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Vincent Nageak, Sr.
Vincent Nageak was born in 1903 at Beechey Point, Alaska to Kenton and Ahlak Kuguyuk, and lived along the Beaufort Sea coast in northern Alaska, in particular at Oliktok Point, and in Barter Island (Kaktovik) and Barrow. He was an expert seal hunter and whaler who developed a great understanding of how to travel and hunt safely on the ever-changing sea ice. He also worked as a reindeer herder and was a successful trapper and whaling captain. He married Bernice Taalak in 1925 and had three children. After his first wife died, Nageak married Rhoda Akootchook of Barter Island in 1940 and together they had eight more children. Eventually, the family settled in Barrow after living at Barter Island and Oliktok. Nageak taught his sons to be expert hunters and whalers and to understand the sea ice, and they have carried on the family tradition. Nageak was a respected elder who shared his knowledge and stories with visitors, on recordings, and at some of the early annual Elders Conferences held by the North Slope Borough’s Inupiat History, Language and Culture Commission. Vincent Nageak died on August 1, 1980.