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Charlie "Aaluk" Edwardsen, Sr.
Charlie Edwardsen, Sr. (Aaluk) was born in 1920 and spent much of his childhood in the Barrow area. He and his brother, Eddie, were raised by their grandmother, Mary Asiaŋŋataq Brower, Charles Brower's wife. Their mother, Dora, died when Charlie was two, and their father, Antone Edwardsen, the trader at Beechey Point, died when Charlie was nine. Charlie and Eddie were raised with the other Brower children in Barrow. Charlie really started to travel when he began reindeer herding: "...when I was 15 years old, see, I start herding reindeer. And that's where we herd, clear up on the Ikpikpuk River."
The way Charlie explains it, he didn't have much choice: "See, we had to go into the reindeer herds. That was our own herd. The old man Brower said, 'You herd reindeer 'til you're 21.' That was all." When Charlie had time off from herding, he would explore the country and meet people who were living on the river. One of the most important associations was with an old-timer called Amaġuaq who shared his knowledge of the country with Charlie and Arnold Brower, Sr. Amaġuaq's wife, Natchiġuna, had once lived with Charlie Brower. In fact, some people consider her Charlie Brower's first wife. For that reason, she looked upon Charlie and Arnold as close relations, even calling them sons. Charlie relates how Amaġuaq taught them: "(He) gave (us) a story like that, and told us what, where to go hunting. I look for fish, and he tell us and we don't know where they are, and he describes them, how the lake looks, there's a bank here, and when, when we go down to...around Half Moon Three, we'd start to look for a place. We'd take a net and set a net -- see if there's fish in them and finally we found them. (We) found the place where he was telling us. (He) said when they don't get a whale in the falltime, long time ago, see that's where they always go up -- the people from the point, Nuvuŋmiut."
As Charlie learned about the Ikpikpak area, he also learned about his relatives who were associated with the sites. The site of Ahsoak (Asuaq) was named after his grandmother's brother, Alex Ahsoak. Qiukkam Imaŋa, a site located between two big lakes, is named after his mother-in-law's stepfather. Charlie and his family continue to use the Ikpikpak area for fishing and hunting; they maintain three camps on the river at Chipp 1, Chipp 2, and Chipp 10. Charlie Edwardsen, Sr. passed away in 1997. He was 77 years old.
(Biographical section from Quliaqtuat Iñupiat Nunaŋiññiñ - The Report of the Chipp-Ikpikpuk River and Upper Meade River Oral History Project. W. Arundale and W. Schneider, 1987.)