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Arnold "Tiġitquuraq" Brower, Sr.

Arnold Brower, Sr.

Arnold Brower, Sr. (Tiġitquuraq), like Charlie Edwardsen, was introduced to the Ikpikpak area through reindeer herding. As a young boy of 14 or 15, Arnold's father, Charles Brower, Sr. made him choose between schooling in San Francisco for higher education or reindeer herding with his older brother, Tom. The decision was a difficult one; Tom offered him the chance to earn a dog team if he went herding, but he also knew that there would be opportunities if he chose to get more schooling. He chose to go herding, a decision that he did not regret. He recalls that after he made that decision, his mother made him the new fur clothing that he would need when he was herding.

Arnold, like Charlie Edwardsen, spent time with the old-timers, listening to their stories and learning about the resources. Arnold feels that the years he spent walking the country as a reindeer herder were very important in teaching him about the land. He made this point while explaining how he and his boys found their way through a blizzard during the winter of 1981:
 "I wanted to recourse in the morning, so we camped. Still didn't know where we were at. Next day, I just reformed and went on in (a) one mile circle and found out where I was. Because I'd walked this area on foot for seven years. That's the only reason why, why I can identify the country. So, it's helped me to know the country too. So, the boys were kind of lost, but I took them right, direct back home to camp, and they refer (to) how we got in there because it was a real blizzard, and we crossed this river, we come into the airport and going right through the flags, and we ended right up at the house."

The importance of associations with certain older people on the river is reflected in how they are remembered. Arnold named his oldest son after Nasuŋuluk, an old-timer from Ikpikpak. Speaking of Nasuŋuluk and the site of Isuliumaniq, he states:
 "My dad referred to him as an older, elderly person when he came here. So when dad died, he was still alive. So he has memory, good memory of telling stories as to what was up there. He mentioned that (Isuliumaniq) quite a few times and to be an area for people grouped together."
 Arnold also elaborates on Amaġuaq, the old-timer whom he and Charlie frequently visited while reindeer herding: "While we were in that area, we'd go back and forth to that old fella, and he'd tell us more stories. So that these were the things we found out."
 Arnold also points out that he and Charlie Edwardsen had a special relationship to Natchiġuna, Amaġuaq's wife (stepmother-stepson), that she called them sons, and that this may be why they were treated so well by the old couple. He mentions that Charlie Brower's wife warned them not to go near the old couple because of Amaġuaq's powers.

When Arnold returned from World War II, he went back to the land and depended upon the knowledge he had gained from personal experiences and from the old-timers.
 "It was right after the war before anything started to materialize. So that trapline I got up there, all the way on the sea ice going from Point Barrow all the way into these fishing areas I knew before I got into the Service. You know, where my subsistence put away area (is), let me put it that way."
 When he returned from the war, he observed environmental damage caused by the Navy, and he remarks now that the area never has been the same since then. Despite the damage, Arnold views the Ikpikpak like a savings account, as an area that he and his family can turn to in rough times for the resources they need.
 Arnold Brower, Sr. passed away in October 2008 while snowmachining to his cabin on the Ikpikpuk River. He was 86 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.)

Date of Birth:
May 17, 1922
Date of Death:
Oct 7, 2008
Arnold "Tiġitquuraq" Brower, Sr. appears in the following new Jukebox projects: