Roger Atoruk was interviewed on February 27, 2002 by Bill Schneider, Hazel Apok, and Eileen Devinney in Kiana, Alaska. In this interview, Roger talks about his family background and growing up in Kiana, and about when there was a lot of gold mining at Klery Creek Mine. He also identifies and talks about photographs in his personal collection, and discusses the history of the village of Kiana and environmental change he has observed.
Digital Asset Information
Project: Kiana Village History Project
Date of Interview: Feb 27, 2002
Narrator(s): Roger Atoruk
Interviewer(s): Bill Schneider, Hazel Apok, Eileen Devinney
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Introduction, Roger talks about his family
Photo of Roger's mother and father
Photo of Nellie Sheldon and Bessie Henry; Maniilaq story
Photo of Roger Atoruk, Peter Atoruk, Effie Atoruk, and Mary Atoruk
Peter Atoruk, Aakuq, and Effie Atoruk
Photo of Peter Atoruk with wolf skins
Photo of Stonewall Jackson, Uijaq, and Susie Jackson
The naming of Roger Atoruk and the missionaries
Photo of Kiana Dog Mushers Club
Photo of Fourth of July
Fourth of July celebration and games played in the old days
What people should know about Kiana and changes in the environment, climate and daily life
Changes in animals and vegetation
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After clicking play, click a section of the transcript to navigate the audio or video clip.
Bill Schneider: Today is February 27th, 2002. I'm Bill Schneider. Eileen Devinney is here, too. We have the pleasure -- pleasure today of beginning a project here in Kiana, project is run by Hazel Apok. Hazel Apok: Uh-hum. Bill Schneider: And our first interview is with Roger Atoruk. And so thank you both. This is exciting. We're -- we're off and running with our -- with our first -- first interview. And I guess what I need to do is, is focus this camera on both of you before we start picturing. So stay still as you are, you're doing fine, but go ahead and tell us which picture you want to start with, Roger, and then I'll -- I'll work on this. Roger Atoruk: Maybe I'll start with this one, huh? Bill Schneider: Uh-hum. Roger Atoruk: Can I start now? Bill Schneider: Yes. By all means. Roger Atoruk: Okay. This picture was taken in somewhere around 19 -- 1937 or '38. Click here for image. That's my family picture. That's my father, Peter. Bill Schneider: Just a sec here. Roger Atoruk: And my mother. Bill Schneider: Okay. You can go ahead and point to them now. Roger Atoruk: That's my father, Peter. Peter Atoruk. And my mother, Nellie. And this my older brother, Tommie Sheldon. And the next one is Elwood, my older brother, he's two years older than I am. And that's me right here. I must have been about age 7 or 8 years old. And that's my sister here. She now lives in California, in San Francisco. Stella. And that's the first picture. Bill Schneider: Would you point to Stella again. Roger Atoruk: This one here, this little girl here, that's Stella. Bill Schneider: Oh, she's kind of hiding. Roger Atoruk: Uh-hum. Bill Schneider: Okay. Good. And where was that picture taken? Roger Atoruk: Over in the old village. Do you remember that we were telling you about the old village over there. It's about a mile over, three-quarters of a mile maybe over that way. That was an Eskimo village. But there's nobody living there now. There is just one or two old houses over there. Bill Schneider: Uh-hum. Roger Atoruk: That's where the Eskimos used to live, in that little village. That was in the '30s. '30s and '40s. Then around 1940 -- 1948, '49 maybe, they start moving down here to the -- we call it down town. That's where the -- that's where the miners used to live, and the store was there.
