Mike Andrew, Sr.
Mike Andrew, Sr. (Temquq) was a Yup'ik elder born to Anna and Alex Panelek in 1935 and raised the Alagank River (also known as Branch River). Prior to moving to the Alagank River, Mike's father had been a reindeer herder at Big Mountain. Mike was the youngest of fifteen children, and was raised to surive by trapping beaver, otter, muskrat and fox, and by hunting moose and caribou. As a boy, his mother taught him how to use a snare to catch rabbits, which often provided a stable food supply. In later years, Mike's parents worked in canneries in Bristol Bay in order to earn some money to help provide for their family. At the age of fifteen, Mike began commercial fishing in Bristol Bay, and fished every summer until 1992, when he retired. As an adult, Mike also continued to use his outdoor skills as a trapper and hunter. In 1960, he married Dallia Gregory from Igiugig, Alaska.Together they raised three sons on the Branch River until having to move into the village for school. Mike loved making music, and taught himself to play the accordian when he was seven or eight years old. Mike was Chief of the Saint Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church in Igiugig, and helped establish the Igiugig School, the tribal government, and the Igiugig Native Corporation. He was always ready to share his knowledge of the land and his culture and was an avid storyteller. 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. Mike Andrew, Sr. passed away in 2016 at the age of 81.