Ernest Kignak (Qigñaq) was interviewed on March 10, 1982 by Bill Schneider and Wendy Arundale at his home in Barrow, Alaska (now known as Utqiaġvik) for the Chipp-Ikpikpuk and Meade Rivers Oral History Project. Delores Burnell was the Iñupiaq language translator during the interview. In this interview, Ernest talks about his experiences hunting, fishing, trapping and reindeer herding in the Chipp-Ikpikpak area. He discusses fish and caribou populations, travel routes, trade practices, historic sites, and place names. He also talks about activities along the Colville and Meade Rivers, and changes in the rivers, land, and animals. (IHLC Tape #00049)
Ernest Kignak spoke in Iñupiaq during the interview. The transcript contains the spoken Iñupiaq written out and its corresponding English translation, both provided by Kathy Itta (now Ahgeak).
Digital Asset Information
Project: Chipp-Ikpikpuk and Meade Rivers Project Jukebox
Date of Interview: Mar 10, 1982
Narrator(s): Ernest Kignak
Interviewer(s): Bill Schneider, Wendy Arundale
Transcriber: Katherine Itta Ahgeak People Present: Delores Burnell
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The abundance of resources in the Chipp-Ikpikpak area.
Fish migration patterns.
Caribou migration patterns.
The Ikpikpak area as a hunting place.
People traveling inland and trade.
His experiences along the Colville River.
Old sites along the Ikpikpak River.
The last time Ernest went hunting on the Ikpikpak River.
Last thoughts on the Ikpikpak area.
The Meade River above Atqasuk.
Changes in the land and animals.
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Bill: This is Bill Schneider and I'm with Wendy Arundale. And we're going to be talking with Ernest Kignak. And it's March 10,1982. And Delores Burnell is going to help us with the translation. And we're going to talk a little bit about the Ikpikpuk River and some of your experiences there and some of your knowledge about that. Ernest: About what was that? Bill: The Ikpikpuk and Chipp River and... Ernest: Oh, just the river. Bill: Use of that area, yeah. Ernest: Uh-huh. Bill: You've spent some time up there? Ernest: Yes, I've been up here for a long time hunting. That's a good place for my hunting anyway. Bill: Uh-huh. Ernest: Fishing, trapping, shooting I guess, caribou hunting. Bill: Good for caribou, huh? Ernest: Shoot the caribou, everything. Anything you like to hunt. Squirrel, lots of them. A lot of animals on that river. Bill: That's what I've heard. Ernest: In the summertime you could find a lot of animals up there. Small ones, big ones. Delores: I find that out myself when I went out last summer. All kinds of animals, you could see, just in that one area. Bill: Why do you think there's so many animals up there? Delores: Summanguuq niġrutiupkauqpa tavrani Ikpikpaŋmi? (Not transcribed exactly as on the tape.) Ernest: Summan niġrutiupkau tilaaŋa nalugiga. (I do not know why there are so many animals there.) Aglaan tatpamaniiḷḷasiñiqamali upinġaamiḷu ukuimiḷu makuakii marra niġrugaurat piitchuugaluaqtut ikiumi, upinġaamiaglaan niġrun iñugiaktuq tamattumani. (But when I was able to spend time up there in the summer and winter; even though the smaller animals are not around in the winter, there are many animals during the summer.) Something like birds, squirrels, tamatkua upinġaami pisuuruat iñugiaktut. (The animals that come out in the summer are many.) Aasii makua ~uttut igliġuurut suŋnamunliqaa. Aasii igliġviat nayuqtuni ukiuqtutilaaŋatun tuttutuġuksiunaitchuq. Nunaulutiiŋ makua tuttut igliŋitkaluaqtut, nunaulutiŋ itchiutchut. Sumunnamun aullaqamiŋ iglutitaġuurut. Tainnaqługu Ikpikpaŋmi tuttuiñman avani tuttuupkaġuuruq Delores: Oh. Ernest: Aasii marra avani tuttupkaqutq paŋmapak. (And these caribou travel in all directions. And when one stays somewhere along their migratory route, one does not crave for caribou all winter long. The caribou do not stay at one place very long, they do not settle down at one place. They sometimes move to other locations. In this way, when there aren't any caribou on the Ikpikpak, there will be many caribou elsewhere. Nowadays there are many caribou elsewhere. I don't know what about this side. Moving around, them animals you see.) Bill: Hmm. Ernest: Something like caribou. Same thing with fish. Iqaluisuli igliqtut. Iqaluqapiayuitchuq suli kuugum ilaŋani upinġaami. Delores: (Material omitted).