Bill Schneider: You were talking about the miners used to live? Roger Atoruk: Yeah. Miners and -- and do you want me to talk about the miners a little bit? Click here for image. Hazel Apok: Yeah. Roger Atoruk: Yeah, there was -- I was born in 1930, and the mining started around maybe 19 -- around 19 -- 1898 maybe, maybe 1899. So the mining - they did some mining in Klery Creek (map). From what I heard, it was Andy Garbin discovered gold in Klery Creek, and there was a gold rush up here. Click here for image. And then when I was growing up, I've seen those buildings, log cabin buildings down in the lower -- lower end of the town down here. There was, from what I heard, there was two bars, I think, two bars, restaurant, jail house. There was even a magistrate. There was a marshal. Bill Schneider: Uh-hum. Roger Atoruk: It was a gold mining town. This place was a gold mining town. I've only seen the buildings because they were already -- all gone. That was in 19 -- 1935, '36, '37. I've seen the buildings. And I had been told that those were the mining -- the miners' buildings, you know, the - like restaurants. Bill Schneider: Uh-hum. Roger Atoruk: Maybe there was even a bar. I think there was a bar. Have you heard about that? Hazel Apok: No, but I remember seeing my papa's mining claims. I don't know how many people claimed, you know, had filed for mining claims, but I remember seeing my papa with some. Roger Atoruk: And there was a few -- few old-timers still living when - like Blankenship, Blankenship Trading Post, they started Blankenship Trading Post. And there was John Mellon. He had a store. And there was some miners like Andy Garbin, Albert Wise, Jack Casanoff, Teddy Westlake. Hazel Apok: Joe Kozak. Roger Atoruk: Joe Quillen. Joe Quillen. And Tom Baldwin. There was a whole bunch of miners that -- that were still living when I was growing up. And they have some ancestors here in Kiana. Like there's some Baldwins, there's Westlake. No Casanoffs, though, and no Kozaks. Hazel Apok: Schuerchs. Roger Atoruk: Joe Kozak got married, though he didn't have any children. Bill Schneider: What were they mining for? Roger Atoruk: Gold. They were mining for gold. There's gold in Klery Creek (map). There's a dredge up there, too. And then around 19 -- maybe 1940 -- '42 or '43, they put a dredge up there, a gold mining dredge. Do you know what a dredge is? It's a -- it's the machinery for picking up gold. There was Lammers, a guy by the name of Lammers, he put up a dredge up there. It -- that dredge is still up there.
Roger Atoruk: My mother and my father. Nellie and Peter Atoruk. Click here for image. Bill Schneider: Uh-hum. Roger Atoruk: My father was born around 1902. I don't know what year my mother was born. But she died in 1941, October 1941. I was only 11 years old when she died. She is a skin sewer. She's -- all these fur parkas, she made those out of reindeer - spotted reindeer. And this one is made out of sheep, sheepskin. And all the mukluks, she sewed them. And I used to have a -- a new parka every year. I wore out one parka a year. One year. And I had a sheepskin parka or a spotted fawn. That's all I have to say about this picture. Bill Schneider: Okay.
