This is a map of the Kukaklek Lake area. Listen to Mary Olympic or Dallia Andrew talk about a location.
Mary Ann Olympic was a Yup'ik elder who was born in a reindeer herding camp at Kukaklek Lake in 1931. Her father was a reindeer herder originally from Alagnak who moved to Kukaklek Lake in 1906, and married Mary Ann's mother in 1926. She grew up a subsistence lifestyle, where the family moved around seasonally according to where resources were available. For example, in the springtime her mother would hunt ground squirrels, and in the summer her father hunted brown bear and moose. And she learned about reindeer herding and trapping from her father, who also did some commercial fishing to support his family. Mary was sixteen years old when her parents moved the family into the village of Igiugig, Alaska, and in 1948 she married John Olympic. Mary Ann ran a trapline at Kukaklek Lake and went to fish camp while raising her family and then worked at the school in Igiugig from 1968 to 1994 as a way to earn extra income. In her later years, Mary Ann was highly regarded for her knowledge of traditional activities, beliefs, and of local place names, and she provided inspiration as an elder leader in the community. May Ann Olympic passed away in 2015 at the age of 83 years old.
Dallia Gregory Andrew is a Yup'ik elder from Igiugig, Alaska. She grew up as one of thirteen children in her family living at Kukaklek Lake where her father, Alex Gregory, was a reindeer herder, and on the Kvichak and Alagnak Rivers. In those days, people moved around a lot following the resources by season. She grew up at various camps hunting, fishing, trapping, and berry picking. In later years, Dallia's father went commercial fishing in Bristol Bay to earn money to support the family, and was a reader in the Russian Orthodox church. In 1960, she married Mike Andrew, and together they raised three sons on the Branch River until having to move into Igiugig for school. When Mike and Dallia were interviewed together, they took turns talking; often reinforcing each other's stories by saying that they wanted to add something else. Sometimes they would request to provide information in the next recording session, and then they would develop a theme such as Native notions of conservation.