Ernest: Ukiuġmallu iqaluqapiayuitchuq kuugum tamattuma iḷaŋani. Iqaluktuġuksiunaġuuruq. (The fish are also migrating. In the summer, some parts of the river do not contain very many fish. Also in the winter, parts of the river do not have much fish. One can crave to eat fish then.) Delores: In the falltime and parts of the summertime also, during the fish run, Tatpauŋanmukuuġmatiŋ? (When they are heading upriver?) Ernest: Naumi. Unuŋaaniŋasuurut taġiumun. Ukiaġmi animmata iqallisuusugausi. Tavra iqaluit kuuŋmiittuat anisuurut anuŋa taġiumun ukiumi. Aasii iluqatiŋ anisuitchut. Iḷaŋit pamma tatpaani ukiisuurut. (No. They will already have gone down to the sea. You remember or know for yourself that you (folks) used to go fishing in the fall. The fish that were in the river come out into the ocean in the winter. And some of them do not come out. Some of them are up there, wintering.) Delores: Lakes-ni naagga...(In the lakes, or..) Ernest: Ukiaġmikiuwa anisaġuurut sikulaurami. Upinġaapak tatpamaniittuat. Sammapta ippaksraaġu supianikpan isiġniaqtut. (They begin coming out in the fall while there's not much ice. The ones that were up there all summer. Soon they'll start going in again when the river breaks up in the foreseeable future.) Delores: The fish will usually run after the current flows down in the springtime. Bill: After break-up? Delores: Uh-huh. After break-up, it's the time the fish will be running up the streams and then in the falltime, they slow down and they'll start heading back. Around... September-mi naagga August-mi unuŋanmutquksaġuuvat, naagga..(do they start going downriver again in September or August?) Ernest: September-mi ukiaġmi, samma October-mi. (In September, in the fall, in October.) Delores: Sometimes later part of September and October the fish will usually run their way back down after spawning. Wendy: When you say "way back down," do you mean toward the mouth of the river? Ernest: All the way down to the ocean, I think. And then in the springtime, before the summer, in the springtimemanna sikua kuugum kiviktitaniŋmagu. Isinmun isagutisuurutsuli. (When the river ice has floated to the surface. They start back in again.) Delores: Then after the flood on those rivers, when the ice finally goes out, the fish will usually run up the stream. Ernest: Not all the fish, but some of the fish just staying up in the river where the deep water is. But lot of them going out. Wendy: Are there particular kinds of places where you're more likely to find deep water? Where the fish are? Ernest: I can never tell you that because the river, by now, I don't know nothing about it. It's changed, lot of it. Bill: What makes a good fishing spot? Ernest: In the fall. That's what I like. Bill: But what are you looking for in the river, to try for fishing? Ernest: Kuvraqtuġviŋmik ilitchuġisukkumik qaglunik marra kuvraqtuġviqaġniaġuurut saġvaitchuanik. Iḷuqaġmi kuuk itiŋitchuq. Iḷaŋa kuugum ikaaġnaqtuq, pisuaqłuni. Aasii iḷaŋa kuugum itiruaqaqtuq ukiuq tapillagataqługu iqaluŋnaqtuamik. (If they want to know about places to set nets, people usually put their nets in a deep spot in the river where there isn't a strong current. All of the river is not deep. Some parts of the river can be crossed by walking. And part of the river has deep water where one can catch fish all winter.) Delores: What do you mean by, "What are they looking for?" Bill: How do you know where good fishing will be? Delores: Ilisimasuuvinguuq suqpaniitilaaŋiññik sumi iqaluŋnalhaaġmagaan naagga iqaluitchuinmagaan inillakkavsi iqaluksiuġiaġlusi? (He wants to know if you know what parts are best for fishing or where there isn't any fish when you settle down to fish.) Ernest: Iqaluksiuġiaqama uvaŋa ikiuqtutilauraŋatun iqaluksiuġluŋa piñiaġuma kuuk pakaguugiga. Itiniqsraqsiuqługi. Aasii ukiumi patitchumiñaitchuaq paqittuni tavra iqaluktuġnaqtuq ukiuqtutilauratun. (When I go fishing and if I am going to fish throughout the winter, I explore the river, looking for its deepest part. And in the winter when one finds a place where the river does not completely freeze in, that is where fish can be caught all winter long.) Delores: They look for the deeper parts of the river where it's good for fishing. That way the net won't get iced up from the river when it ices up in the falltime. So they're not just finding one spot where it's shallower... you have to find out what the deeper river where you could catch a lot of fish, and they settle there for a while until they've caught enough fish.
Bill: The things you can tell us about how you made a living up there, how you found fish. How you found good caribou. That's the things we're interested in. Ernest: Uvva tamatkunuuna uqaġniaġuma uqalluutiyumiñaġivsi akkupak aŋuniaġniq iqaluktigun ukiuqtutilauraŋatun pagituaqtuni ukiumi paqitchiutchuaq iqaluktuġnaġaluaqtuq. Aglaan makua tuttut uqautiġiniaġuptigik sivisuuraqtuami nunauliqtuuraqhutik tuttut ilaŋich itchuugaluaqtut. Aglaan nunautuinnaġutiŋ ilaitchut. Igliqtut qavuŋanmullu avuŋanmullu. (If I am to talk about those things, I can tell you right now that if one lives off fishing all winter, it will be at a place where the river does not freeze to the bottom. But if we are to talk about the caribou, some of them stay at one place for a short while. But they do not stay only at one place. They travel to the east and to the west.) Delores: Qavuŋanmuktuġmati aasiiñ upinġaksrami pisuuvat qavuŋanmun naagga ukiaġaqsimman? (When they go east, do they start in the spring or in the beginning of fall?) Ernest: Uvva atautchimi tatpaaniinnama ukiuq naalġataqługu upinġaġlu naalġataqługu naipiqtuqsaqługu qanuq iñuuniaġniqsraŋa tatpaani uuktuaqsaqługu pikama. Isuliumaniq iḷisimaviuŋ? (Ii.) Tavrani Isuliumaniġmi upinġaapak ittuŋa. Ukiaġataqtiłługu. Aasii iḷitchuġivlugich tuttut upinġaami samma July-mi. Tatpiŋña nalaułługu qavuŋanmun igliġuuniqsut, upinġaami. Aasii July nuŋulġataqługu samma igliġuurut tamaaŋŋamin qavuŋanmun. Aasii suli August samma iḷaŋa piḷġataqługu. One month and a half igliġuurut qavuŋanmun. Aasii tuttut nuŋummata igliqtuat qavuŋanmun aquagun tainnatun iñugiaktigiruanik tautuŋnaiġuuruq tamanna. I don't know how ŋar they go on up this way. Aasii ukiaġmi, ukiaġmi qavaŋŋamiñ suli utiqhutiŋ avuŋanmun. Tatpikuuna suli. (One time when I stayed up there until the winter was over and throughout the summer, to see for myself how it is like to make a living up there. Do you know Isuliumaniq? (Yes.) I stayed there at Isuliumaniq all summer. Until falltime. I found out about the caribou in the summer, around July. I saw that they would go by that particular place when they traveled to the east, in