(Note: This transcript and accompanying audio has been edited.) Bill Schneider: Click here for image. Point to your mom again. Roger Atoruk: This is one is my mother. Bill Schneider: The one on your -- your left, uh-hum. Roger Atoruk: That's my mother an, uh - did you ever hear about Maniilaq? Bill Schneider: Yes. Roger Atoruk: I am an ancestor of Maniilaq (Note: Roger means to say descendant). That is - my grandfather, William Ward, his -- his uncle is Maniilaq. Bill Schneider: Hmm. Roger Atoruk: Just -- just my mother is named after that Maniilaq. He is my mother's grandfather (actually, a great-uncle). Bill Schneider: Maybe for people who won't know who Maniilaq is, could you tell -- tell us who Maniilaq is, and why he's important. Roger Atoruk: Maniilaq, he was, from what I heard -- I've heard this from the old-timers, especially from Nellie Coffin, she was close to 100 years old and she had said she had seen Maniilaq. And Maniilaq is my grandfather's uncle. So there's some stories up in the Upper Kobuk. From what I heard, it's that Nelson Greist have some tapes, tapes about old stories told by Robert -- Robert Cleveland, Johnnie Cleveland, and some other elders. Bill Schneider: But Maniilaq is famous; is that true? Roger Atoruk: Yeah, Maniilaq is -- they said he's (Translation, asking Hazel: "What's the word for Prophet?") Hazel Apok: Prophet, yeah. Roger Atoruk: Prophet. Hazel Apok: Prophet, yeah. Roger Atoruk: Prophet. Hazel Apok: Prophet. Roger Atoruk: Prophesized. He prophesized a lot of things. Like, long before there was airplanes around here, he prophesized that there -- people will be traveling through the air. They will be traveling through the air. And they will be talking on -- to each other for long -- for long distance on something - like talking. Just like -- like we can talk by telephone now all over the -- all over anywhere, wherever we want to call. And there will be televisions. There will be boats with outboard motors, powered by outboard motors. He prophesized those. And then - now we have 'em. That's Maniilaq. Bill Schneider: Uh-hum. That's good. Roger Atoruk: He prophesied, he prophesied those. And he -- there's some couple things that I've known that -- that haven't -- that haven't come to yet, and that's there will be two winters, consecutive winters some day. I don't know when. And there will be so much snow there will be only -- the tree tops will be -- only the tree tops will be seen. And there's two winters. Another thing is there will be a whale surface up in Ambler. I don't know how that'll happen, but that's what he prophesied. But a lot of things that he prophesied already happened. A lot of things. He was -- he was not a -- he was not a shaman, from what I heard. He was not a shaman. And from what -- from what my -- my relatives said that he is -- he get -- he get messages from -- from God. Because the shamans couldn't - they -- they wanted to stop him or something, and then they couldn't -- they couldn't get to his soul. They couldn't find his soul. So he was very powerful. So he must have -- so he must have a power from someplace. I don't know from -- Bill Schneider: Yes. Roger Atoruk: I believe it is from God. Bill Schneider: Uh-hum. Hazel Apok: I know I've heard it said that there's different kinds of like what you refer to shaman, there's the kind that can tell the future, you know, and they're strictly that. Didn't he used to have a big rod? Roger Atoruk: Uh-hum. A pole. He carried that pole all the time they said. Carried it around, and then whenever he was going to stay overnight, he would put up that pole. And there was -- at the end of that pole, there was a piece of a skin, I think. Hazel Apok: Uh-hum. Uh-hum. Roger Atoruk: I don't know, maybe that's his antenna. Hazel Apok: They said that was his tool to speak to -- to God. And then there's those kind that can -- well, Maniilaq - that can look at the future and prophesize. And then there's the kind that'll wish you evil or wish you to die and you will die. Yeah. And there was one other kind that just do chants, I guess. I know there's different kinds, and Maniilaq was one kind of them. Roger Atoruk: Yeah. There's a lot of stories about this Maniilaq. A lot of stories. But I can't tell you all of them myself. And if I -- if I do -- if I say it wrong, I'll feel sorry about it... Bill Schneider: No. I think we should stick to what you know. Roger Atoruk: Yeah. Bill Schneider: And what you're willing to share publicly. Roger Atoruk: Yeah. That's what I've heard about Maniilaq. Bill Schneider: That's -- that's helpful. Hazel Apok: Didn't Vera start a family tree with Maniilaq? Roger Atoruk: Yeah, I think somebody started that. Hazel Apok: She's -- she's got it. We should get it from her. But all - that's where we're all descendants from, Maniilaq. Roger Atoruk: Uh-hum.
