Beginning Credits

Rachel Sikvayugak continues her testimony from the end of Tape 3. She talks briefly about trapping.

James Tobuk first came to Anaktuvuk Pass in 1958 from Anchorage. He had heard about the country up in the Brooks Range where his ancestors were from. They are not strangers to him. He learned to trap fox around Anaktuvuk Pass. In his old country, he did not have caribou, fox or even porcupine. Animals and human beings don't live together. He used to live off only live fish and vegetables in his old country. When they were talking about the D-2 lands, he thought that in the future that country he lives in now, Anaktuvuk Pass, and surrounding areas will be populated and perhaps polluted. They don't want to be tied up on a piece of land like the reservations down in the states; it's just like being tied up like a dog. He can't go anywhere else. He said how an Indian told him that they killed the buffalo and they had no meat. They didn't know how to farm and live like white men at that time. When this land issue came along, we thought this will happen to us. We have lived here for 20,000 thousand years. Our ancestors always came to Anaktuvuk Pass to hunt caribou. The animals go into these countries around here just like we do. Eskimo custom may not change for a long time. The little children will grow up and when they go hungry they will go and look for caribou, too. I like to eat something fresh; I don't like beef or ham, it's too salty and it's hard to raise here. A wolf bit my brother long ago and he died. When the wolf bit him on the arm where he was wearing caribou skin, the wolf's teeth did not penetrate, but when he bit his neck that is how we lost him. The way of the people here is sharing; I can't hunt so the people feed me. If the country over populates, then they won't be free anymore. The people want to know now if that is the case. He also claims that he has never spoken to a politician in his life. And he says that he doesn't understand English, but he speaks it and while giving his testimony everyone understood him clearly. He hopes that the non-Natives visiting understand what the people are saying and what they need to survive. They need the animals to eat. They don't have any other country to move to. Indians have the other side of the Koyukuk River. He says he always wondered why we camped on the north side of the river, and later on his dad told him that we are not allowed on the other side because it's Indian country. The country is divided among the Native people. Eskimo live everywhere else where they can make a living, all along the coast. They fight all the time, that is why Eskimo and Indians don't live together. He also states that he doesn't have to buy meat because his people give it to him. Someday it might not be like that because they learn from white people, the different ways. When he was on the highway lots of people kill cows and calves and they cook on a camp fire. They didn't offer any fresh meat to him. You would think they would ask if we were hungry. Are we expecting that kind of life now? Just me eat and you don't eat. Eskimos and Indians, they share food that is their way. You're welcome into our home and we won't chase anyone out. We all have same stomachs and same human beings, we may not see things the same, but we are alike. We all share that is our way.

Raymond Paneak says he first heard of the D-2 land issue last winter and it hurt his people. He hunted all his life and all the time it's hurting the hunters. He goes back and forth with snow machine and sees a lot of old camp sites that belong to those that lived before us. He also sees lots of game over there; the Park picks the place where we hunt, right where we hunt. We never miss a year to hunt. You can go any direction from here and hunt and find food. Everything is changing nowadays; we all depend on the animals still. We don't have jobs unless we go fire fighting or sell furs. We won't buy steaks, we will get fresh meat. We just depend on animals. Most of my furs come from the Killik River. It hurts all of us, all these older people are telling the truth. Our grandfathers and parents hunted whenever they wanted to get food. Now we have to wait for open season.

Elizabeth Paneak was born in the Killik River country and raised there. She thinks that it should be open for the people to use because life is already hard enough and it shouldn't be any harder. The people have used the land around there for thousands of years. She wishes that the land won't be restricted.

Riley Morry is the land chief for Anaktuvuk Pass and employed by the Arctic Slope Regional Corporation. He says that there was a new boundary change. It is still classified as D-2 lands. There are many allotments along the John River. The people want it to be left out of the D-2 selection. The people do a lot of trapping and hunting there. It gives the people a lot of land to hunt, and because they don't know where the caribou will go, the migration always changes.

Noah Ahgook was born around the Colville River, and his family was living by the Killik. They went to Wiseman for a while, and then flew to Fairbanks and Noah went to second grade there. His father and brother flew back to Anaktuvuk in 1947. He went up, and they began hunting the Anaktuvuk Pass area, and around Chandler Lake. Noah says the Native people should have the right to use the land the way they want to use it.

David Mekiana wants to keep the Killik River open for the Native people. His parents taught him about the land. When he was younger he went sheep hunting. He spent four weeks alone camping on the Killik. While he was there, there was a lot of game, such as caribou, moose and wolf. They were everywhere. He said there were lots of moose in the summer in that area. He flies to where the moose are, and to whereever the game is. He wants the land to stay open so he can continue to hunt and fish. He mentions that right now it must be an important place over there because of how it looks. He wants to help the people; it will be hard for them if they close it. He says that he lives like an Eskimo, he doesn't go to school or have any job, and he wants to continue to live like an Eskimo.

End Credits