the summer. And they would migrate until the month of July was finished, from that place to the east, continuing into the month of August. They travel to the east for a month and a half. And when the caribou, which are migrating to the east, are all gone, caribou in such large numbers are no longer in the area. I don't know how far they go on up this way. And then in the fall, in the fall, they return from the east to the west. Through that place up there again.) Delores: Tavruunna Isuliumanikun aqqaġviŋanun? (Through Isuliumaniq, where they come down at?) Ernest: Ii, tanauna qumialuuram tamattuma ataagun. Qamuŋanmun. (Yes, through there, underneath the foothill. In through there.) Delores: He was saying that the time he had experienced hunting he observed the caribou routing towards the east for about a month and a half during July and parts of August. And then they finally slow down. When you think there's no more caribou running out towards the east, then around after the fall, then they'll start heading back towards the same route they go through to the east. Like there, he said he stayed at Isuliuma which is very close on that Ikpikpak River, there's a place they call Isuliumaniq, not so far from where my father's fishcamp is. It's what you call a big hill, or.. Ernest: On the east side of the river. You could see way from down here. Delores: Four hundred feet hill. Some of it is just straight up and that's where the caribou usually will go up and go toward the east or either down the bottom of that hill and go out towards the east. Bill: Wonder why the caribou go there? Delores: Iḷisimaviñguuq summan tuttut tammaunnaaġuutilaaŋiññik? (Do you know why the caribou go that way?) Ernest: Iḷisimaruŋa qanuġai. Uvvakii isumalaaġutiruni uvaŋa ilisimapiaġataġlugich summan tainnaġuutilaaŋiññik nalunaġmatun itkaluaqtuq aglaan isumalaaġutigiruni, nuna marra siñaani iñuk iñugiaktuq taavaŋŋa aullaqhuni tatqamuŋa tikiḷġataqhuni. Tamarra god-im savaaŋa tainna ittut. Niġrun una atautchiini nunani niqigipkaqsaġluni ilaitchuq. They have to move around someplace. (Maybe I know. When you think about it, I myself do not really know why they do that, and it seems hard to figure out why, but when you think about it, the land is such that along the coastline there are many people coming from that way to inland. God's work is in this way. This animal will not all gather in one place to be taken for food. They have to move around some place.) Delores: He says the caribou are constantly moving and when they know that there are people living around the area, it's just like God giving them the food that they had needed. Like a special place for them to route through that area. Ernest: That's the way it is on the ducks too. The ducks flying. Those goose, king eider ducks, any ducks. They travel that way too. Just like caribou.
Bill: This place, is that a special place for hunting? Ernest: That's what I find, myself. In one year I was staying there to check up what good place I could find for hunting. But I does not know nothing about it by now. Because I never been up there for a long time. Bill: When was the first time you went up the Ikpikpak? Ernest: Oh, somewhere around 1937, something like that. Bill: And was there a reason why you started going up there then? Delores: Iḷisimaviñguuq summan takpauŋaqsaġuutilaaŋiññik takpauŋaġaviñ? (Do you know why you started going up there when you went up there?) Ernest: Ilisimavik summan tatpauŋaqtaġuutilaamnik? Aŋayuqaaqaqtuŋa Nunamiunik. (Do I know why I would go inland? I have parents who were Nunamiut.) Delores: He has parents that live inland on the interior. Ernest: I'm not belongs to Barrow myself when I'm a boy. My parents are living up there all the time. Bill: Ikpikpak? Ernest: Ikpikpak, Kuulugruaq, or somewhere. Bill: Moving around? Ernest: Moving around. Delores: Yeah. Them days there were some people that traveled and never really had a permanent settlement, they.. Ernest: Just like Anaqtuġvik Pass. Delores: Uh-huh. Bill: What did your parents call themselves? Did they call themselves... Delores: What do you mean call themselves? You mean for living inland? Ernest: Nunamiut, that's what they call them. Delores: Yeah, they call... Bill: Did they call themselves Nunamiut? Ernest: Yes. Delores: If you never live by the ocean, and you live far away from the ocean, they call them Nunamiut. Ernest: If you're going up to Anaqtuġvik, you call them Nunamiut. Delores: Hm-hmm. Atqasukmiuttauq'amii tainna taisuummigai Nunamiut? (They also call the people of Atqasuk Nunamiut, don't they?) Ernest: Ii. (yes.) Delores: The people at Atqasuk they also call them Nunamiut. Bill: But there were some people from Barrow who went in there to hunt seasonally? Ernest: The country, our country is free. Anyplace...could go on up and hunt caribou in that time. It's not like this today. It's all different, you see. They got a law or something, game warden come here, told us not to kill caribou. (Chuckles) There's a lot things like this. But when I was a boy, good sized man, it's free. Bill: Yeah. Ernest: You could go on up and hunt caribou or something like that, if you want to. Bill: How old were you in 1937? Ernest: Oh, I was big boy good size for hunting. Bill: Did you ever know why they chose that place to go at that time? Ernest: I don't know nothing about it, but the way I could tell you where my religious people are up there, staying up there, they don't never have a set place. The way I understand, they follow the animal. When the caribou going up that way, they follow them. And then when the caribou coming back this way, they follow again. That's the kind of a people I was live. They have no setting place. Delores: They never had a permanent place for settling to stay in for like a year or so. They're always following the animals. Like you're always bringing for, maybe... not one thing for the whole year, but you would follow them to get your, what you call it, diet. Bill: Food, yeah. Wendy: Uh-huh. Sure. Bill: Do you ever remember anyone being called Ikpikpaŋmiut? Ernest: Ikpikpaŋmiut? I don't know. Uvva Ikpikpagmiunik quliaqtuaġataġumiñaitchuŋa. (I am unable to tell about the Ikpikpaŋmiut.) Delores: He says he cannot tell anything much about Ikpikpak people that live up there. Ernest: Aglaan uvva Utqiaġvigñun unuŋa inillalkamali tuvaaqatinianikkama uvaŋŋa Utqiaġviŋñin tagraġaqtaqhutiŋ Ikpikpakun tatpauŋaqtaġuurut. Iñiut iñuġiaktut tagraġuuruat. (But when I settled in Utqiaġvik, after I got married, the people from Utqiaġvik would travel upriver by boats through the Ikpikpak River. There were many people who always travel upriver.
