't enough opportunity in the village to keep people around anymore. When discussing the old times, they became a lot more animated, and from the recording the listener can get an inkling of the former hustle and bustle of the Koyukuk River and its distinctive communities.

Digital Asset Information

Archive #: Oral History 93-15-31

Project: Gates of the Arctic National Park
Date of Interview: Sep 15, 1992
Narrator(s): Wallace Nictune, Florence Nictune
Interviewer(s): Bill Schneider, David Krupa
Location of Interview:
Funding Partners:
National Park Service
Alternate Transcripts
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1) Florence's background and growing up on the Koyukuk River

2) Wallace's background and growing up

3) Wallace's seasonal round in the old days

4) Social life in the old days

5) About changing times

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Section 1: father -- from Kobuk but moved to Alatna\ Hunt Fork\ John River\ Tobuk, Dora -- mother\ White, Dora -- maiden name\ Kobuk -- traveling to Alatna\ Alatna -- growing up\ Evansville -- moved to in 1956 to school children\ children -- eight, all moved away|

Section 2: Alatna\ father -- worked on boats\ fishing\ caribou hunting\ Kanuti Flats\ moose -- none on Koyukuk in old days\ father -- Dora's\ Tobuk, Frank -- boat pilot\ Wallace -- first hunt\ Alatna -- trip up\ lining boats -- traveling up river with dogs|

Section 3: summer -- fish camp\ school -- September\ freeze-up -- fish nets under ice\ whitefish\ winter -- hunting, trapping, cutting wood\ fishing -- sheefish, whitefish, salmon, grayling, pike, suckers, lush\ fall hunt -- bear, rabbits, spruce hens\ moose -- first appearance in Alatna\ spring -- muskrats, beaver\ Old Sam\ Hog River -- Hogatza River|

Section 4: Messenger Feast\ Allakaket\ holidays\ Smith, Mary and Frank -- fiddle player\ Kobuk\ Sheldon, Henry\ hard times -- not much time for school\ Evansville -- April, 1956\ Federal Aviation Administration -- job\ early residents\ Anderson, Hanna and Jim\ Musser, Rhoda and John\ Old Bettles -- store\ Suckik, Charlie\ Napoleon, Grandma\ Withrow, Al and Bessie\ Crowder, Jim|

Section 5: government agencies\ work opportunities\ National Park Service -- conflicts\ Bureau of Land Management -- job|