Bering Strait Atuq Reunion – Communal gatherings that celebrate traditional sea mammal hunting have been held on the coasts of Alaska and Chukotka, Russia, for centuries. This drumming, singing and dancing is the ancient traditional art form of Atuq to the Siberian and Inupiaq native peoples. The ancient art has faded in much of Alaska and the practice is only recently again gaining traction.
This summer, two Atuq ensembles from Alaska will travel from St. Lawrence Island and Little Diomede, two small, isolated Alaskan islands in the middle of the Bering Strait, to Chukotka on the Russian side of the Bering Strait to reunite and revitalize the ancient art of Atuq with their relatives in Russia. Donations are needed to assist in funding the travel from these remote Bering Sea islands.
Skiku — Skiku ski week promotes healthy physical fitness, as well as motivates kids to stay in school. Skiku works with 98% Alaska Native youth facing numerous challenges to their health, wellness, and education. Skiku programs introduce cross-country skiing and biathlon in villages with an ideal climate for skiing, of which 11 of those villages are on the Iditarod trail. It costs on average $50/student to participate in a full Skiku Ski Week!
Native Movement — Native Movement has provided leadership and support for grassroots-led projects that endeavor to ensure Indigenous Peoples’ rights, the rights of Mother Earth, and the building of healthy & sustainable communities for all. Native Movement believes that in order to make meaningful and lasting change it is critical to address root-causes and dismantle oppressive systemic power structures.
The August Foundation for Alaska’s Racing Dogs — The August Foundation provides a link between professional mushers and dog lovers across the country to place retired canine athletes in loving homes after their racing days are done. They provide foster homes and vet care for dogs awaiting a family placement. This foundation works mainly in Alaska with individual mushers, shelters and other rescue organizations but does re-home dogs outside of Alaska.
Sled Dog Sanctuary — The Sled Dog Sanctuary, located on 40 acres outside Talkeetna, provides a home for up to 25 rescued sled dogs. The dogs are cared for and rehabilitated with the goal of adoption but some dogs become permanent residents. Each dog who resides within the Sanctuary is given the opportunity to work in harness and offered the chance to keep doing the job they so love to do. No sled dog is pushed to run too fast, too far or expected to exceed beyond their comfort level.
Alaska Rural Veterinary Outreach — ARVO hosts clinics in rural villages with no other access to veterinary care. They provide vaccinations, de-worming, spay/neuter, and other necessary care for pets. They have provided clinics in trail villages Galena and Nome. It costs $10 to vaccinate and deworm one dog.
KNOM-AM, KNOM-FM — These radio stations provide faith, inspiration, news, & education thru radio to listeners in Western AK: from the Yukon Delta to the Bering Strait & throughout the villages & rural stretches of the AK Bush. The radio station is an important communication link for a highly remote and isolated part of the United States. KNOM airs Alaska Native music and events as well as mushing races. The traditional music and storytelling of Alaska Native people of Western Alaska is an integral part of KNOM’s programming.
Jeff Schultz / Faces of Alaska — Jeff has been a volunteer photographer for the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race for a number of years and developed the ambitious Faces of Iditarod project, documenting mushers, volunteers, and dogs along the trail. His goal is to take five hundred additional photo and audio portraits during this year’s race to bring us beyond the race and into the local communities with the FACES OF ALASKA project. Documenting Alaskan lives and lands is an expensive and extremely time-consuming privilege. Alaska is ⅕ the size of the lower 48 states, and accessing the remote communities and geographies requires extensive travel time and cost.
Tupik Mi — This documentary details efforts to revitalize traditional Inuit tattooing. This symbolic and meaningful form of art was once performed across the Arctic exclusively by and for women but was nearly extinguished. In addition to the documentary, Tupik Mi is establishing an apprentice program to teach other Inuit women the traditional tattooing techniques. Creator Holly Mititquq Nordlum was raised in Kotzebue and her mother, Lucy Nordlum, ran Iditarod and Yukon Quest.
Watch the trailer and donate
Longer clip (CW: video contains close images of skin stitching and hand tattooing)
Junior Iditarod — help the junior iditarod remain open and free to aspiring young mushers to keep the tradition alive. Direct donation link forthcoming!
Kawerak — Kawerak seeks to improve the Region’s social, economic, educational, cultural and political conditions for residents of the Bering Strait Region, 75% of whom are Alaska Native Inupiat, Yup’ik, and St. Lawrence Island Yupik peoples.
Pride Foundation — Pride Foundation works to address root causes of discrimination impacting the LGBTQ+ community. In part by supporting community leaders and organizations that work to eliminate long-standing barriers to equal access, opportunities, and resources for LGBTQ+ people. And by expanding and deepening the level of engagement among all LGBTQ+ people and allies, including people who are economically, racially, socially, geographically, or politically disenfranchised.
Make a gift.
Our World of Nanuuq — Polar bears are a threatened species due to climate change and diminished sea ice. The loss of sea ice means the loss of hunting grounds for the bears in search of their prey: seals.
In Alaska there are 15 polar bear hunting communities along the coastline. These communities and the hunters are crucial in the future preservation of the Alaskan polar bear populations. One way that data on polar bear populations is gathered is through subsistence hunters and the harvest reports that they submit.
This project is about highlighting the important role that harvest data and observations from the hunters about migration patterns plays in informing scientists about the health and safety of the polar bears.