Project Jukebox

Digital Branch of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Oral History Program
Riley Morry

Riley Morry was interviewed on December 15, 1992 by Bill Schneider at the Simon Paneak Memorial Museum in Anaktuvuk Pass, Alaska--the facility being named after his grandfather. Riley was asked to do this interview because he has been involved for over twenty years in Anaktuvuk Pass land issues. The interview was centered on that activity and he mentions some of the issues he worked on. The timing of this interview was particularly appropriate since it had just been announced that the National Park Service proposed to swap some lands and declassify wilderness to accommodate the Anaktuvuk Pass villagers' use of All Terrain Vehicles on the tundra. Riley speaks to that issue and explains why people use all-terrain vehicles. The interview was arranged by Grant Spearman, Curator of the Museum. Grant and student worker Debbie Mekiana were present during the interview.

Digital Asset Information

Archive #: Oral History 93-15-52

Project: Gates of the Arctic National Park
Date of Interview: Dec 15, 1992
Narrator(s): Riley Morry
Interviewer(s): Bill Schneider
People Present: Debbie Mekiana, Grant Spearman
Location of Interview:
Funding Partners:
National Park Service
Alternate Transcripts
There is no alternate transcript for this interview.
There is no slideshow for this person.

After clicking play, click on a section to navigate the audio or video clip.


1) His background and connection to the area

2) Education

3) Establishing the settlement at Anaktuvuk Pass

4) His grandfather Simon Paneak

5) Involvement with land issues

6) Effect of formation of Gates of the Arctic National Park

7) Hickel Highway and other development

8) Use of All Terrain Vehicles

9) Modern subsistence activities

10) Use of dogs and snowmachines

11) Land management issues and future of village

12) Concluding thoughts

Click play, then use Sections or Transcript to navigate the interview.

After clicking play, click a section of the transcript to navigate the audio or video clip.


Section 1: born -- Killik Bend\ Colville River\ Anaktuvuk Pass -- moved there in 1948\ Anaktuvuk -- early memories\ firewood -- willows\ oil -- early 1960's\ Bureau of Indian Affairs\ wood -- cut in summer, get later\ Anaktuvuk Pass -- willows\ houses -- log and sod\ sod houses\ old days -- comfortable houses|

Section 2: Anaktuvuk Pass -- one year or two\ Wrangell\ Mt. Edgecumbe\ old days -- had to walk, make effort|

Section 3: Nunamiut -- two or three groups\ Killik\ Tulugak\ Wien, Sig\ school\ location -- caribou fences every fall and spring\ hunting\ migration\ Umiat -- talk in 60's of moving village to\ diesel -- fuel made possible to stay\ grandfather -- attended meeting\ Fairbanks\ Paneak, Simon -- grandfather|

Section 4: grandfather -- mom's dad\ Irving, Dr. -- grandfather worked with\ birds -- scientific study\ grandfather -- respected, helpful man|

Section 5: Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act\ Arctic Slope\ Anaktuvuk -- land chief\ selection -- land\ selection -- criteria\ hunting\ animals -- fish, caribou, sheep\ subsistence pattern\ subsistence -- protecting way of life\ use areas\ Nunamiut National Park -- introduced idea of\ Gates of the Arctic\ Seattle -- proposal\ Arctic Environmental Information and Data Center -- Anchorage\ Nunamiut Park -- protect land, values\ selections -- park was way to increase acreage\ Arctic Slope Regional Corporation -- selected important lands|

Section 6: Anaktuvuk Pass -- effects\ access\ easements\ All Terrain Vehicles -- hunting\ negotiation -- with National Park Service\ negotiations -- nearing agreement\ Washington D.C. -- lobbying\ easements -- tradeoffs\ village corporations|

Section 7: Hickel Highway -- cat train\ damage -- scar on land\ Bettles\ land selection -- impact of highway on\ pipeline -- didn't want it there\ Haul Road -- better route\ subsistence -- need to protect corridor\ caribou -- migration|

Section 8: All Terrain Vehicles -- description of\ trails -- identified before park formation\ easement\ Gates of the Arctic|

Section 9: old days -- difficulty getting shells\ today -- high powered rifles\ transportation -- gasoline\ old days -- dogs, feed them\ Alaska State Fish and Game -- opposed use of caribou for dogs\ All Terrain Vehicles -- result\ residents -- law abiding|

Section 10: dogs -- packing\ summer -- use of dog packs for hauling meat\ winter- time -- use to haul wood, hunt, trap\ transportation -- very dependable\ snowmachines -- first\ teacher\ Arctic Cat -- metal track\ Fairbanks -- ordered from\ shipping -- by air\ dogteams\ Morry, Mark -- brother\ dogteam -- eight dogs\ hunting|

Section 11: land issues\ Bureau of Land Management\ village corporation\ Anaktuvuk Pass -- residents\ subsistence\ land -- value as collateral\ facilities -- upgrade\ tourism -- more in future\ accommodations\ gift shop\ tourism -- encourage for economic reasons|

Section 12: children -- future leaders\ issues -- children must understand\ easements\ subsistence -- needs\ National Park Service -- possible agreement\ employees -- National Park Service, should be trained by architects of agreement\ values\ visitors -- should recognize why we're here\ location -- most beautiful in world\ residents -- friendly\ culture -- trading, sharing ideas|