Delores: After he moved to Barrow, and he got married, and they always just been going back and forth to go hunting up to Ikpikpak. Bill: When did you get married? Ernest: 1923. Ikpikpaŋmiunik taksisuksraitchuŋnaqtuŋa (?) maani. Aglaan iñuit Nuvuŋmiullu Utqiaġviŋmiullu tagraġuurut upinġaami. Upinġaaqtutilauraŋatun aasii tatpaaniiłłutiŋ. Aŋunaiqhutiŋ, tuttunniaqhutiŋ, uquksraġniaqhutiŋ, annuġaaksraġniaqhutiŋ tatpaaniitchuurut. (I myself have not (known) of any Ikpikpaŋmiut here. But people from Nuvuk (Pt. Barrow) and Utqiaġvik would travel by boat up the rivers in the summer. They then stayed inland all summer. Hunting, trying to get caribou, trying to get materials to keep warm, trying to get materials for clothing, they would stay up there to do this.) Delores: Kivaliñġaqtuatun pivḷutiŋ? (Doing like the people who would go east to trade?) Ernest: Naumi, tagraqhuniŋ niqqagniaqhutiŋ annuġaaksraġniaqhuniŋ umiallaŋniaqhutiŋ'likiuvva uvaptiktun, maniññaŋniaġmatun. Ataaqamik paaŋŋa umialgusuurut tuttut amiŋiññik, siksrigich amiŋiññik, imnaich amiŋiññik, ataaqamik paaŋŋa, mauŋa inimiŋnun. Aasii tamaaniitkaluaqamiŋ maani Taġiuġmiunun tuniuqqaġuummigiat, tunisukkamisigik. Tunisuŋiññamisigik tuniḷaiñmigiat. (No, they traveled upriver by boat to try and get food, to hunt, to try and gain material wealth like us, like trying to earn money. When they traveled back downriver, they would be rich with caribou skins, squirrel skins, sheepskins, when they traveled downriver from inland back to their places here. And when they would be here awhile, they would sell their things to the Taġiuġmiut (people of the sea), if they chose to sell them. If they didn't want to sell anything, they didn't.) Delores: The people from Barrow and the real Pt. Barrow-- they call the Nuvuk-- often went up to Ikpikpak and spent most of their time in the summers as long as they can. When they go up to Ikpikpak and when they come back, like they'll have some things to trade off with when they go to the people that live on the shore side, that is only if the Eskimos would want to trade off skins or food or things like that. If they chose not to sell them, then they never sell them, but when they wanted to exchange they would exchange with... you know for clothing for meat or things like that. Ernest: Tamatkua uqallausiġisaqtatin akku ammiñik tamatkuniŋa maaŋŋa tauqsiġialaitchut tatqavuŋa. Uqsrumik tauqsiġiaġuurut. Uqsrumik usiaqłutiŋ, ii. Nunamiut aasii tamatkua Kuukpikun ataaġuurut Niġliġmun kivuŋa. (Those things you were going to talk about a while ago; they did not go to buy those skins from over there (east) from here. They would go to buy oil. They carried oil with them, yes, and then the Nunamiut would travel downriver through the Kuukpik River to Niġliq.) Delores: Uqsrut tamatkua seal oil naagga..(Would that oil be seal oil or...) Ernest: Aġviġich, uqsrut qanutchiich, ammich natchiich ammich ugruich usiaqugit maaŋŋa Niġliġmuguurut. Aasii ŋuukpikulli ataaġuurut Nunamiut. Aasii Niġliġmi tatkivani kasuutivlutik. Tavra tauqsiġñiaġtut tavrani. (Whale, all types of oil, sealskins, ugruk skins, carrying these they would go to Niġliq. And the Nunamiut would go downriver through the Kuukpik. They then all met each other at Niġliq. Trading and buying there.) Delores: He was saying that the what I said earlier about that Uuliktuq and that one trading route. The one I was telling you about earlier. They exchange uqsruq which is..like whale oil or seal oil, any kind of oil for clothing and their main place for exchanging was called Niġliq. Bill: Uh-huh. Uh-huh. At the mouth of the Colville? Ernest: Maybe you heard it from the radio or news that story. I think you've heard it. Bill: Just about trading. Ernest: Yeah, trading. That's what they are. Bill: I know that that was a big trading site. Ernest: Yeah. ?: Did Ikpikpak people go over there too? Ernest: I don't think so. I don't know nothing about Ikpikpak people, but people is going up to Ikpikpak in the summertime for hunting. Bill: And then bringing stuff back up to Barrow to trade? Ernest: Uh-huh. They don't never sell it. If they want to sell it they sell it alright, but not all of them. But in that trading from here to Niġliq, and then from Nunamiut to Niġliq they had it right there in that place, for trading. The people from Barrow go on up to Niġliq they carried blubber, maktak, sealskin, ugruk skin, whatever they had. Any animal from the sea. And they trade from Nunamiut for caribou skins, sheepskins, squirrelskin or something they could use for winter clothing. Maybe that story you got it from Bessie Ericklook? Bill: No. Delores: No. Allam aŋutim uqautiŋaraŋa Bessie. (Some other man talked to Bessie.) Ernest: Maybe you could find somewhere that story anyway. Wendy: Uh-huh. Sure. Bill: We've been hearing some about travel on the Ikpikpak. And going up the Ikpikpak and then over into ColviIle. We were interested in that. Delores: Uvvagguuq tusaakasaktuq Ikpikpaŋmiñguuq traveliġuummatiŋ kanuŋa Colville River-mun Kuukpikgum kuuŋanun. Tamanna. (He has been hearing about people traveling from the Ikpikpak to the Colville.) Ernest: Tavra uqautigikpiñ samma nunauraq akkupak qiñiqtuaġlugu piguptigu Atuaŋaruamik atiligaam kuuġum kivanmun ittuaq kayyaaġigaa Ikpikpaum. Tatpaaniqpaaġruk pamma, Simiutaġruam paanitchiqpaaġruani. Tavra tagraqtuat maaŋŋa umiakuvikaaŋat. Umiakusuurut tagraqtuat, qanutun iñugiaktigigaluaqamiŋ. Aasii tavruŋa umiatik qimaqqaaqługit Kuukpiŋmun pitaqhutiŋ nanmauvlutiŋ. Tavra tuttunniarraqsivaalluguurut. (I am telling you that if we were to look at a map right now, the river with the name of Atuaŋaruaq which flows eastward is a branch off of the Ikpikpak. It is a long ways inland, way above Simiutaġruaq. That place is where the people traveling inland through the river from here would leave their boats. Those who traveled upriver by boat would leave their boats, regardless of how many they were. Then after leaving their boats there they portaged, packing belonging on their backs to the Kuukpik (Colville River). There they would finally begin hunting caribou.) Delores: I don't know how to explain on this one. We can probably get a better translation on this thing when we get to the office. Wendy: Okay. (Unclear)
Bill: That's fine. Were there places mentioned? Where people crossed over to Colville? Ernest: I did that several times myself, in the summertime. Bill and Delores: Oh. Ernest: Just to look for caribou. Bill: How did you go? Ernest: In the summertime, by boat. Bill: Up to...? Ernest: As far as I can go on up. Farther up... Bill: Then the river splits. Ernest: Yeah. Bill: Then which way would you go then? Ernest: Then I have to go across the hill from there, I walk. Carrying my stuff like you fellows going away for picnic or something like that. Wendy: Uh-huh. Ernest: Carry your sleeping bag or something you want to eat in your pack and walk across a big hill around to Kuukpik River. Wendy: Did you have dogs with you to help carry things? Ernest: Huh? Wendy: Did you take dogs with you to help carry things? (Delores repeats in Iñupiaq) Ernest: Yaah. I always have about five or six dogs. Know how to carry pack. Wendy: Uh-huh.
