Photographs related to the village of South Naknek, Alaska.
Ted Melgenak is a Suqpiag (Alutiiq) elder from South Naknek, Alaska. He was born in 1937, and Pelagia Melgenak (whom he calls "Old Lady Gramma") and her husband, One-Arm Nick Melgenak, adopted him as a toddler after his mother died and raised him as their youngest child. Pelagia and Nick taught Teddy how to live a traditional subsistence lifestyle, which included learning how to hunt, fish, trap and harvest and use plants. Teddy worked for the National Park Service at Katmai National Park where he had a chance to revisit his childhood summer home and recall his early encounters with bears and fish.
Carvel Zimin, Sr. was born to Nick & Mary Zimin in 1931 at Diamond O Cannery in South Naknek, Alaska. Carvel only had an elementary school education, but he taught himself everything he needed to be self-sufficient living in a remote village. At age 16, he obtained his pilot’s license even before he had a driver’s license, and was a true bush pilot. He was creative with anything mechanical, and built an airplane-engine powered snow-go and airboat, and welded setnet skiffs equipped with hydraulics to make fishing easier. While serving in the Army, he married the girl next door, Annie Ealok, and they were married for sixty years and raised five children. Carvel was a lifelong commercial & subsistence fisherman, and worked as both a winter watchman and beach boss for Alaska Packers, now known as Trident Seafoods. He also worked as a school bus driver and station agent for PenAir in South Naknek. Carvel enjoyed hunting, fishing, and had a great love of salmon berry picking, and was a proud father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. Carvel Zimin, Sr. passed away on November 20, 2012 in Anchorage, Alaska at the age of 81. For more about Carvel Zimin, Sr. see his obituary published on-line by Alaskan Funerals.