Roger Atoruk: Click here for image. This was my -- my father's second wife, Effie. They got married in 1942. And now they -- they just -- they just died a few years ago. Like oh, maybe just about 10 years ago. My stepmother Effie died in 1990. February 1990. (Note: was actually March.) And my father died the next year, in March. (Note: Peter died in February of 1991.) Bill Schneider: We're looking at the upper one, right? Roger Atoruk: Yeah, upper one. Bill Schneider: And what's going on in that picture, do you know? Roger Atoruk: They used to have a -- they have a fish camp up in the spring, spring fish camp. What we call slough. And they would get a lot of fish up there. It's kind of dark (regarding the photographic image), but there's a lot of fish hanging over here. Bill Schneider: Uh-hum. Roger Atoruk: And that's -- that's me myself, my father, my stepmother, and my wife Mary right there. Bill Schneider: I don't see Mary. Mary over on the far end? Roger Atoruk: Yeah. That my wife Mary right there. Bill Schneider: Uh-hum. Then you're on the far side? Roger Atoruk: This is me right here. This was taken somewhere around in the '70s. '70s or '80s. Bill Schneider: Now, what type of fish were you getting? Roger Atoruk: What's that? Bill Schneider: What type of fish were you getting? Roger Atoruk: What type of fish? Bill Schneider: Yeah. Roger Atoruk: Whitefish. Whitefish.
Roger Atoruk: This was in the same place (as the previous photograph). Click here for image. My father and Effie. It's a little -- little plainer in that first one. Bill Schneider: Yeah, this is a little bit clearer. And what -- about what year? Roger Atoruk: I think it was around late -- late '70s.
Roger Atoruk: This picture is of my father. Click here for image. He's got a lot of wolves. I think this was taken around 19-- the late 1940s. A lot of wolves. He was a wolf trapper. He and Oscar Henry used to go out on Noatak - Noatak way out - and set traps and be out for about a month. Come back, they'd have a whole bunch of wolves. Wolves and foxes. My father was a wolf trapper, wolf hunter, wolf -- he was a subsistence hunter. You know, he used to go out and trap wolf, go up around Noatak River, past Noatak. He took me out two times, and showed me all the names, names of the creeks, trapping areas, you know, what animal -- what animal to get, what animal to trap. He showed me all that. There used to be -- there used to be -- there never used to be no caribou in this area in those days. They have to go way out maybe 100 -- 100 miles out, 150 miles out, with dog teams and hunt caribou. Hazel Apok: About how many wolves did he used to get in a winter? Roger Atoruk: Well, I don't remember. Probably maybe about 20. 15, 20 wolves. Sometimes less than that, 4 or 5. Eileen Devinney: So did your parents have a house in the old village? Roger Atoruk: Yeah. Yeah, we do. We had a -- we had a house over there. That's where I grew up. My brother, my brother Tommie has a drawing of the old village over there. And the people's houses. Like the old-timers. I knew a lot of old-timers when I was growing up. There was Mulluk -- I took some notes here on the names. There was Mulluk and -- Mulluk, Nayuk. What's Nayuk's English name? I don't know it either. You don't know Mulluk? Hazel Apok: Huh-uh. Roger Atoruk: No, you was too young.
Roger Atoruk: Click here for image. Stonewall Jackson, his name is "Uiłaq." Stonewall Jackson. Hazel Apok: Here is his picture. Roger Atoruk: Oh, that's his picture right there. Stonewall Jackson. Oh, that's a nice picture of Stonewall Jackson. That Stonewall Jackson, I -- he was my good buddy. He liked to tell stories, but all the stories he told me, I know they're not true. He just like to make a joke, joke and make people laugh. That's how I knew him. Nobody -- you don't have to believe everything he say, he just make a joke out of it and try to make people laugh. And that's his wife, Susie Jackson, Igļuġualuk. They both -- they both died long ago, around maybe in the '40s. '40s or '50s. That's a good picture of Stonewall Jackson. Now, I hear that -- I think he was named after that Civil -- Hazel Apok: President? Roger Atoruk: -- Civil War, Civil War, Stonewall Jackson. He was #8211; he must have been just like that Stonewall Jackson, maybe that's why they named him Stonewall Jackson. That's how he was named Stonewall Jackson. Hazel Apok: Those naluaġmiut (Inupiaq term for white people) used to come and give people names like Smith. Roger Atoruk: Yes. Yeah. Hazel Apok: My papa was Johnnie Smith. Roger Atoruk: They give names. Johnnie Smith. Johnnie Smith and -- Stonewall Jackson and Uiłaq.