Bill: Do you remember any old places along that route? Ernest: Yes, in the Ikpikpak. Not up in the Colville River. I don't know nothing about it myself, I only reached that place I walked for hunting caribou. Bill: In the... Excuse me, go ahead. Ernest: The old places in Ikpikpak I know it where they could do for fishing in the fall. One up in..Paaŋŋamiñ taiguġnaiġitka. Tatpikani samma pimi... Delores: He's going to say them from the Colville on down. Bill: Okay. Ernest: Simiutaġruaġmi igluġruaqaqtuq. Delores: There's one in Simiutaq. Ernest: Simiutaġruam tamaani alliñaaŋani igluġruaqaqt Igluġruak panma uupkautiŋaitpagit piŋasuusuŋnaqtut. (I will say their names beginning from up there. Up there at Simiutaġruaq there are old sod houses. Below (alliñaaŋani) Simiutaġruaq there are old sod houses, if they haven't been eroded by the water, there must be three of them.) Delores: He thinks that maybe there's three mounds of sod houses. Bill: At Simiutaq? Ernest: But I don't think you could find some of them. If they're still up there, there should be three. And then from here down that way again about twenty miles from here down this way (Simiutaq) another one is.. Qaglugiksauramisuli. (Also at Qaglugiksauraq.) Delores: Qaglugiksauraq. Ernest: That's where there's good places for hunting fish sometime or in the fall. Tavranisuli igluġruaqaatuq malguŋnikkiaq pamm. (There are also old sod houses there, possibly two of them.) Delores: He thinks maybe there was two houses (unclear). Ernest: Aasii taaptumaŋŋa aullaqtuni taunuŋanmunsuli about thirty miles from there, tavra Isuliumaniq taamna qulaiqtaġa. Kayyaaqaqtuaqsuli. Delores: The next one is Isuliumaniq. Isu-liu-maniq. Ernest: Aglaan samma kuupiaġatimi taapkua igluġruat inŋitchut, samma taksruŋmi salliñaaŋani taaptuma iglut ittut. (And when you leave from that place (Qaglugiksauraq), about thirty miles from there, right there is Isuliumaniq that I told you about. It also has a fork in the river, but those old sod houses are not right by the river itself, they are by a long, narrow lake.) (Untranslated Iñupiaq conversation between Delores and Ernest.) Delores: He said there were two houses at Isuliumaniq, natiŋani? (On its floor?) Ernest: Ii. Natiŋani. (Yes. On its floor.) Delores: On the bottom of the hill. Ernest: Ualiñganikiuvva taaptuma Isuliumanġum, kuugmi tamaani. Aasii taaptumaŋŋa Aviullaaviŋñun takanna. Delores: Aviullaaq. Ernest: Aviullaaviich taapkua. Samma malguiguruq Aviullaavik taamna. Delores: There's two places Aviullaaq and Aviuġruaq. Ernest: Aviuġruaġniq takannatchiq pisuugaat. (On the west side of Isuliumaniq, on the river there. And from there we go down to Aviullaavik. Those Aviullaaviks there. There are two of those places there. (Two Aviullaaviks.) They call the lower place Aviuġruaq. (literally, large or old Aviu.) Wendy: Aviuġruaq? Delores: Aviuġruaq. Ernest: Tatpikpaniasii iglut tautuŋavigich? (And have you seen those houses up there?) Delores: Naumi, taapkuakiaq uvva tautuŋaitchuŋnaġniġitka. Dad-it-kuk quliaqtuaġmarruŋ ilaŋiññik tikkuaqtuqsiññaqłutiŋ, (No, I guess I haven't seen those. When my parents were telling us about them, sometimes they just pointed to them.) Ernest: Samma taamna... Delores: (continues in Inupiaq.) Ernest: ....taamna iglukput, Aviuġruani ittuaq. Kuugiŋagaa. Avuuna ualiñġagun kuuliŋaruq'usii. Tautuŋniaŋitkiñkuuk, taamna qavaniqpaaġruk samma ittuq. (Our house there, the one at Aviuġruaq. There is no longer a river there. Another river has formed to its west as you may know. You will not see that river, it is quite a ways back (west). Delores: The river, the original river is not there anymore, but it's got a river on the west side of it now. Bill: Right. Delores: Qavsiñik igluqaqtuaq tavrani.. (How many houses were there?) Ernest: Igluuruaq, pamma igluġruaġuruq. (There were houses there, right now it has many old sod houses on it.) Delores: Atausiq? (One?) Ernest: Igluġruaġuruq'ami utuqqaġniglu. (It is full of old sod houses, and also very old ones.) Delores: He said there was a house, an old sod house. Bill: At..Aviullaq. Delores: Aviullaġmi, naakka..(At Aviullaq, or..) Ernest: Aviuġruaġmi. (At the old Aviu). Delores: The bottom one (on the list in our notes). Aviugruaq. Wendy: Okay. Delores: I'll correct your spelling. Bill: Okay. Ernest: Aasii taaptumani Aviullaaviŋñi taapkunani iḷuvigñik ilitchuġiŋavisi? (And have you found out about some graves there at Aviullaavich.) Delores: Sumi? Ernest: (Reply not transcribed) Delores: Naumi, iḷuviñik piŋitkaluaqtuŋa takpauŋaġama berries-nik.. (No, I did not see any graves, ..) Ernest: Quġannaq ilisimaviuŋ? (Do you know where Quġannaq is?) Delores: Ii. (Yes) Ernest: Quġannamiñ uanmun tamarra qimiġaq, amii? (To the west of Quġannaq is the ridqe, riqht?) Delores: Ii. (Yes.) Ernest: Aasii qatchiraaġuraaqaqhuni ualiñŋallautaŋani samma Quġannam. Tamattuma qimiqqam qaaŋani. Tavra samma iḷuvġit piŋasut tavrani. (And there is a plateau directly west of Quġannaq. On top of that ridge. There are three graves there.) Delores: Quġannami? (At Quġqannaq?) Ernest: Quġannami. Kuuġuuraq taamna ilisimasuŋnagiñ Quġannaq tasamma tavrani taaptuma ualiñgani qimiqqam taaganitchimiittuam piŋuġauraŋata qaaŋani. (At Quġannaq. You probably know that little river. Quġannaq is located there on top of a mound just west of the ridge which is located across there.) (End of Side A) Delores: It's right on top of the hill of Quġannaq. Ernest: Allanik iḷuviġñik naluruŋa tamaani. (I don't know of any other graves around that area.) Delores: Aasii ukua Pausanatkut piŋit ilisimavigi? (And do you know about Pausana's?) Ernest: Suŋit? (What of theirs?) Delores: Ulviŋit takpaaniittuat Ikpikpaŋmi? Isii taapkua Dad-ii iniŋa takpikani aullaaġviŋa. (Their graves which are up there on the Ikpikpak? The place where my father goes camping.) Ernest: Pausatkut? (Pausan and them?) Delores: Ii. Pausankut taamna inillagvigiŋaraŋat. (Yes. Pausan and them had settled there.) Ernest: Tavrausii igluġruaqaŋanisugaaġa igluġruaŋa tautuŋnasugi- galuaġiga taaptuma. Isuliumaniġum ualiñġani kuugum siñaani iglua tavra. (Remember I said there was an old sod house, I thought that I saw their old sod house there. His house is to the west of Isuliumaniq, along the river's edge.) Delores: Ii. Igluġruagisimaruaq takpauŋaġama aglaan iniŋa isima- ruaq. Igluŋa piiłłuni aglaan iniŋa ilisiaġnaġniqsuaq. (Yes. When I was up there, there was no sod house but you could see where it had been. ) Ernest: Tavra. Tavra Pausatkut igluat. Taapkua Kunaŋankullu ipkua atautchimiinŋaġmik. (That's it. That's Pausans' house. When they and the Kunaknana family were living together.) Delores: Kunaknana's and Pausana's sod houses were up there. Taamna Pausanmik taisuuraŋat (Do they call that one Pausan?) Ernest: Ii. (Yes.) Delores: At Pausan. They call that place Pausana's. It had some sod houses, one was belonging to Pausana's and the other one to Kunaknana's. Bill: Are there more sites, more places? Ernest: Takannaasii Saġġaaluuratkut iñaat sumik pisuuvarruŋ? (And what do they call Saġġana's place down there?) Delores: Atchu, nalugigakiaq taapkua Saġġaaluuratkut piat. (I don't know. I don't think I know about Saġġana's place.) Ernest: Kuugum paaŋani. Ikpikpaum paaŋani takanna. (At the mouth of the river. It's there at the mouth of the Ikpikpak.) Delores: Atchu...Iñupiaq material missing) Ernest: I know one other old house should be. Way down that way, toward the ocean. Just right, right there inside of the river on the ocean. They camped there too, but I don't know what they call. Delores: (Iñupiaq material missing). Ernest: Ikpikpaum paaŋani ittuq. Saġġaaluuratkut igluat, samma tamattumani Ikpikpaum isiqsaallaksiññaqhuni. Sumik samma taisuugaluaqtaŋat nalugiga uvaŋa. (It's at the mouth of the Ikpikpak. Saġġaaluuraq's house, just as you go into the Ikpikpak River. They used to call it something, but I don't know it myself.) Delores: Right at the mouth of that Ikpikpak River there was a house that belongs to Saġġaaluuraq. But he don't know the name of that place, or what it's called. Ernest: Luke Saġġana, you know that one Fairbanks? Delores: Ii. (Yes) Bill: I heard about him today. Wendy: What is Luke's last name? Delores: Saġġana. He lives in Fairbanks. Bill: What... Go through this list again, maybe he knows what the names mean. In some cases there's meaning of each name. The first one you mentioned was Simiutaq? Delores: Ilisimaviñguuq summan tamakkuniŋa atchiŋatilaaŋiññik, like uwagguuq suna Simiutaq atchiutigiŋavarruŋ? (Do you know why they named those places that way, like what did they name Simiutaq for?) Ernest: Uvaŋali apiġilagik, ai? (Let me ask them a question, okay?) Delores: Ii. (Yes.) Ernest: Sumi iñuguŋavisik? (Where did you grow up?) Where were you born? Bill: Where was I born? New Jersey. Ernest: New Jersey. Around New Jersey no other name, places is? Bill: Yeah. You could say east coast.. Wendy: I think he means the place, what's the name of the town. Bill: Oh, the name of the town? Ernest: Yeah. Bill: Newark. Ernest: That's what they are, you see, when somebody want to know where that place is, they have to call their name. You see if you want to know where Simiutaq is I could show you on the map. That's the place of Simiutaq. Bill: But is that named after a person? Ernest: I don't know nothing about that. I could never tell you that. Delores: We don' t know so he cannot tell you any of those names, why they're named like that. Ernest: But just call them some kind of a name anyway. I know up in Niġliq, of goose in the springtime, that's Delores: There might be somebody that is older or if they had what these names would mean, so he's not really...knows
Bill: Okay. Were people reindeer herding there when you went up? Ernest: Reindeer herd? Bill: When you were up there were people reindeer herding? Ernest: Later on. Bill: Later on. Ernest: Somewhere in... When was that reindeer coming in? I don't remember it. Delores: Tusaasuuŋasuŋnaqtuŋakiaq 1925-mikiaq nik pisuummata. (I think I've heard that it was around 1925 when they herded reindeer.) Ernest: I was herding. I was working in the herding myself for seven years. Bill: Which herd? Ernest: Here Bill: Barrow herd? Delores: Kiagguuq piutiŋiññik qunŋiññik? (He want to know who the herd belonged to.) Ernest: Mauŋa qaiqqaaġmata government-mik iñuqaqugit piŋagait. (When they first came here, they were owned by the government.) Delores: Government? Ernest: Government. Delores: They were named under the government. You