Roger Atoruk: John Atoruk. I was named after my grandfather, my father's -- my father's father, John -- John Atoruk. But there were two ladies that named me Roger. I would like to be named John after my grandfather. Because they gave me Atoruk, Eskimo name Atoruk, but they named me Roger. I think it was after Jimmy Rodgers. That singer, Jimmy Rodgers. Eileen Devinney: Who were the two ladies? Roger Atoruk: They must have -- they must have liked that. They had record players, you know, the kind that you wind. They -- they must have only one record or something of Jimmie Rogers. And they -- that was Florence Jackson. And Margaret -- Margaret Ferreira's mother. Mother, who was that now? Hazel Apok: (Translation:"I don't know her.") Roger Atoruk: Tulukaan is her Eskimo name. Bill Schneider Tulukaan? Roger Atoruk: Tulukaan. That's Belle Cook's sister. Hazel Apok: Other names, you got? - oh, just Stella? Roger Atoruk: Yeah, there's a lot of other names, but that all the ones I can remember -- I could remember right now. And there used to be a church over at the old village. It was pretty new when I -- when I was growing up, in 1930s. It must have been around -- been built around 1920s or something. Eileen Devinney: Was that a Friends Church? Roger Atoruk: Friends Church, uh-hum. We had our first missionaries, Miss Hunnicutt. She was a white lady, Miss Hunnicutt. And afterwards we started getting Eskimos, Eskimo missionaries. And everybody used to go to spring camp to hunt muskrats. That's about the only income they had. No -- no other work in the village. No jobs. The only income was trapping. Trapping and hunting for fur. No electricity - no electricity, no running water. And after spring camp, we used to go out for summer -- summer -- summer fish camp. After summer fish camp we used to go to fall camps. We used to move from camp to camp all year around. The only time we come to the -- to Kiana is wintertime.
Roger Atoruk: This picture is of dog mushers, Dog Mushers Club officers there. Click here for image. We used to have a Dog Mushers Club. Hazel Apok: About what -- what years? Roger Atoruk: About what year? Maybe in the '60s. In the '60s. Hazel Apok: Uh-hum. Roger Atoruk: And I'll say the names of the dog mushers. I think the president was Merrill Morena. That year. This one here, that's Merrill Morena. And this one here is Calvin Westlake, my first cousin. And this one is Jack Casanoff. This one is Henry Jackson. Theodore Westlake. Larry Westlake -- no, this one is Gene Geffe. Gene Geffe. And this one is Merrill Morena. I think he must have been the president of the club, dog mushers club. And that's Larry Westlake. And that's me, myself. This one's Ray Blastervold. This is Don -- Donald Smith. That's the Dog Mushers Club. We used to have a big dog race here in Kiana. People from Noorvik. Bill Schneider: Uh-hum. Roger Atoruk: From Noorvik, Selawik (map), and Kotzebue, they used to come to Kiana (map) for -- for that dog race. There used to be a men's race, men's race and a woman's race during Christmas week. There used to be a lot of activities. Bill Schneider: Do you still do that? Roger Atoruk: No. There's no more dog teams in Kiana. Not even one. Not even one dog team in Kiana. Only snow machines. Eileen Devinney: Who was the last person to have a dog team here? Roger Atoruk: Who was the last one? Maybe Baldwin. Jimmy Baldwin maybe. David Smith have dogs all right, but he doesn't run them now. He doesn't run them for dog teams, just having them for pet. Hazel Apok: My -- my family had two big lots. My brother Donald had, like, 22 dogs. Roger Atoruk: Yeah. Hazel Apok: My papa and mom and my -- we had like 20 dogs. But we had two different lots. Roger Atoruk: Yeah. Need to have good dogs. Good, big, strong dogs. Hauling dogs. Bill Schneider: I think that some of the racers from around here raced in Fairbanks, too, in the early days. Roger Atoruk: Yeah, they do. These two brothers here, Calvin and -- Calvin and Theodore and Larry Westlake, they used to have dog racing dogs -- racing dogs. I think they raced both in Fairbanks and in Anchorage. They knew -- they knew Orville Lake real well. Hazel Apok: Wilbur Sampson used to go. Roger Atoruk: Yeah, Wilbur Sampson used to race, too. Hazel Apok: He's from Noorvik. Roger Atoruk: Wilbur Sampson and his father, Stephen Sampson, used to race in Fairbanks. Dan Snyder. Hazel Apok: How about Ray Jackson? Roger Atoruk: I don't think he ever -- I don't think he raced with us. Hazel Apok: But he used to come here. Roger Atoruk: Yeah, he used to come here, yeah. Hazel Apok: You hear stories about Ray Jackson and his day. Roger Atoruk: Yeah. Yeah.