know, particular name, the government... Ernest: Qaiqqaaġataġmata qunŋit tainna iñuqaġaich. (When they first came they had the government as owner.) Delores: That's how they named them when they first got the reindeer. Bill: But like didn't Brower have his own herd? Delores: Well, that was probably later on but the first ones Ernest: Yeah. Later on. When the... Delores: The first ones were called... Belong to the government... Bill: I see. Ernest: You see, when the first reindeer came in, is not too much, about 200 or something like that, what I herd. And then they grow like anything. Bill: Yeah. Ernest: I know Brower, when the reindeer got growing, they'd buy some reindeer from somebody else. That is why he had his own reindeer. Tauqsiqsuqłuni taimani piŋaruq aapayi. Qunŋiukkaktuamiñ makkunaŋŋa aasii qunŋiñikłuni. Aasii naummata, iñugiaksiuraġmata qunŋisiŋ piiŋagait company-miñ. Iliŋisigun aasii qaunagiaqsivlugich. (In those days your grandfather purchased the reindeer from the people around here who owned reindeer, thereby acquiring his own reindeer. And then when they grew, when they became more numerous, they took your reindeer away from the company. They then began to take care of the reindeer themselves.) Delores: When the... He said my grandfather, every time they would expand more, like adding more reindeer, my grandfather had started buying reindeer from...government-miñ? (From the government?) Ernest: Naumi, iñuŋniñ. (No, from people.) Delores: From other people. Ernest: Marrakii qunŋiḷaagugapta qunŋiñik akiññaktaqtugut. (We were paid with reindeer when we were reindeer herders.) We don't never earn any money. But earning with reindeer. Wendy: So you were paid in reindeer, then. Uh-huh. Ernest: Uh-huh. I was working for nothing in that time, for seven years. Delores: Aasii qavsiñigli qunŋiñik piññaŋaviñ savallaqpiñ? (And how many reindeer did you earn while you were working?) Ernest: Savallaġma qunŋiñiŋaruŋali five hundred samma qaninŋaqługu. (While I was working I earned close to five hundred reindeer.) Delores: He earned about five hundred reindeer while he was working during the seven years. Bill: What were those seven years? Ernest: I was working at the herding. Bill: Yeah. When did you start that, you remember? Ernest: I don't never remember these. I got no record... Wendy: Do you have any idea how old you were when you started? Ernest: I was about...First time when I go on up I was about thirteen or fourteen years old. Wendy: Wow. Started young then. Ernest: Very young, yeah. Bill: Where did that Barrow herd graze? Where did they herd the Barrow herd? Delores: Sumigguuq niġisuuŋavat taapkua Utqiaġviŋmiitchuuŋaruat qunŋit? (Where did the herd that used to stay in Barrow feed?) Ernest: Qunŋit tatpagga nunamiitchuurut maani. Iḷaanni pituġautivlugich mauŋa tuqutchimmata pisuurut. (The reindeer would stay up there on the land around here. Sometimes they would take them down to the coast here for slaughter.) Delores: Tamauŋagruiññaq nunamiñ niġivlutiŋ? (Just eating from the ground?) Ernest: Niġivlutik tamaaŋŋagruiññaq nunamiñ. (Just eating from the ground.) Delores: They just eat right out of the grass. Ernest: The reindeer is just like caribou. Bill: Yeah, but did they stay near Barrow or did they go up the rivers or... Where did the herders take them? Ernest: Any place, good place for feeding the reindeer. Wendy: Wherever the pastureage was good? Ernest: Yes. Some grass or something like that, good place for eating it. Delores: Most of the ones that I know of are like lichens. Bill: But what I'm getting at is there were certain places that each herd, certain lines where each herd stayed. And I was interested in... Delores: They always kept them traveling so they never really feed in one place but they would come back to the same place. Wendy: Do you remember some of the places that you were with the reindeer when you were herding? Ernest: I can never tell you about that because I've been working up here close by up above Barrow all the way from here up to that lake up down below Wainwright. Wendy: Uh-huh. What was the farthest away place that you were when you were herding, do you remember? Ernest: You can never go any farther, way up farther with the reindeer because there's places up here above where it's lots of grass too. Good place for feeding reindeer. But you don't have to stay in one place so long. Wendy: Oh right. Ernest: You might have to move around everytime. Wendy: How many people worked with you when you were herding? Ernest: About ten or twelve because some of them is quit working, just like you fellows are doing, when you get tired of working you get away from that job.. Wendy: Did you have dogs to help? Ernest: What? Wendy: Did you have dogs to help herd? Ernest: Yeah. So four of us is steady working on seven years. Bill: Did you herd on the Meade? Ernest: Huh? Bill: On the Meade River? Did you herd the reindeer on the Meade? How about the Ikpikpak? Did you have a herd over on the Ikpikpak? Ernest: No, I never stay up there very much because Brower's reindeer was right close by it. Bill: Where did you butcher? Ernest: Right on the ocean sometime in the summertime, right close by the village. Bring the reindeer up from inland to the ocean.