Roger Atoruk: This must have been taken in Fourth of July. Click here for image. You know, these ladies are old-timers. And (right to left) this one is Josie -- Josie Black, Susie Barr, Bessie Henry, Martha Wells, Clara Jackson. Looks like they are having a parky contest or something. During Fourth of July.
Bill Schneider: Do you want to talk about festivals like Fourth of July? Roger Atoruk: Fourth of July? Yeah. They used to have games when I was growing up, what mostly -- what we call is qiputaq. It's just like horseshoe, but we use our small -- small sticks instead of horseshoes. And just throw them. They used to have all kinds of games. Bill Schneider: On Fourth of July? Roger Atoruk: On Fourth of July. Hazel Apok: And Christmas week, too. Roger Atoruk: And Christmas week, too. Yeah. Hazel Apok: Those were the two main events. Roger Atoruk: And they still have it now. But it's different than -- different than what when we were growing up. Eileen Devinney: How was it different? Roger Atoruk: Well, different games and they -- the people that run it, they don't know about the old games, what -- what the old-timers used to do. Eileen Devinney: Would you like to be able to show people? Roger Atoruk: Oh, yeah. Eileen Devinney: That would be kind of fun to bring some of those back -- Roger Atoruk: I would like to -- I would like to show them a few things about old-timers, old-timers games. Like mana manaa, and aakuu. Qiputaq. These old -- these young people, they don't know about those. Hazel Apok: And anaktaqamiŋ (Inupiaq term for games of competition and skill). Roger Atoruk: anaktaqamif is -- Hazel Apok: Scissors like broad jump or whatever. Roger Atoruk: Two teams on one each side, one team on each side, and really used to work hard to be -- to try to win. Hazel Apok: What used to be the prizes them days? Fur? Roger Atoruk: I don't know of any -- there wasn't any prizes. Hazel Apok: Just to see who -- Roger Atoruk: I don't know. Hazel Apok: Yeah. What's mana manaa? Maybe you could describe some of the games. Roger Atoruk: I don't remember. I don't really remember how it is. Maybe Percy, Percy Jackson or Tommie Sheldon, they can explain about those old timers games. mana manaa, it used to be a good game, but I don't remember about how you play it. Hazel Apok: I played it once before, too, and I forget it. Roger Atoruk: I used to play it, too, but I don't -- I don't remember how it is, how it is played. Hazel Apok: What was that other game you mentioned? There's mana manaa, qiputaq, and -- Roger Atoruk: Aakuu. Hazel Apok: Aakuu. Roger Atoruk: Aakuu. There's two sides standing on -- on same -- same number on each side. They used to have something, you know, like holding something here, and then they said they'd call a name, a person's name on the other side. And they would say -- they would say that person's name and say "akuu, aakuu." And that person is supposed to come over, come across from the other side, and stand in front of that person that's saying aakuu. Without smiling. Not smiling. Not supposed to laugh. If she smiled or laughed, she'll have to go back without nothing. So that -- that person that's saying aakuu would tell her to do something. Just to make her laugh. Like how does -- how does -- "how does a loon holler?" Or how does a -- "how does a fox make noise?" And that person that come across would say -- try to do what -- what -- what she's told to do, what he's -- without laughing. If she smiled or laughed, she would have to go back with nothing. That was a good game. That used to make everybody laugh. They don't know about that. Hazel Apok: No. Roger Atoruk: First time you hear about that? Hazel Apok: No, I've heard about that. Yeah. Roger Atoruk: You heard about it. Hazel Apok: I think I might have even played it once. Roger Atoruk: Uh-hum.
Bill Schneider: Is there -- are there some parts of the history of Kiana in this area that we should put down on the record for people to know, for your grandchildren and for visitors to the area? Roger Atoruk: Well, I've been thinking about that. I know I'll be -- I'll think of something later on, after I go home. Cause I'm glad this is happening. I've been thinking about doing this even before I hear about -- about it coming because I have a lot of grandchildren and great grandchildren. Bill Schneider: Right. Roger Atoruk: And they won't know about Kiana history. I'm glad you're doing this so they -- so they will all know about Kiana. Bill Schneider: Yeah. Can we put this down? I'm picking up a little bit of sound on it. One of the things that people are talking about all over is environment change and climate change. What do you observe here, in your life here? Roger Atoruk: Well, there's been a lot of changes. A lot of changes. Like I said, there was no electricity, no water and sewer. We have to haul our own wood. And there was hardly any -- not very much what we have in the stores, you know. There used to be flour and sugar and coffee in the stores, but now we have about everything. Like frozen foods, eggs and vegetables. That's a lot of change. And we have TV, telephones. There's been a lot of changes in my lifetime. From -- from growing up to right now. Hazel Apok: Didn't it used to seem like in the wintertime it used to be almost like daytime outside, you know, when the moonlight? Roger Atoruk: Yes. Hazel Apok: It used to be real bright and like it's dim now. I've heard it -- heard people say, you know, it's not bright like it used to be when we were growing up. Roger Atoruk: I know. Maybe -- maybe because there was no electricity in there. Hazel Apok: Yeah. Roger Atoruk: There was no electricity. Just everything seems bright maybe. Yeah, used to be cold, too. Colder than it is right now. We used to have real cold spells, long cold spells during winter. I think- and we used to have big snowstorms, too. But now we hardly have any snow, big snowstorms. Not very cold. Like right now it is warm out there, it's about 20 degrees out there now. I think right - in the old days it used to be 40, 30, 40 below.
Bill Schneider: What about changes in animals? Roger Atoruk: Animal. That -- animal, there's a lot more animal in the area. Caribou, moose. A lot of -- a lot of -- a lot of caribou around now, all year 'round. They even walk between the houses sometimes. Even moose. Moose was just like my pet - it used to be outside of my house, right behind my house. Bill Schneider: Did you see moose in the old days? Roger Atoruk: No. There was no moose. No moose in this area. I think the moose start -- just started to come in maybe around '50s. '50s in there. That's the first -- that's the first moose that come into this area. Maybe late '40s. Late '40s or early '50s. Bill Schneider: How about changes in vegetation? Roger Atoruk: Vegetation? I -- I've not noticed anything about changes in vegetation. Eileen Devinney: And fish, you still get the same fish runs and everything, or has that changed? Roger Atoruk: What is that? Eileen Devinney: The fish runs, the whitefish and salmon, are they any different than you remember? Roger Atoruk: No. I don't know of any difference. Bill Schneider: Okay. Well, this was fun, and I think you did a -- a good job, and you introduced us to the history of the area, and to Maniilaq, and to some of the old-timers. And I think it's going to be of interest. Thank you.