Bill: And when was the last time you were up to the Ikpikpak River, hunting? Ernest: I can never tell you that. In 1978 that was the last time I go on up to Ikpikpak for hunting goose in the springtime. Not hunting caribou or something like that but for niġliq. (Chuckle) (goose.) Delores: Geese. Bill: Well, that's pretty good. I thought you were going to say, oh, 1950 or 60, but. . . Ernest: I quit hunting for a long time myself. Only thing I have to hunt is right now, ducks hunting little bit. Once in a while go on up to Shooting Station for hunting king eider ducks. In the springtime on May, maybe if I good, I could go on up to inland again, shoot one duck. (Laughter.) Wendy: Only one?! Bill: Where on the Ikpikpak do you hunt ducks? Are there certain areas where you hunt geese and ducks? Ernest: In the summertime. All different kinds of ducks you could see up here in the summertime. Bill: But on the Ikpikpak River, are there certain places that are good? Ernest: Certain places you could see lot of birds or something like that in the summertime. Bill: Why did the birds go to those certain places? Ernest: I think they had a good place up here for feeding them I don't know. Delores: I think probably if they have good nesting area. Bill: Huh. And feed, yeah. Delores: And feeding. Bill: In the Wainwright area, sometimes hunters look for areas where the mud comes up first. You know, the snow melts first..in those areas where the geese come and they land, so those are good areas to hunt. Ernest: For hunting geese? Bill: Yeah. Ernest: That's what they do, in May. Bill: So there are certain places up there. What are some of those places called? Where you hunt geese? Ernest: Well, you don't have to stay in one place when you hunt geese. You have to move around, move around someplace where the goose traveling this way too. Just like king eider ducks. Delores: Yeah. They have a certain route they will usually fly, like sometimes they'll have one route. If they know the place where it's really good, then they will always go to that same place. Bill: The geese will. Delores: Because every year the plant will always grow 'cause it never stops growing, just like these berries they're always growing every year. Bill: Right. Delores: Do you have any other questions? Bill: Wendy, do you have any? Wendy: I think we've covered quite a bit. I can't think of anything right off.
Bill: What should we remember about the Ikpikpak River? Delores: Sumik'guuq ilisimayumiñaqpat Ikpikpagmik? (What can they know about the Ikpikpak?) Ernest: Sumik ilisimayumiñaqpat? (What they can know?) Delores: Ii. (Yes.) Ernest: Ikpikpaŋmik? (Of the Ikpikpak?) Delores: Ii. Apiqsruutiŋakiaq uvva aqulliq, aqpiqsrirut sumik'guuq ilisimayumiñaqtaŋiññik...(Yes. His last question there, they are asking what they could know...) Ernest: Ikpikpaŋmi? (On the Ikpikpak?) Delores: Ii. (Yes) Ernest: Sumik ilisimayumiñaqtaŋannik suviŋnik piqaqpa. Aŋuniaġvił̣huñauruq tamanna, sumik ilisimanapiaġataqtuamik paqitaksramik piitchuq manna Ikpikpak. (What is there that they can know about. That place is only a place to go hunting. There is really nothing to be found that would be important to know.) Delores: The only thing that he really knows of it is it's only a good place for hunting for subsistence, like for caribou. Ernest: It's not like Kuulugruaq, if you're going by Kuulugruaq you could find gold. Bill: Where's that place? (Laughter) Ernest: Kuulugruaq. Bill: Cold rock? Ernest: Kuulugruaq. Delores: Kuulugruaq. Ernest: Kuulugruaq. Atqasuk.
Wendy: Have you spent much time on the upper part of the Meade River above Atqasuk? Ernest: Yes, that's the place, Meade River. Delores: Tatpaaniggguuq paanitchiani Atqasuum inillaguuŋavat? Takpauŋaŋaviñ? (Did people settle above Atqasuk, or did you ever go up there?) Ernest: Tatpauŋaŋaitchuŋa uvaŋa. Aglaan samma, ilisimapiaġataq- tuamik tatpaksrumiŋa kasuiguvsi quliaqtuaġiyumiñaġaat aŋuniaġ- viuruqtauq Ikpikpaktun. Atqasuum samma paaniqpaaġruaniḷu aŋuniaġviŋich itchuumiut. (I have not gone up there myself. But if you get together with someone who knows about that place, they can tell you that it is also a hunting place like the Ikpikpak. Their hunting places are also way up above Atqasuk.) Delores: He said it would be better if you get the person that knows that area who would tell you there's some good hunting places up there too. Wendy: Uh-huh. Okay. Ernest: But I does not been over here in the wintertime myself. As far as I go, to Atqasuk. Where coal-mine is. Bill: Okay. Thank you very much. Wendy: There's a lot here that I think will be really helpful to us. You've told us some very useful things.
Ernest: If they are still that way, but it could be help all of them. But we're along the areas, all different, you see. Delores: The weather is always changing the land around, and also the currents of the rivers and... Ernest: Also the animals is all change. Their ways too. Delores: Yeah, routing... Ernest: You know when I start from here, Friday, by plane up to Atqasuk. As far as I go past this water lake up there, and I start seeing the caribou. From that lake, all the way up to Atqasuk is never stop. Caribou, all the way from Barrow to Atqasuk. That's awful changed. The caribou never stay that close when I was a boy. Bill: You said sometimes you had to go all the way as far as the Colville to get caribou. Ernest: Yeah. That' s the first time I saw that much caribou just past that water lake up here all the way up to Atqasuk there, caribou. Wendy: Wow. Well, it's important for us to know about the changes too. That's where people like you who were there, when you were there long ago can tell us. I mean people who weren't there can't tell us about it's changes. So we really appreciate your help.